Rochester flexes news, ad muscle
By Allison Romano -- Broadcasting & Cable, 12/12/2004 7:00:00 PM
Rochester, N.Y., has redefined itself. Kodak and Xerox used to be the centerpieces of its economy, but with manufacturing jobs dwindling, “small businesses and universities are stepping up,” says Marc Jaromin, VP and GM of Nexstar Broadcasting's CBS affiliate WROC.
Local broadcasters have also survived Rochester's business fluctuations.
As a solidly blue state, New York didn't get a big infusion of political monies, but station execs project that Rochester's advertising market will finish 2004 up slightly from 2003.
“No matter what you do to Rochester, the market always ends up two or three percentage points,” says Jaromin, adding that late-fourth-quarter retail spending is helping this year. For example, Kohl's department store has opened several stores in the market, prompting competitors like Bon Ton to buy ad time.
“We perform better than our market size,” says Arnold Klinsky, VP and GM of WHEC, the Hubbard Broadcasting-owned NBC affiliate. Indeed, while Rochester is the 75th-largest DMA, it ranks 65th in TV revenue. Rochester stations, which also include Sinclair Broadcasting's Fox affiliate WUHF and Clear Channel's ABC affiliate WOKR, will take in an estimated $73.2 million in revenue this year, according to BIA Financial Network.
Among local broadcasters, the news race is heating up. All four network affiliates offer news. While WOKR is typically the highest-rated, its rivals are close on its heels; WHEC and WROC are within a rating point or two.
WOKR is about to undergo a call-letter change. Clear Channel owns a news-and-talk AM station in the market called WHAM and, come January, will relaunch WOKR as WHAM-TV. “We have been working closely with them,” says Kent Beckwith, VP and GM of WOKR, “and it makes a lot of sense to be identified together.”
Time Warner Cable is the market's dominant cable operator. It runs R News, a 24-hour regional news channel piped into about 300,000 cable homes in 11 area counties.
Jaromin is optimistic about the future, since Rochester survived the seismic shift from a manufacturing to a niche economy. Although big corporations are still key, companies with 150-250 staffers now play a prominent role. And area universities, led by the University of Rochester, have emerged as research hubs and major employers. Says Jaromin, “There seems to be light at the end of the tunnel.”
|Rochester residents are avid golf enthusiasts: 25% of this Upstate New York city's adults are PGA fans. The educated population often opts for high-end technology at home: 30% have digital cable, 28% have high-speed modems.|
|Who||Share of population||Index*|
|*Index is a measurement of consumer likelihood. An
index of 100 indicates that the market is on par with the average of the 75
NM = Not large enough to be measured
**Activities engaged in past 12 months
Source: Scarborough Release 1 2004 75 Markets Report (Feb. 03- March 04)
|Below $50K HH||57%||112|
|BY THE NUMBERS**|
|Have digital cable||30%||25|
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