MSU alumnus Mike King is regional vice president for Gray Television and general manager of WILX-TV 10 in Lansing.
King recalls the limited options of the television world in the early 80’s when he entered the business and how the content options for consumers have exploded. “The content is still important,” says King. “The platform has really become more agnostic to us.”
King says Channel 10 now delivers its content through the web, mobile, Hulu, and Amazon. And local news is still really important to people, and it’s something they find more difficult to find online.
“We are really focused on providing local content on multiple platforms. We’ve always been about content. Now instead of having one television signal we have multiple channels that we’re delivering to.”
King says WILX is now a multimedia marketing organization, not only one television signal. The goal is still to sell advertising, but “it’s not just about delivering TV commercials anymore. And consumers want to be reached via multiple platforms.”
King tells how ATSC 3.0 is a new delivery standard for television stations. “It will allow for more two-way interaction with consumers and slicing of the signal so we can deliver even more content over the same amount of bandwidth.
“To simply be in a one-channel advertising-supported business model isn’t sustainable any longer.”
So what and how will we be watching 5, 10, or 20 years from now?
“I wish I had a crystal ball. But as a company – Gray Television – we are going to be in the local news and content business. What I can’t answer is how you’re going to consume our content.”
For young people who want to get into broadcasting and communications, King says to be a good storyteller first and foremost.
“And you do need to understand how consumers are consuming the media. You can’t just go into broadcasting anymore. It’s really about figuring out the news and information people want in their lives and then understanding the multiple channels on which they want to receive that information.
“It’s about standing above the noise and staying on top of the rapid pace of technological change.”
MSU Today airs Sunday afternoons at 4:00 on 94.5 FM and AM 870.