Clean-Up, Family Projects in Atlanta

Mar 24, 2003  •  Post A Comment

WATL-TV, known as WB36 in Atlanta, runs a yearlong volunteer program called Project Help. Through the program, the Tribune Broadcasting Co.-owned WB affiliate cleans up schools and parks and renovates homes in conjunction with the organization Hands on Atlanta.
It also started SPEEED (Students and Parents Encouraging Excellence in Education Driving). “There are three E’s in SPEEED because we wanted to appear hip to the kids,” General Sales Manager Joanna Hemleb said.
Both WATL programs have sponsors on board, including Dodge/Chrysler, Pepsi Cola Co. and Kentucky Fried Chicken for Project Help, and Allstate, Cingular and local Chevy dealers for SPEEED.
Cox Broadcasting’s ABC affiliate, WSB-TV, airing on Channel 2, has a program called Family 2 Family. It was started in 1986 and is the longest-running locally produced public service effort in Georgia. The Family 2 Family project includes prime-time specials called Action News Prime Time and other programs produced by the news team.
The award-winning news team is what helps the station draw in advertisers, according to General Manager Greg Stone. The team won the February ratings period in every newscast and garnered 58 percent of the news ratings.
“ABC is market leader in late news and early news too,” said Mark Fratrik, VP of BIA Financial Network, which compiles TV data. Also, “They are the ones with the highest revenues.”
WSB carried 29.9 percent, or $122 million, of the $407.1 million the Atlanta TV market raked in for 2001-the last year for which station data is available. By end of year 2003, BIA estimates the market will see nearly $521 million in revenues, up from $505.7 last year.
“Atlanta is an interesting market in that there are no duopolies and there is only one owned and operated station,” Mr. Fratrik said. “Viacom owns UPN, but NBC, ABC and CBS are not owned by the network and that is the largest market where that happens.” Atlanta has a DMA rank of 9.