Success Stories: Boosting News to Boost Business

Jun 2, 2003  •  Post A Comment

Come July, Milwaukee’s WVTV, Channel 18, will start a 9 p.m. newscast. With the new edition comes hope for new business.

“The sales team is working on designing charter sponsorships for weather, sports, a ticker and different parts of the news,” said Dave Shelly, promotion manager for the WB affiliate and its UPN sister, WCGV-TV. Several charter sponsorships have already been signed.

To accommodate the expected sales boost, the stations will have a 10 percent staff increase from the news desk to the sales team. The addition of the newscast is a move by owner Sinclair Broadcast Group to offer news at all of its stations throughout North America.

The parent company saw net broadcast revenues reach $152.5 million for the three months ended March 31, 2003, an increase of 5.5 percent vs. the year-ago period’s $144.5 million. Local advertising revenues increased 8.0 percent, while national advertising revenues increased 1.9 percent in the quarter vs. the first quarter of 2002, according to company reports. Excluding political revenues, local advertising revenues were up 8.3 percent, while national advertising revenues grew 4.7 percent. The quarter benefited from higher advertising revenues generated from the automotive, services, restaurants, movies, schools and fast-food sectors.

According to local reports, Channel 18 aired a 9 p.m. newscast from 1988 to 1993 under previous owners. Now, it will also carry news on its Web site, which is under construction.

“News will be a big part of the Web site,” Mr. Shelly said. “We are working on designing it and obtaining sponsors for certain segments.”

Milwaukee television revenues were $141.8 million in 2002 and are expected to increase to $143.2 million by year-end, according to BIA Financial Network.