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Success Stories: Sports, Health Fair in Greensboro

Mar 31, 2003  •  Post A Comment

Television revenues in Greensboro, N.C., have been in a slump. “They saw a big decrease-more than 18percent-in 2001,” said Mark Fratrik, VP of BIA Financial Network, which tracks TV and radio advertising revenue. “It may take a while to get back up to 2000 levels.”
The DMA, which covers Greensboro, High Point and Winston-Salem, saw $89.9 million in TV revenues in 2000. That was the most it raked in during the previous five years and since. In 2001 revenues dipped to $74 million-the lowest point during the same time period. By year-end 2002 TV revenues were up slightly to $77.7 million. BIA predicts that by end of 2003 the market will see $79.3 million. However, it will be 2006 before it surpasses the record high for the decade.
“We have to get creative to keep our numbers decent,” said Dan Falinski, GM of WXIV-TV, a sports-focused independent station owned by Carolina Blue Communications. “Although the market has been in a downturn, it hasn’t affected us too much. Because we do a lot of local sports, [the advertising] drops in our hands and laps.”
From women’s volleyball to college football and basketball’s Big South Conference, Mr. Falinski said, “Regardless of the economy, people will buy into something that entertains-even a high school football game.”
Knowing the Client’s Objectives
There is no magic plan in place at WTWB-TV, a Pappas Telecasting Cos.-owned WB affiliate. It’s the younger demographic it targets that helps to lure advertisers.
“Basically, our success has come from taking the network programming and the demographic skew and using it to the client’s advantage,” GM Kathi Lester said. “Every client’s needs are different. So you have to know what your client’s objectives are and take your strong point and marry them together.”
WXII-TV, the NBC affiliate owned by Hearst-Argyle Television, has seen success by building partnerships with other media. One such deal was with Clear Channel Communications radio stations. Listeners of Country 94.5, 99.5 WMAG and 104.1 WTQR hear weather updates from WXII meteorologists.
The station recently completed a partnership with the Media General-owned Winston-Salem Journal whereby they combine forces for community events. For the partners’ first foray, “We produced the Healthy Living Expo, a local health fair and fitness expo,” GM Hank Price said. “We jointly sold it [with the Winston-Salem Journal] and combined our sales staff with their sales staff. We went to clients and sold space on both television and in newspaper.” Mr. Price added that the station is looking forward to doing other ventures with the newspaper.