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Local Market Spotlight: Boise, Idaho

Dec 10, 2001  •  Post A Comment

Despite the weak national economy and troubled high-tech industry, station managers in Boise said they are optimistic that ad sales will rebound.
“The population growth is good and steady, regardless of the economy,” said Doug Armstrong, president and general manager of NBC affiliate KTVB-TV. “And as the community sprawls, advertisers realize television is a very effective way of reaching [viewers].”
According to BIA Financial Network, Boise TV revenues were $36.9 million in 2000 and are expected to be $37 million in 2001.
Top ad categories are automotive, fast food, furniture and retail. Jeff Anderson, general manager of CBS affiliate KBCI-TV, said that while local ad sales are strong, Boise’s national ad business is struggling.
“Advertisers are just lopping off 100-plus markets,” Mr. Anderson said. “If you look at some of these key categories-furniture, automotive, casual dining-Boise ranks much higher than market 100 in per capita sales. I think there are advertisers who are saying, `Let’s protect markets 1 through 25 or 1 through 50 or 1 through 100,’ when it may be better for them to look at how their markets index, how competitive those markets are and where should they continue to spend.”
Scott Eymer, general manager of UPN affiliate KNIN-TV, also said Boise’s DMA ranking of 121 hurts its national ad business.
“We need to do an even better job of showcasing our market to national planners,” Mr. Eymer said. “It’s easy for a planner to say, `We’re only going to buy the top 75 markets for this campaign.’ We want them to buy the top 75 markets plus Boise.”
According to BIA Financial Network, the market has 46 percent cable penetration out of 219,560 television households. Mike Bowker, regional sales manager of Cable One for the Boise region, said the company is doing well in spite of the national economy because of a statewide increase in subscribers and the addition of new networks for insertion. Mr. Bowker said he expects the Winter Olympics, which will air on CNBC and MSNBC, to also impact ad sales in 2002.
“Some advertisers were disappointed with the coverage from the last [Olympic] Games based on the time zone differences and that people knew the outcome of events [from] the Internet before the events were even aired,” he said. “Given the fact we’re in the same time zone, it’s going to be much more live coverage-so that will drive viewership.”
Ricky Joseph, VP and general manager of Fox affiliate KTRV-TV, said another sport, NASCAR, will be an opportunity to generate ad dollars for his station. “There were people who were apprehensive of how stock car racing, generally a Southern sport, is going to work this far [north],” Mr. Joseph said. “But the Daytona 500 and other events showed us it does have an audience, and that audience can be anywhere.”
David Harbert, president and general manager of ABC affiliate KIVI-TV, said ad sales are impacted by new retail chains, such as R.C. Willey and Lowe’s, that are coming into the market and existing stores such as Target and Home Depot, that are opening additional locations.