The Lexington community followed news of Toyota's massive vehicle
recall a few weeks back with considerable anxiety. Toyota Motor Manufacturing
has a sprawling facility in nearby Georgetown,
Ky., and thousands of employees
knew they could be impacted by the news.
After a few days in limbo, cars are rolling down the line again in DMA No.
62. "We've [all] got a personal stake in Toyota
as an economic engine," says WLEX President/General Manager Pat Dalbey. "We
hope the worst is over."
Dotted with picturesque horse farms, Lexington
will host the World Equestrian Games in September; general managers say this is
the first time the competition has been held outside Europe.
Hundreds of thousands of spectators from more than 60 nations are expected to
attend the two-week event. The games will air on NBC, but it's a local story
media outlets. "From a local standpoint, everybody's making a heavy news
investment in it," says WTVQ General Manager Chris Aldridge.
Ratings are a horse race, too. Gray Television's CBS outlet WKYT won total
day, primetime and late-news ratings in November; it grabbed the latter with a
7.0 household rating/21 share, ahead of a 6.6/19 for WLEX, Cordillera's NBC
affiliate. WLEX won morning news, while WKYT and WLEX split the early evening
WKYT is also winning the revenue race, according to BIA/Kelsey. The
station's $22.78 million take topped WLEX's $20.2 million in 2008, the most
recent year for which figures are available. Other players include a second
Gray-owned CBS outlet, WYMT, which reaches Eastern
Kentucky; Morris Multimedia's ABC outlet, WTVQ; and Sinclair's Fox
affiliate, WDKY. The netlets air on digital tiers: WKYT has CW programming on
channel 13.2, while WTVQ offers MyNetworkTV on 40.2.
Stations are hustling to get ahead. WLEX is growing its morning ratings,
thanks in part to adding Chris Goodman to the a.m. desk. On his second tour of
GM duty at WTVQ, Aldridge says the station is rebuilding its news product "to
give people news they can use-news that affects their lives."
WDKY marked a 15-year partnership with WKYT, which produces the Fox
affiliate's 10 p.m. news;
Marvin Bartlett has anchored the entire time.
WKYT, meanwhile, gets around 15,000 users to view its 4 p.m. newscast on WKYT.com, and looks to own
weather with a new million-watt radar system. "It detects elements in weather
way, way before anything else does," says President/General Manager Wayne
Locals are eager to introduce Lexington
to the rest of the world when the Equestrian Games roll around. "It's time for Lexington to shine," says
WDKY General Manager Michael Brickey. "We get to showcase one of the best-kept
secrets in the country."