Sitting astride both Kansas and Missouri, Kansas City offers some interesting political dynamics and consumer-commuting patterns. The market’s diverse array of businesses—it serves as headquarters for Sprint, AMC Entertainment, Hallmark, and H&R Block—is helping local media outlets weather the economic downturn a little better than other markets. The Sprint Center arena, opened two years ago, is part of a $3 billion plan to revitalize the downtown area.
Hearst-Argyle Television, one of three duopoly owners in the market, owns the local news leader, ABC affiliate KMBC-TV, which wins every news daypart, and is one of the highest-rated ABC affiliates for local-news time periods. Working hard to challenge KMBC is Meredith Broadcasting’s CBS affiliate, KCTV, which is narrowing the gap in late-news ratings. With morning HUT levels on the rise, several stations have expanded local a.m. news to siphon viewers from Fox affiliate WDAF-TV’s solid block from 5-9 a.m. Last March, Hearst-Argyle’s other station, CW affiliate KCWE, added two additional hours of local news from 7 to 9 a.m., while KMBC added weekend morning news. Meredith’s KCTV produces a third hour (7-8 a.m.) of local morning news and a half-hour of late news at 9 p.m. on duopoly partner KSMO, the MyNetworkTV affiliate. KSHB, duopoly owner Scripps’ NBC affiliate, recently added an 11 a.m. newscast.
Kansas City is one of the few markets not dominated by the nation’s two largest radio groups, Clear Channel and CBS Radio. The largest radio owner in the market, Entercom Communications, boasts longtime ratings leaders News/Talk KMBZ-AM (No. 1) and Active Rock KQRC-FM (No. 3). To shore up its dominance, Entercom in January changed the format and call letters of KBLV-FM, its ratings-challenged Adult Album Alternative, to Hot Adult Contemporary KKSN-FM. The second-largest radio owner in the market, Cumulus Media, has three of the top 10-ranked stations, including Oldies KCMO-FM at No. 4. Carter Broadcast Group’s Urban KPRS-FM is No. 2, and Wilks Broadcasting’s Top 40 KMXV-FM is ranked fifth.
Financially strapped McClatchy Co. owns the market’s leading daily, The Kansas City Star, whose daily circulation declined 2.3 percent to 239,358. The paper is bracing for its fourth round of staff reductions since June, following McClatchy’s recent pledge to cut $110 million in expenses across its properties.
Lamar Advertising and CBS Outdoor are the largest outdoor players in the market. CBS Outdoor also offers mall advertising. Clear Channel’s Interspace Airport division controls the ad contract for Kansas City International Airport.
* TV DMA Rank: 31
* Population 2-plus: 2,283,597
* TV Households: 937,970
* TV stations (Net/Ind/Multicast/Public): 6/3/1/1
* Wired Cable Households: 574,230
* Radio Metro Rank: 32
* Population 12-plus: 1,599,600
* Radio Stations (rated): 25
* Newspapers (Daily/Weekly): 14/27