With the auto industry near collapse, Detroit has more than its share of problems coping with a soft media market. The silver lining is an expected flurry of political advertising from candidates running for the mayor’s post that opened up in September after Kwame Kilpatrick pleaded guilty to felony charges. Already one candidate has bought out-of-home in advance of the February primary, leading to a May 5 election.

A highly competitive news market, Detroit’s TV stations are adding content. WJBK, Fox Television’s owned-and-operated station, produces more news per week (52.5 hours) than any competitor. The hands-down ratings leader in mornings, WJBK in September added another half hour at 4:30 a.m. (for a total of 4.5 hours) to accommodate the work schedules of a shift town. A year ago, WJBK, which has the dominant 10 p.m. newscast, added an 11 p.m. newscast, tightening up the race between top-ranked WDIV, Post-Newsweek’s NBC affiliate and WXYZ, Scripps’ ABC affiliate. Early news also is tight, with WDIV and WJBK tied for No. 2 and closing in on WXYZ.

CBS has the only duopoly in the market, WWJ (CBS) and WKBD (CW), yet it’s the only market where a CBS O&O doesn’t produce local news. However, CBS has a strong radio presence with six stations including the leading News station (WWJ-AM). CBS Outdoor is the dominant out-of-home provider with full billboard coverage and bus advertising. In April, it plans to add two more digital signs to the three it now operates.

A large African American population supports five Urban radio stations, with Clear Channel’s WMXD-FM and WJLB-FM ranked No 1 and No. 5. All are bracing for Arbitron’s commercialization of portable people meters starting at the end of ’08.

The market’s two newspapers, the Detroit Free Press, purchased by Gannett in 2005, and The Detroit News, owned by MediaNews Group, work cooperatively, managed by the Detroit Media Partnership. The Free Press, with the largest daily circulation of the two at 329,989 compared to the News’ 202,029, publishes the only Sunday edition.
Vital Stats:

* TV DMA Rank: 11
* Population 2-plus: 4,813,767
* TV Households: 1,925,460
* TV stations (Net/Ind/Public/Local Cable): 7/2/1/0
* Wired Cable Households: 1,272,280
* Radio Metro Rank: 11
* Population 12-plus: 3,866,500
* Radio Stations (rated): 31
* Newspapers (Daily/Weekly): 8/29


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