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Covering wide open spaces - Broadcasting & Cable

Covering wide open spaces

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The call letters KDUH, as in KDUH-TV Scottsbluff, Neb., in the extensive Cheyenne, Wyo., market, should not be pronounced "K-Duh," notes General Manager Scott Bruce, but "K-Doo," for the Duhammel family that owns it.

Although ratings and revenue leadership belongs to Benedek's two CBS affiliates in the market, KGWN-TV Cheyenne and KSTF(TV) Scottsbluff, Bruce says his growing station, with its 2,000-foot tower, can cover more of the market than any other single station.

And that's saying something in a low-density, widespread market that covers parts of four states (Wyoming, Nebraska, South Dakota and Colorado), 19 counties and seven distinct communities.

Although much of television suffered through a recession last year, Bruce says his market didn't drop; BIA Financial reports $8.4 million in revenue for 2000 and 2001.

KDUH-TV did see the typically high small-market turnover in news staff. Maybe because the market so low on the DMA scale, there's nowhere to go but up, and news staffers commonly jump 50 to 60 places in market rank when taking new jobs.

That could be good news for Roxanne Klaas, who serves KSTF as general manager and news director and still delivers the sports.

Though producing its own newscasts, KSTF gets its feed from its sister station, and together the two stations claim the lion's share of the market's revenue. National accounts favor the Cheyenne station, Klaas says; local makes up a large part of the business in Scottsbluff. Automotive is the top local advertiser, followed by agricultural suppliers of fertilizer and herbicides and from local entertainment like restaurants.

Don't look for much political spending, Bruce warns. Local legend has it that former Nebraska football coach Tom Osborne won election to Congress with little more campaigning than a bumper sticker on his car.

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