Market Profile: Minneapolis-St. Paul

The Minneapolis-St. Paul market, once two markets until 1986, is one of the geographically largest, reaching into western Wisconsin. It’s home to 19 Fortune 500 companies including Target, US Bancorp, Pepsi Americas, Best Buy and General Mills, as well as a number of universities, making for a highly educated, white-collar population. Minneapolis serves as the market’s business center, while St. Paul is the state’s capital and cultural center. Civic duty runs deep—the state has the country’s highest voting rate.

Recovery is on its way in the market, which is prepping for a lively governor race and several hotly contested congressional seats. Unemployment is lower than the national average by 1 to 2 percentage points.

People take their news seriously in the market, which has higher-than-average HUT levels. Longtime news leader KARE-TV, Gannett’s NBC affiliate, continues to hold the top-rated position in all news dayparts. In a market where winter sports are popular, KARE was the third highest-rated NBC affiliate for the Olympics. KSTP, the ABC affiliate run by locally owned Hubbard Broadcasting, and WCCO, CBS Television’s owned-and-operated station, battle it out for the No. 2 spot in local news. In mornings, KSTP ranks No. 2, followed by WCCO and KMSP, Fox Television’s O&O, which added an hour of local news at 9 a.m. last September.

KSTP is the only station with a 4:30 p.m. early newscast, giving it the lead it needs for the No. 2 spot at 5 p.m., while WCCO is No. 2 at 6 p.m. KMSP airs a local newscast at 5:30 p.m. when the network affiliates air the network TV news. WCCO is No. 2 in late news. (Hubbard last week announced plans to roll out as many as 100 neighborhood sites in coming weeks.)

Though CBS recently combined its local TV and radio operations at the top, WCCO and CBS Radio have been working together for a long time. WCCO partners with News/Talk WCCO-AM, one of the 12 most powerful signals in the country. WCCO also provides news, weather and sports content to CBS Outdoor’s video advertising network of 100 screens throughout the Mall of America.

The radio market made the transition to Arbitron’s portable people meter ratings last June and six months later received Media Rating Council accreditation.

With fewer FMs per capita than most markets, Minneapolis radio tends to be stable. Last month KSTP-AM, Hubbard’s Talk station, flipped to Sports as an ESPN affiliate. It goes up against KFAN-AM, Clear Channel’s sports powerhouse, which recently renewed its broadcast deal with the Minnesota Vikings for two more years.

The Star-Tribune emerged from bankruptcy last September with new ownership and reduced debt. The paper is still the dominant print force throughout the state. The Pioneer Press, owned by MediaNews Group’s Affiliated Media, is in the same boat, having received court approval for reorganization under Chapter 11 bankruptcy, which will reduce debt from $930 million to $165 million.

Clear Channel is the largest outdoor operator in the market offering broad bulletin and poster coverage and a network of 21 digital boards often used by KMSP to promote its programming. In addition to the Mall of America, CBS Outdoor offers full coverage, as well as street furniture. JCDecaux has the advertising franchise at the airport, the ninth busiest in the nation.

Vital Stats:

TV DMA Rank: 15
Population 2-plus: 4,283,492
TV Households: 1,732,050
TV Stations (Net/Ind/Multicast/Public): 6/9/5/6
Wired Cable Households: 986,910
Radio Metro Rank: 16
Population 12-plus: 2,982,700
Radio Stations (rated): 41
Newspapers (Daily/Weekly): 12/129

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