Success Stories: Makeovers Revving up Richmond

Jun 23, 2003  •  Post A Comment

ABC’s “Extreme Makeover” is so popular in Richmond, Va., that Young Broadcasting-owned ABC affiliate WRIC-TV produced its own half-hour takeoff.
The special showcased cosmetic treatments and spa procedures available locally. It also featured interviews of experts, some of whom were show sponsors.
“The special generated nontraditional dollars for the television station,” President and general manager Tom Best said. “Many of the clients had never advertised on TV before.”
Local advertisers included Nesbit The Complete Body Salon, Joe Niamtu DDS, About Face & Body Works Spa, Thomas DeWire MD and Richard Redman MD.
Raycom Media’s CBS affiliate WTVR-TV is “finding more and more local advertisers wanting to partner with us in community projects, closed captioning, weather billboards, sports tickers, stock tickers and other sponsored elements we are doing,” said VP-general manager Peter Maroney, who came on board in December from Emmis Communications-owned CBS affiliate KOIN-TV, Portland, Ore.
This summer the station is supporting “Kids Sake,” a community initiative that helps build playgrounds. Advertisers from banks to government agencies are interested in sponsoring it.
While WTVR is thinking of summer, Sinclair Broadcast Group’s Fox affiliate WRLH-TV is already preparing Christmas stocking stuffers.
In conjunction with the local chapter of the Salvation Army and sponsors such as Arby’s Restaurants and Perkinson, Baxter & Associates DDS the station collects toys and clothing to be given to needy children and families at Christmas.
“This Fox Richmond initiative not only creates good will in the community during the holiday season but also provides our sponsors with a turnkey cause marketing vehicle and the station with a proven annual revenue producer,” Station Manager Bill Lane said.
TV revenues for Richmond climbed 7.4 percent between 2001 and 2002, and the trend is expected to continue. BIA Financial Network predicts TV revenues will be up to $84.1 million by year-end.