Deep in the heart of Texas

Like most things Texan, the Waco-Temple-Bryan, Texas, market is big. Spread across the middle of the Lone Star state, the DMA comprises14 counties. It has some big-name employers, including Raytheon, Caterpillar and M&M Mars; big-time colleges like Texas A&M and Baylor University; and one of the world's biggest military installations, Fort Hood. In fact, this hyphenated market is so big, it's really two hyphenates in one: There's Waco-Temple-Kileen in the north and Bryan-College Station to the southeast.

Ray Deaver, GM of KWTX-TV Waco, explains: "Waco is in the center of the state, about 100 miles south of Dallas, about 100 miles north of Austin. We have a satellite [KBTX-TV] in Bryan-College Station. The two stations carry the same CBS programming, and, when I do syndication, I do it for both." But the two have separate newscasts, he adds, "because we're about 90 miles apart." KXXV, the ABC affiliate in Waco, and its satellite in Bryan, KRHD-LP, also air separate newscasts.

"Thriving" is how Randy Odil, GM of KCEN-TV, describes the area. "Bell County, which is home to Temple and Kileen, is growing very fast; and McLennan County, which is Waco, likewise is growing. I think unemployment is about 4%."

While ad sales, particularly national, have been tough in the first two quarters, "our local is holding up very well," Odil says. "We have elections next year, and we've had some activity already. Next year promises to be fairly active."

Deaver agrees: "Political advertising is going to be huge in Texas next year. We have a March primary. Several candidates for lieutenant governor announced in the past few weeks. That's going to be a big race. I think it's going to be a big political year across the country in '02, especially with what's happened in the Senate this year. There's going to be a bunch of folks jumping in, and I think we'll all see a lot of activity."