Another day I’ll go into why any serious content producer needs to be reading the newspaper, especially since they’ve been making so many changes in the last year.

For now, let’s talk about the new 4:30 am news broadcast.

The article I’m clipping from was both in the Metro print version of the Washington Post, as well as the online version. It’s entitled “A plethora of local news for early risers.”

The more news a station produces, the lower the overall cost of its news operation becomes.

“It’s one of the more efficient things a station can do,” said Allan Horlick, WUSA’s general manager.

And, when a station airs a syndicated show, say “Cops” reruns, or a network-produced news program at 4:30 a.m., typically it has to turn over a large chunk of the advertising time available in the show to the company that has provided the program to the station.

But when a TV station airs a locally produced newscast at 4:30 a.m., it gets to sell all the ad time in the show. Ka-ching!

And local newscasts attract more viewers.

This immediately brought three questions to mind.

  1. Why are people waking up so early?
  2. 4:30 is the actual butt-crack of dawn. I know because when I was an assistant teacher at a day care in Fort Washington, that’s what time I had to wake up if I was going to get out of bed by 5 am for my 6 am to noon shift.

  3. Is there an opportunity here to explore great advertising rates for the types of businesses an early riser would typically run into?
  4. Breakfast diners? Coffee shops? Perhaps even targeted to people who leave work early due to getting there early? Or to folks who are probably getting online early as well?

  5. What am I not doing in my business that could increase revenue with just a little effort?
  6. One of the things I learned last year is that sending out a newsletter more often – even one that doesn’t sell every time – increases sales, even though I often forget to link to a sales page or even mention one.

    It doubles my blog traffic to tweet out a link from a blog I wrote for that isn’t connected to Twitter for auto-updates. And adding my blog to Facebook ensures a steady stream of often responsive visitors.

    There have got to be other places a small change can make a big impact.

We’ll talk about these points and others as we go on to discuss how the offline news impacts us, and how we can impact it, throughout the month of January. In the meantime, read that article. It reveals some of the marketing ideas behind network news choices. Feel free to share anything that you find helps your business.

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