Charlotte, N.C.

Charlotte, N.C., is coming off a tremendous growth story. The market remains the second largest banking city in the nation (behind New York) and serves as headquarters to Bank of America, the nation’s largest bank. Though its TV rank remained at No. 24, the market picked up 25,000 TV households, tied with Dallas as the fastest growing city among the top 25 Nielsen markets.

That doesn’t mean Charlotte has had an easy time of it. The banking crisis and collapse of Wachovia (acquired by Wells Fargo), headquartered in Charlotte, took its toll on the market, sending ripples through local advertising.

Nielsen delayed the rollout of its local people meter service in the market. Originally scheduled for this month, the LPM now goes live in January. Transition to the new ratings could tighten the news race, but for now, the longtime news leader, WSOC-TV, Cox Television’s ABC affiliate, wins in all dayparts. In mid-September, WSOC began simulcasting its hour-long newscast at noon on duopoly sister, independent WAXN, which also airs news at 5:30 p.m. and 10 p.m.

Hoping to break up WSOC’s winning streak is WBTV, the CBS affiliate acquired by Raycom Media in April 2008. A close No. 2 to WSOC in all news dayparts, WBTV recently added news on Saturday mornings. The station also produces a 10 p.m. newscast for WJZY, The CW affiliate and duopoly sister to WMYT-TV, and the MyNetworkTV affiliate, owned by Capitol Broadcasting.

WCNC, Belo’s NBC affiliate, ranks No. 3 in news. Also looking to fare better in the news race is Bahakel Communications’ Fox affiliate WCCB, which last month expanded its a.m. news to four hours (5 a.m. to 9 a.m.).

One of the few markets that isn’t “over-radioed,” format changes tend to be rare. CBS Radio holds the top three stations, Urban Contemporary WPEG-FM, Urban Adult Contemporary WBAV-FM and Country WSOC-FM. Clear Channel’s Country WKKT-FM is No. 4. The fifth place station, Greater Media’s News/Talk WBT-AM, just got some new competition when CBS Radio on Sept. 1 flipped WFNA-AM to “America’s Talk,” with new call letters, WBCN-AM. With the format change, WFNA ended its simulcast of WFNZ-AM, the market’s only Sports station, now known as “The Fan.”

Out-of-home is dominated by locally based Adams Outdoor, with about 96 percent of the city’s inventory. Adams recently completed the roll out of Adams Digital Network, consisting of 19 full-size billboards.

McClatchy Co. owns The Charlotte Observer, the region’s largest paper. The paper and its owner have gone through numerous staff cuts; another 15 percent (60 jobs) were cut earlier this year, on top of an 11 percent cut last year.

Vital Stats

TV DMA Rank: 24
Population 2-plus: 2,758,993
TV Households: 1,147,910
TV Stations (Net/Ind/Multicast/Public): 6/6/0/4
Wired Cable Households: 661,810
Radio Metro Rank: 25
Population 12-plus: 1,962,300
Radio Stations (rated): 24
Newspapers (Daily/Weekly): 13/17

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