More TV news jobs or just more TV news?

Bloomberg is reporting on what could be a significant trend for local TV stations – they’re dropping syndicated programming and adding more local news.

TV station owners, facing a record drop in advertising, are pushing their news crews to fill expanded schedules, allowing programmers to eliminate more costly syndicated programs such as “Dr. Phil.” In Los Angeles and San Francisco, stations are adding as much as 12 hours of news a week to schedules.

The article also describes a similar move in Detroit, where Fox affiliate WJBK reports ratings are up 65% in the 11 p.m. time slot after the station  replaced “Seinfeld” with news.

…public interest in news is high. This season, the three broadcast networks’ nightly newscasts have increased their audiences 5.9 percent from a year earlier, drawing an average of 24.2 million viewers, according to Nielsen.

This is all good, right? What we don’t know; however, is whether this additional programming is borne on the backs of an already reduced staff at these stations or will this mean job opportunities? Maybe both? Let us know what you know.