As Americans are glued to all the news on the coronavirus, our habits have also accelerated shifts in both radio and television, along with the demise of print media. National cable networks are bringing in additional viewers and scoring enormous prime-time numbers. The same goes for local news but with a major asterisk. Local news viewing is up 50 percent since the crisis started; however, advertising revenues have cratered.
The same cannot be said of newspapers, as dozens of publications fire hundreds of reporters and even suspend print altogether. One estimate has called the wave an “extinction-level event” for print journalism. The decline of commuting has also led to a sharp decrease in revenues and listenership for radio stations. For a public disgusted with national media, local newspapers and radio stations are now the closest thing to trusted media, but both these news elements may soon evaporate.