While most TV stations struggle to be competitive in a business where success is measured in overnights or sweeps periods, there are some stations whose market dominance can be measured by the year, and even by the decade.
How do these stations stay on top despite often-vigorous competition? What factors contribute to such continuing viewer loyalty? Is it all about lead-ins? Weather? Sports? Promotions? Investment in technology or on-air talent? Is it visionary leadership? Is stability the answer, or is it better to continually change and embrace new ideas and faces? How do certain stations rate among their peers? And how can a station maintain a top-quality staff in a business where successful people are in such demand? And, finally, how does ratings success translate into financial success?
Broadcasting & Cable decided to look at some of the top-rated television stations in the country to find out what makes them so successful. We took a look at markets of different size, and we chose three whose newscasts dominate: KUSA-TV Denver, DMA No. 18; WNEP-TV Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, Pa., DMA No. 51; and WBOC-TV Salisbury, Md., DMA No. 162. See what's different, and what's the same, about some of the top news operations in the country.