Local TV

Mouse on the March

ABC O&O WTVG on rise in Toledo (DMA #73) 4/26/2010 12:01:00 AM Eastern

Toledo has long been dominated by Raycom’s WTOL, but the
CBS affiliate is feeling serious pressure from ABC-owned WTVG.
The O&O has grown its market share of revenue 10% in the last five years, according to BIA/Kelsey, at the expense
of WTOL, Barrington’s NBC affiliate
WNWO and LIN Media’s Fox outlet WUPW.

“The market has tightened up dramatically,”
says WTOL VP/General Manager Bob Chirdon.
“It’s a real dogfight with us and WTVG.”

WTVG won mornings and the 6 p.m. race in
February, while WTOL won late news, its 8.0
household rating/23 share ahead of WTVG’s 7.0
rating/20 share. (WTVG won in adults 25-54,
however.) WTVG and WTOL finished tied in
total day ratings, while WNWO won primetime
on the strength of the Winter Olympics.

WTVG is gaining ground with solid investi-
MarketEye: Toledo, OH
gative reporting. “Everybody here does breaking
news well,” says News Director Brian Trauring.
“We add texture and depth to the issues; I believe
that’s a point of distinction for us.”

Reinforcing WTVG’s commitment to local
news, the station offers a quartet of public-affairs
shows on Sunday mornings, including
Coffee With the Fords
, featuring former Toledo
mayor Jack Ford and his wife, Cynthia.

There is plenty for the local pundits to talk
about. Toledo Mayor Michael P. Bell declared
“exigent circumstances” to push back the budget-
balancing deadline. The city is looking to
negotiate new contract terms for its cops and
firefighters, among other city employees, and
some are fearful of a city workers’ strike.

Toledo is going through tough times as it
breaks from its manufacturing past. “Toledo is
dealing with the changing culture of the city,”
Chirdon says. “Like so many older Midwestern
cities, it has to reinvent itself.”

Stations are, too. Ashley Johncola is WUPW’s
“Face of Fox Toledo.” WTOL has three full-time
Web content staffers and a separate WTOL.com
set. “The Web is a great revenue source for us,”
Chirdon says. “It’s part of the culture here.”

WNWO, airing on Ch. 24, officially launches
its “What 2 Watch 4” branding next month.
“We’ll do the full assault in the May book,” says
WNWO President/CEO Jon Skorburg.

But WTVG seems to have all the momentum
in DMA No. 73. “We’re thrilled with the way
the February book went,” says President/General
Manager David Zamichow. “We feel like
we’re very, very strong right now.”

 

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