Local Market Spotlight: Waco-Temple-Bryan, Texas

Aug 20, 2001  •  Post A Comment

Some station managers said the Waco-Temple-Bryan, Texas, market is pacing flat from a year ago, while others said it’s slightly ahead of last year.
According to BIA Financial Network, Waco-Temple-Bryan TV revenues were $31 million in 2000 and are expected to be $31.4 million in 2001.
Top ad categories include auto, medical and fast food. Randy Odil, general manager of NBC affiliate KCEN-TV, said the legal category continues to grow. And he said regional accounts are up at his station. Mr. Odil said the market has about 50 percent national and 50 percent local ads.
Michael Spiesman, president of Continental Television Sales, said Waco, like much of the state of Texas, has really bucked the trend of small and medium markets in the country. “You’re looking at growth from fast food, telecommunications and auto,” Mr. Spiesman said. “For third quarter, it’s the same categories-it’s even greater growth than first half.”
“I do have some feeling on the positive going into the new year,” Mr. Odil said. “Being an NBC affiliate, we have the Winter Olympics in February. We have political next year, with a March primary, and it will probably kick in for us in December or January and February.”
Mr. Odil said unemployment in the market is a little above 4 percent, which he said is excellent. He said Raytheon is a major employer in the market, as is M&M/Mars, with 99 percent of Snickers bars made in the local area.
KCEN had a successful ad sales project last year with local car dealers, in which the station did a 12-month blood drive for the Red Cross that was underwritten by sponsors. “We went live to the car dealer, and the bloodmobile truck would go there, and we would do live cut-ins to have people go give blood,” Mr. Odil said.
Ray Deaver, general manager of CBS affiliate KWTX-TV, said Fort Hood, the largest military base in the country, is a big factor in the market’s economy. It houses two large Army divisions with a total of about 46,000 people.
“We’re not doing all that bad,” Mr. Deaver said. “[The] local economy is a little bit softer than it has been, but it’s still thriving.”
Mr. Deaver said several new shopping centers have recently opened in the market, adding new restaurants and a new Home Depot store. And KWTX is hoping to make its Web site a potential revenue stream.
“I think it’s still going to be a tough fight in the last two quarters of ’01,” Mr. Deaver said. “We look for Texas politics to be strong next year. The lieutenant governor race is going to be a big race, and there will be some legislative seats that will be big. We already have some candidates spending money for the March primary.”
According to BIA Financial Network, the market has 64 percent cable penetration. Cox is one of the cable systems in the market. Brent Skinner, vice president and general manager, Southwest Division, for Cox Cable Rep, said Cable Rep offers ad insertions on 32 cable networks. It also offers advertisers up to 20 different geographical zones in which to insert ads. Top ad categories on cable are auto, restaurants and financial. Cable is pacing up from a year ago.
“My feeling is that in local business advertisers can be more efficient [on cable]. They can advertise close to home, whereas with a broadcast station you have to advertise in a larger area,” Mr. Skinner said.