What is innovation in local TV news? Andrew Heyward’s new mission is to find out

“It’s a great question because I don’t think we’re suddenly going to come up with some great gimmick and Millennials are going to flock to their TV to watch traditional newscasts.”

News flash: A lot of people still watch — and trust — the local TV news. TV is still the No. 1 source of news for Americans, ahead of the entire Internet. And of those TV watchers, nearly 3 in 4 are regular local TV news watchers.

But the trendlines are moving in the wrong direction. In 2016, TV had a 19 percentage point lead over online as a frequent source of news for Americans (57 percent to 38 percent). A year later, that lead had been cut to 7 percentage points (50 percent to 43 percent). Cord-cutters and cord-nevers have moved from edge cases to mainstream; young people ages 18 to 24 have cut their TV viewing by about eight hours a week just in the past six years. It’s time for an update.

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