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Room for One More?

In the Joplin, Mo.-Pittsburg, Kan. DMA, the TV ad pie will be divided a little more by the end of the year with the addition of Fox affiliate KFJX-TV, announced July 10. That makes a tight market even tighter.

"The only way that we are going to grow our revenue," says KSNF(TV) General Manager Jeff Hoffmann, "is to look at the other [advertising] mediums to swing some of their dollars in the TV pie."

KFJX-TV will occupy an unused channel licensed to Davis Television, but the station will be run by Sursey Productions, an area producer of industrial videos. It will have a shared-services agreement with CBS affiliate KOAM-TV.

KOAM-TV General Manager Danny Thomas describes the market as a patchwork of small cities. "There are over 30 communities, all of smaller size that all have unique traits. There are probably 15-20 towns with 10,000–15,000 people over 14 counties and three states."

Hoffmann's Nexstar-owned NBC affiliate entered into a shared-services arrangement with KODE-TV when Mission Broadcasting purchased the ABC affiliate in 2001. While each station has its own news operation and salespeople, they share a news director and often share footage. "Financially, it made sense," Hoffmann says. "They might shoot one news story, which would allow us to cover another story. We share ideas and video, and our reporters might rewrite the stories."

Thomas notes that KOAM-TV's total news audience is more than KODE-TV and KSNF combined and expects that, as the shared newscast goes forward and viewers see similarities, "that will drive more [viewers] to ours."

KOAM-TV, owned by Sega Communications, is celebrating its 50th anniversary with several locally produced specials. The station was the first in the market, and the call letters stand for the states in which its signal was originally available: Kansas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Missouri.