Success Story: Stations Get Mileage out of Promotion

Dec 22, 2003  •  Post A Comment

How far can one get on a tank of gas? Just ask the general manager of NBC affiliates KOBI-TV, Medford, Ore., and KOTI-TV in nearby Klamath Falls, Ore.
The California Oregon Broadcasting-owned stations partnered with the Automobile Association of Oregon for “Tank of Gas Getaway.” It was a summer promotion that encouraged people to vacation regionally-or within tank-of-gas driving distance.
The program, in its second year, was generated “after 9/11, when people did not want to fly,” General Manager John Larkin said. “We looked at it as a way to stimulate our local economy.”
Other sponsors included Subway, automotive dealers and 25 destination sponsors. The stations’ newscast also did “travelogue” features on 17 local spots.
CBS affiliate KTVL-TV, owned by Freedom Broadcasting, has “Your Local Pros.” Experts on topics ranging from health care to lawn care answer viewers’ questions through three platforms: broadcast, the Internet or a toll-free number.
“It requires an annual commitment from the pro,” General Sales Manager John White said. “We promote it heavily over our airwaves [and] through local events in the marketplace.” The participating experts also receive customized commercials that identify them as “Local Pros.”
KDRV-TV is focused on children. The Chambers Communications-owned ABC affiliate sponsors the Children’s Miracle Network, the St. Jude’s Hospital Poker Run and the Sparrows Clubs and produces the annual “Coats for Kids” drive.
Such projects are intended to “enhance the client’s image in the community and result in a larger advertising budget for the station,” said General Manager Renard Maiuri, who also heads KDKF-TV.
TV ad revenues for Medford-Klamath Falls grew 11.9 percent to $16.5 million from 2001 to 2002 but will inch up to only $17 million by year-end, according to BIA Financial Network.