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Portland Stations Reach Into Nabes - Broadcasting & Cable

Portland Stations Reach Into Nabes

Olympics, hyper-local coverage give No .22 DMA boost
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Wh

ile all eyes were on Canada's
Vancouver last month, another Vancouver was also making news. A killer
remained at large after a December home invasion, and 67 dogs from Southern California were brought north for adoption.

These stories and others come from a dedicated Vancouver, Wash.,
microsite-one of about 30 Portland
community sites KATU produces. After launching hyper-local news sites in Seattle, Fisher
Communications expanded the program into DMA No. 22.

KATU-KUNP VP/General Manager John Tamerlano says the
initiative, featuring URLs such as Beaverton.KATU.com, tallied 650,000 page
views in January and included numerous advertisers that heretofore had not used
television. "We've gotten positive feedback from the community," he says. "It's
really exciting to watch this grow."

With Canada's
Vancouver a few hundred miles up the coast, the
Olympics were a big hit in Portland.
KGW's Olympics Website was No. 8 in traffic among NBC affiliates, says
President/General Manager DJ Wilson. Portland
has long attracted outdoorsy types who enjoy watching skiing and skating. "It's
kind of in our DNA here," Wilson
says.

Portland
officially introduced Local People Meters in July. Longtime leader KGW took
NBC's Jay Leno experiment on the chin; while Wilson says the station grew its lead-in 42%,
KGW gave up its 11 p.m. crown in November for the first time in years. New
Vision's CBS affiliate KOIN won with a 5.1 household rating/13.3 share, besting
KGW's 4.5/11.8.

The races are wide open. ABC affiliate KATU took total
day ratings in November, KOIN took primetime, Meredith's Fox outlet KPTV won
mornings and Belo's KGW won early evenings. Other players include Tribune's CW
outlet KRCW, Fisher's Univision affiliate KUNP and Meredith's MyNetworkTV
affiliate KPDX.

Portland's
employers include Intel, Nike and Adidas. The market welcomes a new Major
League Soccer club, the Timbers, in 2011. The Oregonian daily paper laid
off around three dozen reporters recently. Station managers may have a look at
some former columnists to see how they'd fare on television.

All are looking for an edge in the ultra-competitive
market. KGW is using its new Pioneer
Courthouse Square studio for the Live at 7 nightly
lifestyle program, while KATU is strengthening its investigative bench. "We
don't just do it in sweeps," Tamerlano says. "We see it as something we can
own."

Meredith is expanding news in April, extending Good
Day Oregon
until 10 a.m. on KPDX and launching an 11 a.m. program on KPTV.
"We're still in expansion mode," says VP/General Manager Patrick McCreery.

But Wilson
says KGW's strong news chops will help it reclaim late-news supremacy.
"November is ancient history," she says. "Really solid reporting wins the day."

NEXT: West Palm Beach, Fla.

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