Servicing a multicultural audience is highly profitable for Miami/Fort
Lauderdale stations. A growing and diverse Hispanic population, coupled with
stylish South Beachers, African-Americans and retirees, help boost the
17th-largest DMA's bottom line. This eclectic audience has also been a boon
to local news. To meet such distinct viewer demands, nine stations in South
Florida, an impressive number in any TV market, air late local news: the Big
Four, three Spanish-language broadcasters, and the younger-skewing UPN and WB
“Miami is a melting pot,” says WFOR President and GM Michael
Colleran. It takes 19 stations to program to the 4.1 million inhabitants from
Fort Lauderdale to the Keys. Univision-owned WLTV is the market heavyweight,
with the highest ratings across dayparts. NBC's O&O Telemundo station
WSCV is a strong competitor.
Among English-language broadcasters, CBS' WFOR is surging in news and
prime time. NBC's WTVJ has been wounded by the network's prime time
softness, but it still ranked second behind WFOR in late news during November
sweeps. Sunbeam Broadcasting's Fox affiliate WSVN and Post-Newsweek's ABC
affiliate WPLG are both strong. One programming twist: WFOR carries
Oprah and, in 2006, will relinquish
Dr. Phil to WPLG, which will then eliminate
its 5 p.m. news to accommodate the popular talk show.
Miami's TV revenues outperform its market size. This year, stations
will take in $534 million in revenues, making the market No. 10 in research
firm BIA's national revenue rankings. But station fortunes remain tied to the
Hispanic population. WLTV, its sister Telefutura station WAMI and WSCV all
cater to sizable immigrant communities; English-language stations are courting
second- and third-generations. WSVN's EVP Bob Leider says young Hispanics are
“very contemporary” and prefer entertainment shows like local
Deco Drive and national favorite American Idol.
WFOR offers news closed-captioned in Spanish. NBC's WSCV and WTVJ
duopoly also taps into the Anglo and Hispanic communities; the stations sell
joint ads and pool news resources along with some bilingual reporters. Global
stories play well here; Cuba is a hot topic. “A lot of people are from New
York or Havana,” says WPLG VP and GM David Boylan. Adelphia and Comcast are
the area's major cable operators.
Immigration and tourism also fuel a growing local economy, and Miami's
ad scene is booming. The 2004 political season pumped $50 million into the
market. For 2005, station execs predict 4%-8% growth over 2004, excluding
political monies. Says WTVJ President and GM Ardyth Diercks, “The ethnic
diversity makes this an exciting market.”
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