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Local Market Spotlight: Monroe-El Dorado, La.

Jul 9, 2001  •  Post A Comment

The , market is pacing below where it was a year ago, and one station manager pegged the deficit at 10 percent to 12 percent. Another station manager said it is 5 percent to 10 percent slower. Top ad categories are auto, furniture and fast food.
According to BIA Financial Network, Monroe TV revenues were $19.6 million for 2000 and are expected to be $18.6 million in 2001.
Michael Spiesman, president of Continental Television Sales, a Katz rep firm for medium- and small-market stations, said auto is down 10 percent to 11 percent. Telecommunications is down and fast food is up. He sees automotive improving by the third quarter and said telecommunications is “showing signs of growth” in that three-month span.
“Looking forward, the market minus political on a spot-to-spot basis will be much improved,” Mr. Spiesman said.
“It’s a fairly soft market,” said Thomas Deal, general manager at ABC affiliate KAQY-TV, which is owned by Monroe Broadcasting. “Auto is not too bad. National business is down. But our business generally is up in almost every category. The furniture market seems to be growing; we’ve had a lot of new stores come in.” Mr. Deal said KAQY also plans to launch a newscast sometime in the future.
Roy Frostenson, general manager at CBS affiliate KNOE-TV, said agriculture is still a “big backbone of the economy here” with cotton farming and corn. He added there are three major universities in the market, which are major employers, and State Farm has a regional office employing 1,000 people. The Noe. Corp.-owned KNOE is the station partner in the market with The WB 100+ Station Group and sells spots for The WB affiliate KWMB-TV.
“The biggest hit has been the national ad economy,” Mr. Frostenson said. “Local ads have held [their] own.”
Mr. Frostenson said the first Target store will be coming into the market. Target will break ground in September and be open for business in July 2002. He said other chains such as Old Navy might come into the market and open in the Target shopping plaza.
The market’s cable penetration is 63 percent, according to BIA. Time Warner is the major cable system in the market, and Love Communications handles its ad sales. One source in the market said, “They [did] about $1 million last year, and this has been a tougher year.”
Advertisers can insert ads in 24 cable networks on the system, and eventually they will have a choice of 36 channels. Advertisers also have to buy the entire market when buying cable spots.