Success Stories: Branding Boom In Providence

Jun 16, 2003  •  Post A Comment

Branding is what is giving TV revenues a boost in Providence, R.I.
“Sun Smart” is a branding opportunity for WLNE-TV. Through the program, the Freedom Broadcasting-owned ABC affiliate sets up free skin cancer screenings at area beaches. Nurses and doctors from the three hospitals associated with the Lifespan Comprehensive Cancer Center test residents. The center, CVS Pharmacy, Blue Cross/Blue Shield and Neutrogena are co-sponsors.
This summer WLNE is the media sponsor for the JVC Jazz Festival and the area’s Folk Festival, co-sponsored by health food manufacturer Apple & Eve. “We are doing a talent search in conjunction with the festival,” VP and general manager Kingsley Kelley said. “The winner will appear on stage.”
Cardi Furniture is the sponsor of WLNE’s second audio program project and also a co-sponsor of the Bristol 4th of July Parade, which airs on both the LIN Television Corp. CBS affiliate WPRI-TV and its Fox affiliate WNAC-TV.
“We are branding these two stations like never before,” said WPRI-WNAC president and general manager Jay Howell. The two stations don’t share rate cards, but “when there is a big event like the parade or football, the sales teams start working together.”
Owning both Fox and CBS affiliates means LIN has virtually every football game aired in the Providence-New Bedford market. LIN bought the two stations from Blair Television almost two years ago and in January 2002 relaunched both stations with new graphics and new logos and began co-branding the news under the Eyewitness news brand, Mr. Howell said.
WLWC-TV operates as both a UPN and a WB affiliate, both owned by Viacom Television Stations Group. “It is very unique that a network really has two networks,” said Pam Bergeron, director of sales. “One station can provide advertisers not only `Enterprise’ but [also] `Charmed,’ a WB program. We have the best of both worlds.”