Is YouTube killing-off the local news anchor?

One of the reasons Gavin Newsome has devoted so much time to the YouTube channel I mentioned earlier is to enable him to reach the public without the filter of the traditional media (can Sarah Palin be far behind?). Why depend on their soundbites when you can have your own channel?

That development may help explain an article in the NY Times the other day titled: “A Generation of Local TV Anchors is Signing Off.” They report that many local TV stations across the country are cutting back, and they’re especially cutting back on the long-term, high-priced news anchors. The nature of news in the internet era is changing.

Many stations — and viewers — still place a premium on the gravitas that older anchors provide. But confronted by the era of always-available news and information on the Internet, local stations are being forced to rethink their mission.

On the Web, users can assemble their own newscast from an around-the-clock buffet of options, making anchors seem somewhat superfluous, especially to younger viewers. Perhaps as a result, station layoffs are in the news almost every day now, said Tom Petner, who edits the television industry newsletter ShopTalk.

“The industry is moving from star players to more of a team sport,” he said.

This situation was discussed in the video I did in July about The Future of Media Conference. Local TV can’t create content as inexpensively as the sources from the net.