Market Eye: Pep Raleigh
Capital market aims to crack Top 25
By Michael Malone -- Broadcasting & Cable, 10/12/2009 2:00:00 AM
The Raleigh-Durham market is experiencing booming growth. The No. 29 DMA as recently as 2007, Raleigh-Durham slid into Nielsen’s 26th spot this fall, ahead of Baltimore. General managers are hopeful the influx continues.
“We want to get into the Top 25,” says WRAZ VP/General Manager Tommy Schenck. “We want to pass Indianapolis.”
Capitol Broadcasting dominates the North Carolina capital. The family-run company owns CBS affiliate WRAL and Fox outlet WRAZ, and WRAL wins the ratings races. It took total-day ratings and primetime in May, along with morning, evening and late news—the latter with a 9.6 household rating/16.6 share, better than ABC O&O WTVD’s 6.5/11.4. Other stations include Media General’s NBC affiliate WNCN, Sinclair’s CW-MyNetworkTV duopoly WLFL/WRDC, and Univision’s WUVC, which offers news at 7 and 11 p.m. and TeleFutura programming on its digital channel.
Capitol has for years invested handsomely in WRAL: It was the first station in the country to offer local news in full HD, it has a documentary department, and it will simulcast its signal on city buses this fall.
Steve Hammel, who marks a year as WRAL VP/general manager in November, says unwavering backing is vital in a recession. “When you’re experiencing a tough economy, there’s not a better station in America to be at,” he says. “Everyone’s impacted by the economy, but not everyone’s impacted by quarterly shareholder reports.”
WRAL and WRAZ maintain separate facilities—WRAL in Raleigh and WRAZ in Durham. The stations keep separate sales and marketing departments and have their own general managers.
WRAL claimed $57.85 million last year, according to BIA Financial, ahead of WTVD’s $49.9 million. Television business was down an estimated 25% in the first half of 2009, but is showing signs of a second-half rally. Raleigh-Durham benefits from a diverse economy that’s strong in health care, pharmaceuticals, government and education; the “Triangle,” as the area is known, connects Duke, the University of North Carolina and North Carolina State.
“As a result of these diverse [industries], the economy here has not taken as much of a hit as the rest of the country,” Hammel says.
Stations are eager to reach out to new arrivals. WTVD produces its high-energy breaking news for CW outlet WLFL. WNCN President/General Manager Barry Leffler is leaving the station to run a talk radio outlet in the coming weeks. WNCN will relaunch its MyNC.com microsite, which reports on 20 local communities, toward the end of 2009.
WRAZ is boosting its event marketing business, such as the Fox50 Family Fest bash it hosted in downtown Durham Oct. 3. “We have a real focus on new revenue sources,” Schenck says. “We think that will really make us stronger when we come out of the recession.”
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john wilkson - 10/12/2009 5:37:06 PM EDT
For the third time since 2006, B&C chose not to mention News 14 Carolina in a profile of the Raleigh-Durham-Fayetteville television market.
News 14 Carolina is a 24 hour local cable news channel owned by Time Warner Cable. We now serve over 530,000 cable households in the Raleigh-Durham-Fayetteville television market.
Since our launch in 2002, News 14 Carolina has won a regional Emmy, an Edward R. Murrow award, three national Gracie awards and multiple state awards.
News 14 Carolina has seen steady growth in cable household ratings. We are the number one rated cable news channel in the market with more viewers than Fox News, MSNBC and our sister channel CNN.
News 14 Carolina has one of the most recognized brands in the market with “Weather on the Ones.” Some of our strongest ratings have been during severe weather coverage.
News 14 Carolina also has newsrooms in and produces customized feeds for Time Warner Cable subscribers in the Charlotte, Greensboro-Winston-Salem-High Point and Wilmington television markets. News 14 Carolina has the widest distribution of any North Carolina television news organization reaching 1.5 million households in the state.
I am sorry all these accomplishments were not adequate to merit mention in this article. I appreciate the opportunity to do so in this forum.
News 14 Carolina - Raleigh
Rick Willis - 10/12/2009 9:49:51 AM EDT
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