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Stations go to the mall, hockey arena

Feb 17, 2003  •  Post A Comment

Some Sundays many men wish they were watching the football game instead of being at the mall, helping the wife decide whether a dress makes her look fat. WATM-TV, an ABC affiliate in the Johnstown- Altoona, Pa., area has a solution: Watch the game at the mall.
The Palm TV-owned station, which has an LMA with Fox affiliate WWCP-TV, owned by Peak Media of Pennsylvania, has placed TV sets tuned to the stations in several rest areas throughout two of the market’s largest malls. Shoppers can stop and catch a football game or tune in for news updates.
The deal the ABC and Fox LMA has with the malls allows the stations to have signage with station logos at the entryways and on kiosks throughout the malls. The LMA can also hold four events a year there. In exchange, the malls commit to doing a schedule for a year.
“It is a win-win for both of us,” said President and General Manager Frank Quitoni. “We promote the events, the mall traffic increases, and we’ll make revenue for putting on the event.”
The station has held at Logan Mall a Red Cross blood drive and a home improvement event.
“We look to package up things that will benefit us and the clients,” Mr. Quitoni said. “You have to partner with your client by being mutually beneficial, not just take their money.”
In a separate event, the LMA hosts “Hockey Puck Night” at the arena where the Johnstown Chiefs play. Sponsors get their logo on the hockey puck and buy a commercial schedule on the air. Live reports are broadcast from the arena with a “This live update brought to you by …” tag.
Every Christmas season NBC affiliate WJAC-TV, owned by Cox Television, hosts a choral program in which high school choirs sing holiday tunes aired on Christmas Day. Sponsors are tagged on the broadcast. The station, along with four sponsors, also does “Presents for Patients” with the Laurel Wood Care Center nursing home. Viewers donate money or hand-deliver gifts to the patients, said local sales manager Deb Miller.
WTAJ-TV, a SJL Northeast-owned CBS affiliate, is completing the first year of its 12-month-long “Image Plus” campaign. The spots, which began in June, highlight clients such as garden shops and plumbers who don’t normally advertise on television. “We produce the spots and air them one company at a time,” VP and GM Marty Ostrow said. Each company’s spot runs for at least two weeks, with several companies running during the same period.
TV revenue for 2002 in Altoona-Johnstown is estimated to be $28.2 million, up from $27.3 million in 2001, according to BIA Financial Network.