Super Stars

With a new roofed mega-stadium, Dallas will host its first-ever Super Bowl in 2011, and planning is well underway in the Cowboyscrazed market. Fox has the big game next February, but Super Bowl XLV—and all its ancillary attractions—is seen as a boon for just about every business concern in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. “It’s truly a regional project,” says KXAS President/General Manager Tom Ehlmann. “The Super Bowl brings a lot of positive things to the market.”

The stations in DMA No. 5 bring a lot of positive things, too. Network-owned duopolies abound: CBS-owned KTVT and independent KTXA, NBC O&O KXAS and Telemundo outlet KXTX, and Fox’s KDFW and MyNetworkTV affiliate KDFI. KXAS had a huge February sweeps, with help from the Olympics; it won total day household ratings and primetime, a very close morning race and early evening news. Belo’s ABC affiliate WFAA, however, took late news with its 6.3 household rating/10.5 share.

Rounding out the lineup are Tribune’s CW affiliate KDAF and Univision’s KUVN. The latter added local music show Kalle TV last July.

Ratings are a dogfight. “A tenth of a point can separate first from second in this market,” says KTVT-KTXA President/General Manager Gary Schneider. “Nothing is ever automatic.”

Dallas-Fort Worth is home to American Airlines, Exxon and AT&T, among others. George W. Bush keeps a low profile in the Dallas suburbs while working on his memoirs.

Stations are clawing for ratings points. WFAA enjoys a downtown studio for some newscasts and has signed up 63,000 users for an iPhone app. KXAS debuts The Nate Berkus Show this fall. KTVT tapped Adrienne Roark to run news.

KDFW, meanwhile, moved its morning news up to 4:30 April 5. “In these big markets, people get up early to get to work,” says VP/General Manager Kathy Saunders.

Lackluster content doesn’t fly in Dallas-Fort Worth. “There’s a lot of noise in the market,” says WFAA President/General Manager Mike Devlin of the local news sources. “It’s extraordinarily competitive, and everybody here does a real solid job.”

Michael Malone

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, the L.A. Times and New York magazine.