You need that when?

Scheduling news announcements requires strategy. You want to control your message while giving the media what it needs, when it needs it – all while adhering to your company’s legal, communications and business requirements.

Understanding how far in advance a news outlet requires information (its “lead time”) can help make planning easier. “Breaking news” is usually given preference by daily (or “short lead”) media. “Long lead” media is more interested in exclusive stories (or angles) as they have to complete their editorial content long before the public sees it.

This quick guide provides an overview of the advance notice needed by most media.

General Media Lead Time Guidelines

  • Online media (and almost all media outlets maintain a web site for breaking news): within an hour or two of receiving information, if need be. Sites often license features from print media and reprint with permission.
  • Daily Newspapers: Same day for next day coverage of breaking news; two weeks for features.
  • Weekly Newspapers, Magazines and Business Journals: Two to three days for same week coverage of breaking news; one-to-three weeks for features.
  • Monthly Magazines: Three to five months for features; some as long as six to eight months
  • Local Television News: Same day for breaking news; one to two weeks for features.
  • National Television News: Same day for breaking news; two weeks to a month (or even more) for features.
  • News Radio: Same day for breaking news; two weeks for features.
  • Web-based Media: Same or next day for breaking news.

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