Former NBC News correspondent Ed Rabel complains that local TV news “is populated by bubble-heads and glib, young, sometimes pretty know-nothings” who “wouldn’t know a news story if it slapped them in the face.” (They’re lucky to have consultants writing scripts that are read by small-market anchors across the country.)
Viewers don’t get real news on local TV because “station owners and managers forbid their news departments from stepping on toes and ruffling feathers, out of fear that such stories might insult local advertisers or offend politicians on whose toes reporters might stomp.”
Investigative or original reporting is costly, meaning real reporters must be hired to do real reporting, a job that requires lots of time and money that the stations have no time for. Instead, I remember one Huntington TV station leading its newscast last December with the astonishing news that Christmas tree sales were on the rise. Hold the presses!