Market Profile: Cleveland

The TV market slipped one place in rank to No. 18. Though Cleveland lost only 4,180 TV households, a 0.3 percent drop, Denver’s growth helped it leapfrog two places in rank over Cleveland and Miami.

Growth may be in store for the market. In early November, Ohio voters OK’ed casinos for Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati and Toledo, which could bring in hundreds of millions for the state. One developer is targeting an early 2012 opening for a casino in downtown Cleveland. The market is also on the edge of new energy development, installing its first wind turbine in May.

A local people meter market since fall 2008, TV ratings may have compressed, tightening competition, but station news rankers in adults 25-54 haven’t changed much. WKYC-TV, Gannett’s NBC affiliate, and WJW, Local TV LLC’s Fox affiliate, battle it out for the top position. With four hours of local news in the mornings, WJW is the clear winner in mornings. It’s also No. 1 among the stations that air early news between 5 and 6 p.m., but falls to No. 2 at 6 p.m. when WKYC is No. 1, benefitting from its Dr. Phil lead-in at 5 p.m.

The late-news race is tight. Undamaged by NBC’s Jay Leno Show lead-in, WKYC runs neck and neck with WEWS, E.W. Scripps’ ABC affiliate. At 10 p.m., WJW outranks the newscast on WUAB, the MyNetworkTV affiliate, produced by its duopoly partner, CBS affiliate WOIO, owned by Raycom Media. WKYC is the local sports leader with broadcast rights to baseball’s Cleveland Indians and preseason Cleveland Browns football.

Following the trend sweeping other local TV markets, WKYC and WOIO partnered in February to share video gathering resources. WKYC also struck a partnership with the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the public television outlet WVIZ for coverage of local issues, and recently launched an experimental partnership with MedCityNews to share healthcare content on both outlet Web sites. WEWS has an informal sports coverage agreement with WKNR-AM, the ESPN outlet owned by Good Karma Broadcasting, founded by president and CEO Craig Karmazin (son of Mel).

The radio market has been relatively stable with no significant format changes in the past year. That may change with the market’s first portable people meter ratings from Arbitron, due in three weeks for the month of November. In the market’s final diary report, Clear Channel has three of the top five stations including News/Talk WTAM-AM (No. 2), Classic Hits WMJI-FM (No. 3) and Country WGAR-FM (No. 4). Urban radio leader Radio One has the other two top five stations: Urban Adult Contemporary WZAK-FM and Urban WENZ-FM.

Cleveland was the first market to bow Clear Channel Outdoor’s digital billboards, now numbering 22, up from 10 a year ago. The market also served as the site for the largest-ever study of the safety of digital boards. Conducted by Tantala Associates for the Foundation of Outdoor Advertising, the study’s analysis of eight years of data found no link between digital boards and traffic accidents.

In addition to its digital network, CCO also provides bulletin coverage, posters, wall murals and airport advertising. CBS Outdoor’s coverage includes bulletins, bus and rail advertising. Local-based Omni Media, in partnership with the City of Cleveland, operates a portfolio of outdoor kiosks on the city’s street corners.  

According to Scarborough, Cleveland is ranked No. 2 for combined newspaper readership in print and online, reaching 86 percent of the population weekly (Rochester, N.Y., was No. 1). But daily circulation for the Plain Dealer, the 16th largest paper in the nation, is down 11.2 percent to 271,180; Sunday circ was down 4.9 percent to 390,636.

Vital Stats:

TV DMA Rank: 18
Population 2-plus: 3,668,743
TV Households: 1,520,750
TV Stations (Net/Ind/Multicast/Public): 6/13/2/3
Wired Cable Households: 1,081,710
Radio Metro Rank: 29
Population 12-plus: 1,763,700
Radio Stations (rated): 23
Newspapers (Daily/Weekly): 19/12

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