It’s been over a month since I last posted here. It’s been a busy time adjusting to my new world in New Jersey.
One of the things that’s strange to me, though, is actually being home at night. Reporting meant working late into the night covering meetings or finalizing stories. So now I have time to actually watch television, although it’s mostly sports like the Mets collapsing or, lately, the Rangers pre-season games.
During one of those pre-season games, there was an ad for NBC 4 in New York moving its broadcasts to 7 p.m. rather than its current 6 p.m. time slot.
While newspapers are trying to determine how to bring back readers as circulations drop, broadcast news is battling the same problem with a drop in viewers.
But who has the time to watch television news on the major networks? Most especially, who is home when the shows are on?
Many people work 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., but it doesn’t mean people are home at 5:30 p.m. or even 6 p.m. from work to watch a news broadcast. Commutes are longer than ever. Some people work longer hours and don’t leave work until much later. My work schedule right now has me working until 6 p.m.
And when someone gets home from work, their first thoughts are on making dinner. They’re not on turning on the television to watch the news.
Moving television broadcasts later makes perfect sense. The shows should be on at 7 and 7:30 p.m. It may not cause a giant jump in viewers, but I suspect there would be some jump. I hope NBC’s experiment proves as such.