Super-Sized Ambition in Dallas


We paid a (virtual) visit to Dallas-Ft. Worth for our weekly Market Eye profile this week, and found a market that’s extraordinarily pumped for the next Super Bowl. The market–actually, the whole of northern Texas–is hosting the big game, a first for the region, thanks to a new stadium with a roof option for less than super weather. “Dallas, Ft. Worth, Arlington–everyone’s coming together to plan it,” says KDFW/KDFI VP/General Manager Kathy Saunders.

Business was up around 30% in the first quarter, and there are some new faces in key positions in Dallas-Ft. Worth. Gary Schneider is now atop KTVT-KTXA after Steve Mauldin departing for the CBS duop in Los Angeles. Mauldin took his news director with him, so Schneider grabbed Adrienne Roark from WFOR/WBFS Miami. Schneider describe’s Roark’s take on news thusly:

“It’s timely, useful, relevant information–not a ‘Gotcha!’ approach to reporting,” he says. “It’s a very solid newscast top to bottom.”

The CBS duop and Belo’s WFAA are not part of the various news pools in the market; the local NBC, Fox and Tribune stations share content, while NBC and Fox are in on a helicopter share.

Airing the Olympics in February, KXAS had a huge February sweeps, but it’s always close in Dallas. “It’s extraordinarily competitive in the market,” says WFAA President/General Manager Mike Devlin, who looks out at Belo headquarters from his building. “We’re up against strong O&Os.”

One O&O, Fox’s KDFW, debuted a 4:30 a.m. news April 5. Speaking of 4:30 a, stations all over the country–Fox and other–are seeing big upside in the pre-dawn slot.