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RTNDA Study: Station Sites Pretty Much an After-Thought

Interesting study from the RTNDA/Hofstra out today that shows just how disconnected the station population seems to be from their Web business, despite constant talk about how they see on air and online as interchangeable–at least in terms of breaking news.

The typical station has 2.3 full time and 3.7 part time people working on the web, and did an average of 2.3 million page views in the past 30 days.

OK, fine. But when it comes to revenue, not quite 31% of responding station executives (the survey reached out to all non-satellite U.S. stations and heard back from almost 75% of them) say they’re making a profit on their Website. Around 10% are breaking even, 17% are showing a loss, and–get this–42.1% “don’t know” if they’re making money on the web.

That 42.1% is somewhat skewed by the tiny markets (50% of stations in markets 151-plus don’t know if they’re making money on the web). But it’s 36.4% in markets 1-25, and slightly higher (36.7%) in markets 26-50.

It’s hard to imagine that any station manager, much less four out of ten of them, would not know the profitability performance of one of his/her much talked about “three screens.”

Stations have some work to do if they’re to reach the $1.3 billion that Borrell Associates forecasted for station sites this year.