Late last month, I got to visit the spankin’ new facility for WMBF, Raycom’s Myrtle Beach-based NBC affiliate that hits the airwaves Aug. 8. Since the launch of a Big Four station is very, very rare (quick, what’s the last one that comes to mind?), we made the launch of WMBF our cover story for Monday.
I met with new GM Ted Fortenberry and News Director Matt Miller (pictured above), along with the heads of marketing and sales and engineering, not to mention the hardy souls erecting cubicles amidst the 95 degree heat, to find out just what goes into building a fully digital station from the ground up. I got some insights from Raycom boss Paul McTear about launching a station amidst what is by all accounts a pretty crummy advertising market.
I also got to poke around Myrtle Beach a bit. There’s the new Hard Rock Park, with a bunch of rock and roll-themed amusements (may we suggest the Eagles-themed Life in the Fast Lane roller coaster?). There are a million golf courses. There’s a minor league ballpark that happened to be hosting the league all-star game when I was there in late June.
Myrtle Beach is a (literally) hot little growth market. Still, did they have to start construction on the hotel next door at 7 a.m.?
As B&C expands our multi-media coverage, we’ll have not only a cover story on WMBF, but behind the scenes video as well, including clips of the station six weeks before launch, and insights from Fortenberry.