With more than a million residents, San Antonio is one of Texas's largest cities, but the low density in its outlying areas make the market the No. 37 DMA nationally. An Associated Press study recently cited the city, with its prominent Latino population and culture, as among the most integrated of Texas cities.
"This is a good market," says Bob McGann, vice president and general manager at Belo-owned KENS-TV. "It's held up better [during the current economic downturn] than the rest of the country. I think the market will hold close to 2000," when it generated nearly $158 million in gross revenue.
As in many markets, auto dealerships have been a major advertiser, but the tourism business has come on strong. "This really has become the tourist destination for Texas," McGann says, and local television has reaped benefits from golf courses, the many Riverwalk attractions, and Fiesta Texas and Sea World amusement parks.
Sports, too, have helped drive eyes to sets. In addition to the Sunday NBC network NBA games, the San Antonio Spurs are carried on CBS affiliate KENS-TV, WB affiliate KRRT(TV) and regional cable Fox Sports Net. UPN affiliate KBEJ(TV) also does well with professional wrestling.
Probably the biggest recent development has been the entry into the market of locally based radio giant Clear Channel, with its acquisition of KMOL-TV. Fox had acquired both KMOL-TV and KSTU(TV) Salt Lake City when it bought Chris-Craft. Because it already owned Salt Lake's KTVX(TV), Fox exchanged the former Chris-Craft stations for Clear Channel's WFTC(TV) in Minnesota. Shortly afterward, Clear Channel said Don Perry will remain vice president and general manager at KMOL-TV.