An educated, upscale market
By Dan Trigoboff -- Broadcasting & Cable, 11/3/2002 7:00:00 PM
Rochester, N.Y., may not be the frequent product test market it used to be, say local executives, but it remains an overperforming TV market with a highly educated and upscale viewership. Ranked DMA No. 77 overall, it moves 13 places higher in revenue. Per capita income is a relatively high $17,446.
The TV market peaked at $69.4 million in 1998 and 2000, dropping off by $3 million in each of the following years. This year's gubernatorial race, notes Arnold Klinsky, GM at Hubbard's WHEC-TV, "has been massive. That will reflect in this year's totals."
Three stations—WHEC-TV, WOKR(TV) and WROC-TV—are close in overall local commercial share. According to BIA Financial estimates, Clear Channel's ABC affiliate WOKR took in about $20 million in 2001, with Hubbard's NBC affil WHEC-TV within a million of that and Nexstar's CBS affil WROC-TV a few million back, followed closely by Sinclair's WUHF, a Fox affiliate. The success of the WOKR and WHEC-TV local newscasts is considered the principal reason for their revenue advantage.
Leading advertisers are typical: automotive, furniture, restaurants, etc. The overall market economy has changed considerably, but the economic health of the market has remained strong. The longtime home of Kodak and the one-time home of Xerox, which maintains a significant presence, Rochester was in early with high-tech businesses.
The big companies' employment rolls are a fraction of those 20 to 30 years ago. But the slack has been picked up by smaller tech companies founded in the area. The area's 18 universities contribute to one of the nation's best-educated markets overall, and Rochester has more patents per capita than any other city. "As these companies scaled back," says WOKR GM Kent Beckwith, "many technical people decided they wanted to stay in the area. That started a lot of small businesses." Notes Tim Busch, GM at Nexstar's WROC-TV, the colleges and universities provide fertile recruiting markets.
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