The Future of TV News

Michael Rosenblum
3 min readMay 25, 2024

You are looking at the future of TV news.

The story above was done by Itay Hod, a reporter with KPIX, the CBS News O&O in San Francisco. Before that, he was a reporter with Spectrum News 1 in Los Angeles.

Unlike most TV news reporters, who work with a crew and big great, Itay works alone, like a newspaper reporter, but instead of carrying a pencil and pad, he carries an iPhone.

The story you are watching above was done by him with nothing more than an iPhone. He found the story, reported it, shot it, scripted it, tracked it, edited it and produced it — and all, pretty much, in one day — with a pick up at the end.

What makes this story (and all of his stories) so powerful is that they are not so much the iPhone, though that helps, but rather the way the story is structured. It is different from the way most TV news stories are structured. The reporter is not in the story, there are no sit down interviews, there is no ‘man on the street’ soundbites, there is no b-roll, and so on.

What this is, is a different way of delivering a TV news story. He takes the best elements of Hollywood storytelling and marries them to great journalism — Netflix meets the News. After many years of working in this way, we have found that this kind of news storytelling creates a very deep story engagement with the audience. Our primary interest here is on what we call the audience experience. We want the audience to connect with the story on a very basic and emotional level — we look for audience immersion in the story.

The news business is in trouble. In the past decade, more than 2400 local newspapers have closed. NBC Nightly News gets 5 million viewers per night, in a nation of 340 million people, so most people are not watching. What are they watching? Netflix.

Netflix has 270 million paid subscribers. NBC Nightly News is free.

People binge watch Netflix series, hour after hour. Why do they do that?

Netflix has audience engagement. That is, people pay attention. Deep attention. TV news, at least the way it is done now, does not do that, but it could.

It means delivering the content in a different way. Character-driven, with an arc of story and a resolution. Just like Breaking Bad or The Sopranos or Game of Thrones.

Fortunately, Itay is not alone. We have trained and fielded more than 1,100 Spectrum News reporters to work in this way. We are in the process of working with CBS News to train their journalists as well. We have been doing this all over the world for the past 35 years.

Here’s one from Kiet Do, a journalist with KPIX in San Francisco. As you will see, you are immediate immersed in the story and you care about the characters, yet it delivers top quality journalism.

If the news business is to survive, and a functioning democracy depends on a well informed public, then you have to deliver news that viewers actually want to watch. Flashing BREAKING NEWS every 20 seconds does not do that. Crafting great and compelling stories does.

To me, this is the future of TV News — but it is happening now.

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Michael Rosenblum

Co-Founder TheVJ.com, Father of Videojournalism, trained 40,000+ VJs. Built VJ-driven networks worldwide. Video Revolution. Founder CurrentTV, NYTimes TV. etc..