More Than Gaming

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The Reno, Nev., DMA encompasses dozens of communities, from state capital Carson City to Lake Tahoe, a popular tourist locale. Outsiders, says KOLO-TV Station Manager Matt James, "don't understand the vast distances and the type of market that we work with here. It is a real challenge for a station located in the wide open west" to cover its communities. The ABC station uses a satellite truck, two live trucks and translators to cover the 14-county DMA.

"It is a challenge," observes Lawson Fox, general manager of CBS affiliate KTVN(TV), "but, certainly, you can cover where the people are very effectively" because most of the residents live in towns and cities.

Population growth is about 3%. "Reno is a fast-growing community that has been cited again and again as being business-friendly," he notes, adding that the city is more than just a gaming center. "The quality-of-life aspects of Reno are great. We are much more diverse than Las Vegas."

Reno "is a changing market [that] has been diversifying," James says, citing such industries as distribution, high-tech, small manufacturers and even gold mining. It is "a well-rounded community. There are a lot of people that like the desert lifestyle here, and Nevada has no income tax."

Notes Fox, "We have a strong 18-49 population and a growing retirement pop in the outlying communities."

"The market is doing reasonably well," James says. "We haven't had a blockbuster year; it has been decent. Third quarter is not as active as we would like."

KTVN, PBS affiliate KNPB(TV), and NBC affiliate KRNV(TV) broadcast digital channels.

Gray MidAmerica, which took control of KOLO-TV in December, has been "streamlining the way we operate to put additional emphasis on news products and community involvement," James says. The station will celebrate its 50th anniversary in September.