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Good news all around

By population, Boise, Idaho, is the No. 121 DMA; in revenue, the all-VHF market jumps nearly 20 places, to 102.

"High technology's been the driving force here for the last 12 to 15 years," says Jeff Anderson, GM at KBCI-TV. "The local economy is strong. We're bouncing back from the same bump in the road as anyone else [in 2001]. But this is a vibrant market."

"Everybody's doing well here," says KIVI(TV) GM Scott Eymer, who ran UPN affiliate KNIN-TV before moving to the ABC affil. "We're hundreds of miles away from other large cities, so there's no competition for TV dollars from adjacent markets. And the market has only 46% cable penetration; that plays well for over-the-air broadcasters."

Boise is the state capital, which typically means government jobs and a stable work force. Discretionary income also benefits from the state's largest university, Boise State; several major corporations are either headquartered or have a significant presence there, including Micron, Albertson's Supermarkets, Hewlett-Packard and Boise Cascade.

The towers are placed on mountains overlooking a population concentrated in a relatively flat area, local TV execs add. They attribute the high ADS penetration to the low cable availability in outlying areas. TV signal coverage, they say, is strong.

A strong interest in winter sports, proximity to Salt Lake City and KTVB(TV)'s market dominance, says GM Doug Armstrong, made for the nation's best Olympics performance by an NBC affiliate. With several state races and a U.S. Senate race this year, "political's going to be huge for any station with news," says Rick Joseph, who runs local Fox affil KRTV(TV), with its half-hour daily and expansion to an hour under consideration.

"We've got plenty of land, plenty of water and a great climate," says Armstrong, also a Chamber of Commerce member. "We can't see anything ... to prohibit this place from continuing to grow and continue to be a vibrant place to do business."