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Local Broadcasters Unique Role

Catastrophic natural events of late have offered stark reminders to major media companies, consumers and even grass-roots broadcasters of the unique role that local television and radio stations continue to play even in this dizzying era of rapid advancement in digitally enabled communications technologies.

The trick now is for local broadcasters to believe in that mission and invest enough in it to leverage their connection with local viewers and advertisers in a way that will allow them to reinvent their business model before it's too late. There are recent signs that effort is under way.

The scramble by new- and old-media players to move up the digital broadband food chain has left local TV stations especially in the dust. Many have had no viable game plan for using their mandated digital infrastructure to generate new revenue to supplement their weakened advertising base and to replace the vanishing compensation dollars that the Big Three networks once showered on their local affiliates.

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