Sunday, January 29, 2006

Dot bomb

For many people, their first source of information on breaking news is the Internet. Information is more likely to be updated faster online than it is in broadcast. And many television stations now use their websites to compliment their existing coverage, or to skirt a non-compete clause.

Of the TV news websites in this market, WNEP is the hands-down winner. They've invested a lot of money into their site, with streaming video and a producer whose sole job is to update online stories. You can even see what's on Andy Palumbo's mind.

But from looking at WBRE and WYOU's online presence, you can tell they don't think highly of investing money in a better website. Hey, it's Nexstar, 'nuff said. The stories are unreadable, old, and in some cases, all you get is a verbatim script for a package.

A reader recently pointed out that this market, as a whole, sucks when it comes to an online presence. In Binghamton (Market 156), each station has video for each story on its website, and so does tiny little WETM in equally tiny little Elmira (Market 173). WNEP only lets you see the first block of their newscasts, and not individual stories. As soon as video is posted, it's removed to make way for the next newscast.

If stations in bottom-rung markets can be bothered to have decent looking, informative websites, then why not here in Market 54? With broadband becoming so cheap and new technologies being developed, more people are using the Internet for their news. TV stations are crazy if they think a good online presence doesn't matter.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Newspapers too. And they're really the ones who ought to be figuring out a way to develop what will eventually (and soon) replace that pain-in-the-acetabulum newspaper carrier who can't seem to make the paper he throws in the general direction of my house land anywhere but in water, snow, or the shrubs.

2:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The answer to why WBRE/WYOU doesn't have a great website is in your statement, you even pointed it out: "Hey, it's Nexstar, 'nuff said." That's the whole point, if Nexstar cared in anyways about it's stations, it would, but they don't. So, it's going to look like crap, and the stations will be crap until Nexstar decideds to put money into it (like that will ever happen) or someone else buys the station (oh please, oh please, oh please!)

6:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Call me old fashioned or whatever, but the purpose of a newspaper, tv station or radio station website is to drive the reader to the moneymaker, not the other way around. Yes, it can be used to append the moneymaker, but it should never replace it. Why is a website on the side of station vehicles? What kind of money can you make off a website? Google is not the norm. Remember the dot com bubble burst?

5:32 PM  
Blogger Howard Beale said...

Nobody's saying the website should replace the station. Just look at what it's done for WWTI-TV up in Watertown, NY. What I'm saying is TV stations should try to have a useful website. Why not use it to catch the people who missed the 6 p.m. show, or the people who don't bother to watch TV news? It's quicker when it comes to breaking a story, and it can draw more people to the newscast. And if you want to make the bean counters happy, you can do what WNEP does, and sell ads for the site and online newscasts.

Besides, the whole dot-com burst was caused by people whose business plan was nothing more than "IT'S A DOT-COM!"

11:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

WNEP makes a nice return from the web site. It doesn't take a genius to make a web site profitable.

2:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Radio and TV, less likely to become an internet based resouce but not out of the question as computers become integrated into telephones and even clothing while wireless access heads towards saturation. Newspapers and the internet/website? Inevitable. And you can drive the customer to the moneymaker all you want, but that didn't do the factory that made hooks for button shoes or the shop that made horsewhips last any longer than they the period of time during which they were useful.

4:35 PM  

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