News tie-ins popular with advertisers

Jun 24, 2002  •  Post A Comment

Advertisers in Charleston-Huntington, W.Va., want to be part of the newscasts, whether it’s weather or sports sponsorships.
As a dominant news station, Emmis-owned NBC affiliate WSAZ-TV gets a lot of advertisers who tie into sponsorships in the news, said WSAZ General Manager Don Ray. He said video billboards are popular, and advertisers are looking for a consistent presence in the news. “Even when the market is soft, the demand for news sponsorships is greater than the supply,” Mr. Ray said.
Clients want a local presence, and community-oriented ad campaigns are working. He said even national buyers are now asking for local events to tie their ad campaigns into the station.
One example is the station-sponsored “Taste of Charleston” in August. “All the restaurants from the community come in and let people sample their food for a price,” Mr. Ray said. “It’s normal for the local advertisers to want to be part of that, but the national buyers want it now.”
Caryn Durham, senior VP of advertising at Charles Ryan Associates in Charleston, said her firm’s clients, who are in health care, financial and retail, buy a lot of news and health segments. “We’re very picky about the news sponsorships that we will take part in,” Ms. Durham said. “Lots of the stations will sell every segment of their news, so the advertiser gets lost. The station really has to demonstrate what benefit they can provide to the client and the product the client has to offer.”
Ms. Durham said the 10 p.m. newscast on the Sinclair-run Fox affiliate WVAH-TV is a popular buy. “It was a low cost of entry because the newscast is a little bit newer, and it was also a way to get 52-week exposure,” she said. “They aren’t at a point where they’ve sold every segment to advertisers.”
At the Arnold Agency in Charleston, Scot Drake, media director, said the No. 1 property for his clients is “Monday Night Football,” which runs on Sinclair-owned ABC affiliate WCHS-TV. The station promotes the game in its Sunday night news, in which the client gets a video billboard.
According to BIA Financial Network, Charleston-Huntington TV revenues were about $42.1 million in 2001 and are expected to be about $44.2 million in 2002.