Success Stories: Business Growth For the Big Easy

Jul 14, 2003  •  Post A Comment

New Orleans TV stations have put heavy emphasis on growing the overall market revenue by bringing in new business.
The market saw a 1.1 percent dip in TV revenues between 1997’s $111 million and 2001’s $94.7 million. Aggressive efforts helped revenues jump 10.9 percent to $105 million by year-end 2002.
“We are more focused than ever on community involvement campaigns and generating revenue from nontraditional advertisers,” said Mike Zikmund, director of sales for Belo Corp.-owned CBS affiliate WWL-TV. “These sorts of campaigns not only generate revenue, but make viewers feel good about the station.”
The best way to grow the market’s revenue is to introduce new advertisers to television, said Joe Cook, regional VP and general manager for Emmis Communications-owned WVUE-TV.
“We are on a mission to land more than 100 new accounts this year,” he said. “We are a little ahead of being halfway there.”
To help WVUE reach this colossal goal, Mr. Cook hired general sales manager Jeff West from WKRB-TV in Mobile, Ala.
“I ran the NBC station that switched to Fox [in Mobile], and Jeff was my competitor. He was doing too good a job over there and we had to get him here,” Mr. Cook said.
“We are trying to do what we can to improve the market as much as we can. The same stations fighting over the same people weaken the market. So we want to get 100 percent of our business from new advertisers. If everyone in the market did that, this market will grow by 50 percent.”
BIA Financial Network expects TV revenues for New Orleans to be up again by year-end to $108.7 million.