Pat Nevin, VP and general manager of San Diego mainstay KFMB, sees the lack of other television stations in his ownership group as beneficial. “The ownership of the station lives right here in San Diego,” Nevin says of Midwest TV. “And we really have not only our finger on the pulse of the market but just unbelievably deep roots to the community.”
Those roots have led KFMB—which this year celebrated its 65th anniversary—to robust initiatives with nonprofit and community organizations.
“Community involvement has been a huge priority for the station historically, and will continue to be,” says Nevin. “I think that’s one of the areas that has really separated KFMB from our competitors.”
Partners include Susan G. Komen, the Humane Society and the American Heart Association, with many initiatives aimed at helping San Diego specifically.
“We ran a program last year called Pedal the Cause, which was a two-day bike ride for cancer research where proceeds stayed right here in San Diego,” says Nevin. “And in its second year they raised a million dollars, donated right back to the facilities in San Diego.”
That localism extends to the station’s ability to make decisions on the move. Nevin notes the success of its recent update to its news set, which included a brighter design and sixpanel video wall.
“We’re not using a template that has been derived from corporate. Every decision is made at the local level,” says Nevin. “I think it really gives us the ability to fine-tune and craft whichever initiative we have on our plate that we feel is going to serve the community in the best fashion.”
Though it is the lone TV station in its group, Nevin cites partnerships with Midwest’s two radio stations in the success of KFMB’s coverage of breaking news.
“We will either simulcast or stream much of our television content on radio and then use some of our radio resources, our on-air talent, to provide additional insight and commentary and analysis,” says Nevin. “It’s a great promotional platform and a great resource that we use on a daily basis.”
All of this has led to the CBS affiliate dominating in local news ratings. During November sweeps this year, KFMB took every head-to-head news time period in the market.
“It was the first time in decades where any station in this market has won every newscast,” says Nevin. “And we are honored and thrilled to be in that position.”