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Ads In Local TV News And Search Lead All Other Media In Driving Consumers To Investigate Or Purchase, Per New GfK Study For Hearst Television

Local TV News Compares Favorably as Marketing Vehicle to Other Platforms, Respondents Say

June 24, 2014 --

NEW YORK, June 24, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- A new study conducted by GfK for Hearst Television finds that viewers have a high level of engagement and trust with local television news and this favorable environment plays a role in prompting viewers to research and purchase products advertised during newscasts.

Eighty-five percent of all respondents agreed with the statement "Local TV News helps me feel connected to my community." Forty-five percent agreed that "I know when advertisers put an ad on Local TV News that they care about me and my community."

And a key subset of respondents indicated local TV advertising inspires action: Nearly two-thirds of Adult 25-54 respondents said they often or sometimes investigated or purchased a product or service advertised on/in Local TV news. Search engine sites and local television news were far and away the most cited platforms, at 64% and 62%, respectively.

"These findings support that local TV is a leading news-and-information media resource in reaching consumers based on a combination of trust, relevance, attention level, word-of-mouth and purchase decisions," said Kevin Stuart, Corporate Research Director of Hearst Television Inc.

The survey, of more than 2,600 local TV news viewers age 25+ in Hearst Television news markets, was conducted online between March 27 and April 9. It encompassed consumers' use of various media, including local TV news, cable TV news, broadcast network news, print and online newspapers and magazines, radio, online video sites, search engine sites and social networking sites. All study participants reported they watch local television news at least a few times a week or more. When reporting on and evaluating other media usage, this same criterion was used.

Contrary to conventional wisdom, some findings were skewed more heavily toward younger viewers. Sixty-four percent of respondents age 25-34 agreed with the statement "I rely on local television news for product and service ideas that are relevant to me in my life," while 56% of Adults 35+ respondents agreed.

Moreover, ads on local TV news for the following advertiser categories were viewed as more relevant among adults 25-54 versus ads on all other media platforms: grocery stores (52%), retail stores (46%), restaurants (43%), home improvement services (41%), health services (40%), auto manufacturers and dealers (37%) and telecommunications providers (34%), among others.

Among the study's other key findings:

  • Women respondents age 25-54 considered local TV news more likely to "get the conversation started" about advertisers than social media: Fifty-five percent agreed with the statement "I find myself talking to family and friends about the products and services I see advertised on/in" local TV news, compared to 51% for online video sites, 38% for social networking sites and 30% for search engine sites. Similarly, 50% of women respondents age 25-54 agreed with the statement "I find myself recommending to family and friends the products and services I see advertised on/in" local TV news, compared to 44% for online video sites, 34% for social networking sites and 26% for search engine sites.

  • Trustworthiness and relevance were widely cited as advantages for local TV news. Seventy-nine percent of all respondents agreed with the statement "I trust what I see/hear" on local TV news; broadcast network news and newspapers ranked second at 74% each. Seventy-seven percent of respondents agreed with the statement "Local TV news is the most relevant type of news to me and my family."

The full study findings can be found here.

About Hearst Television

Hearst Television, a national multi-media company, owns and operates 29 local television stations and two local radio stations, serving 30 U.S. cities and reaching approximately 18% of U.S. television households. The TV stations broadcast60 video channels, featuring local and national news, weather, information, sports and entertainment programming, and local community service-oriented programs. The stations also host and operate digital on-line and mobile platforms that extend the company's brands and content to local, national and international audiences. Hearst Television is recognized as one of the industry's premier companies, and has been honored with numerous awards for distinguished journalism, industry innovation, and community service. Hearst Television is a wholly owned subsidiary of Hearst Corporation. The Company's Web address is

About GfK

GfK is one of the world's largest research companies, with more than 13,000 experts working to discover new insights into the way people live, think and shop, in over 100 markets, every day. GfK is constantly innovating and using the latest technologies and the smartest methodologies to give its clients the clearest understanding of the most important people in the world: their customers. In 2012, GfK's sales amounted to 1.51 billion. To find out more, visit

SOURCE Hearst Television

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