Local TV

Market Eye: Spurring the Economy

Revenue-rich central Texas market features a big-time new player 12/24/2012 12:01:00 AM Eastern

What’s Working in the San Antonio

Knowing Oprah Winfrey would go off the air on KSAT in 2011, and a newscast would likely fill her slot, KENS launched its 4 p.m. news in August 2010, with Deborah Knapp in the anchor chair and chief meteorologist Bill Taylor providing the weather. “It’s local and breaking news,” says Robert McGann, KENS president and GM, “and we highlight interesting news from around the country.” KENS won the 4 p.m. households race in November, McGann says; the adults 25-54 demo results were not available at presstime.

The race leading into 4 p.m. has been heated, too. KENS has red-hot Ellen at 3 p.m. KSAT had Dr. Phil, but that moved to KABB, with KSAT picking up Katie. McGann likes his afternoon lineup. “With Ellen and the 4 p.m. [news] and Jeopardy!, it’s a very nice 3-5 p.m. block,” he says. “And it’s helped our 5-7 p.m. block.” —MM

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The local NBA squad, the Spurs, got in hot water for sitting
key players during a recent nationally televised game, but
it appears everyone else in San Antonio is hustling up and down the proverbial hardwood. Leader KSAT will
break ground on a 30,000 square-foot facility
in January. Rival KENS has big changes in its
anchor crew, while KWEX made history with
an exclusively Spanish-language Congressional
debate in the fall.

As with many markets around the U.S., Sinclair
Broadcast Group has a much larger profile
in San Antonio than it did a year ago. Earlier this
month, Sinclair closed on Newport Television’s
WOIA, an NBC affiliate. Sinclair already had
Fox station KABB and a services agreement with
Stephen Mumblow for CW-aligned KMYS. John
Seabers, former GM at KABB-KMYS and a group
manager at Sinclair, takes over WOAI. Dean Radla
sits atop the existing duopoly.

“Sinclair taking over WOAI is probably the biggest
news in the market,” says Robert McGann,
KENS president and general manager, who calls
Seabers “a very good broadcaster.”

Post-Newsweek’s KSAT is the longtime leader in
DMA No. 36, but the race is tightening. McGann
says the shift started when Oprah Winfrey signed
off from broadcast TV, and KSAT, in 2011. KENS
launched a 4 p.m. news in advance of KSAT doing
so. “The race is closer because of the
retirement of Oprah and Post-Newsweek not renewing
Dr. Phil,” he says. “That’s when we took
over the leadership of 3-7 p.m.”

Univision’s KWEX is a power, too. With Spanishlanguage
news cut-ins in the morning, along
with 5 p.m. and 10 p.m. newscasts, the KWEX
anchors are a steady presence around town. “Of
any marketplace, I would say they are held in
one of the highest regards in their community
among broadcast stations,” says Jeff Zimmerman,
KWEX VP and general manager.

KSAT, an ABC affiliate, is hardly idling. Phil
Lane took over the GM job in 2011. The station
expanded its 10 p.m. news to an hour and
added Good Morning San Antonio to weekends.
“Now we have more hours of local news than
anyone in the market,” says David Cuccio, KSAT
creative services director.

CBS affiliate KENS took the sign-on to sign-off
and primetime titles in November. KSAT won the
competitive morning and early evening races,
as well as late news with a 9 household rating/
15 share—ahead of KENS’ 8.1/14. KWEX put
up a 4.7/8 at 10 p.m.

More than 55% of the market’s population
claims Hispanic origin, according to BIA/Kelsey.
NBC owns Telemundo station KVDA. Corridor
TV has MyNetworkTV affiliate KCWX. The main
subscription-TV operator is Time Warner Cable.

The San Antonio market is booming, with restaurants
and healthcare facilities springing up all
over town, and the Eagle Ford Shale drilling project
pumping money into the economy. BIA/Kelsey
ranks San Antonio as the No. 24 revenue market
in the U.S. KSAT grabbed an estimated $43.25 million
in 2011, while KENS claimed $38.4 million.

“Overall, San Antonio had a good year,” McGann
says. “The marketplace is fairly strong. We certainly
weathered the recession.”

KSAT kicks up new business from a robust
deals site, DealoftheDaySA.com.

Jeff Goldblatt, formerly of WMAQ and WFLD
Chicago, came on board at KENS as a main anchor
in August. Fred Lozano wrapped up a 30-
year on-air career over the summer, with Matt
Garcia added to mornings on KENS. McGann
uses words like “utility” and “urgency” to describe
the news brand. “We’ve pressed investigative
reporting and will continue to press investigative
reporting,” he says.

Zimmerman notes that KWEX was the first
Spanish-language TV station in the country. “We
look forward to making more history,” he says.

E-mail comments to
mmalone@nbmedia.com and follow him
on Twitter: @BCMikeMalone

What’s Working in the San Antonio

Knowing Oprah Winfrey would go off the air on KSAT in 2011, and a newscast would likely fill her slot, KENS launched its 4 p.m. news in August 2010, with Deborah Knapp in the anchor chair and chief meteorologist Bill Taylor providing the weather. “It’s local and breaking news,” says Robert McGann, KENS president and GM, “and we highlight interesting news from around the country.” KENS won the 4 p.m. households race in November, McGann says; the adults 25-54 demo results were not available at presstime.

The race leading into 4 p.m. has been heated, too. KENS has red-hot Ellen at 3 p.m. KSAT had Dr. Phil, but that moved to KABB, with KSAT picking up Katie. McGann likes his afternoon lineup. “With Ellen and the 4 p.m. [news] and Jeopardy!, it’s a very nice 3-5 p.m. block,” he says. “And it’s helped our 5-7 p.m. block.” —MM

 

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