KHON2, KITV, Hawaii News Now Face Uncertain Future
Stations grapple with new business models to survive
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Where Americans Get Their News
Totals are more than 100 percent because some people use multiple sources to get their news
The Ratings Winner is...
The TV industry lives and dies by ratings, so everyone tries to put the best face on the numbers.
KGMB’s Sunrise Show and 10 p.m. newscast won the No. 1 spot in the February Nielsen ratings. KHON2 claimed the top spot for its 5 p.m. newscast, 5:30 p.m. World News Report and 6 p.m. newscast with Joe Moore. But, if you combine the ratings of the HNN stations, which Nielsen allows, HNN beats KHON2 in every time slot except 6 p.m., the most watched newscast of the day.
KITV, which is consistently third in the ratings, is the only station with an hourlong newscast at 10 p.m. as well as a weekend morning newscast, and news director Genie Garner says the station has been showing positive growth in key areas.
KITV’s Jackson and KHON2’s McNamara say the HNN merger hasn’t hurt their viewership numbers.
“In the beginning, our numbers actually went up a little bit,” McNamara says, adding that some viewers might have felt slighted when HNN began its simulcasts, which created “sampling” in the marketplace. “So, from our standpoint, I think we actually benefited from it.”
Each of the stations trumpets the awards it wins.
HNN scooped up three national Emmy Awards and four Edward R. Murrow Awards last year for overall excellence, best newscast at 10 p.m., best continuing coverage and best hard-news reporting.
HNN news director Mark Platte, who is the former editor of The Honolulu Advertiser, says he’s also proud of his team for completing four 90-minute live campaign debates last year, more than any other local station; filming a two-hour live broadcast from Waikiki Beach to celebrate the launch of CBS’s “Hawaii 5-0” series; broadcasting their Sunrise Show live from Hilo for a week leading up to the Merrie Monarch Festival; and for “the most live reports and most extensive coverage in the wake of the Japan tsunami of any other station.”
Last year, KITV won two Emmy Awards for best evening newscast for a medium-size market for its 5 p.m. newscast and another for best informational/instructional feature. It also received six Excellence in Journalism Awards from the Society of Professional Journalists.
KHON2 picked up two Edward R. Murrow Regional Awards and is consistently one of the top 10 FOX affiliates in the country, says KHON2 news director Lori Silva.
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