Market Profile: Orlando

A market that once enjoyed huge population growth has been stalled by some of the highest housing foreclosure rates in the nation. That collapse took its toll on the number of TV households, which declined by 10,800 in the last year, a 0.7 percent drop. Some of the market’s biggest advertisers are tourism-related, including Disney World, Universal Orlando and Sea World. Auto advertising is showing some signs of returning locally. Political holds promise for 2010, headlined by a wide-open governor’s race, a Senate race and several congressional seats.

Orlando-Daytona Beach-Melbourne has always been a challenging news market to cover because of the plethora of ethnicities spread across a wide geographical area. Hoping to ease the burden of coverage, WOFL, Fox Television’s owned-and-operated station, and WKMG, Post-Newsweek’s CBS affiliate, agreed to share video resources.

The local news race has tightened since Nielsen’s introduction of local people meters a year ago. Still, WFTV, Cox Media’s ABC affiliate, holds on to the top spot in all news dayparts. WESH, Hearst Television’s NBC affiliate, runs a strong No. 2. WESH is closing in on WFTV in late news, scoring the top ratings position among households in September. WESH has stepped up its local news offerings on duopoly partner WKCF, the CW affiliate. In August, it launched WESH 2 News at 11 p.m. on WKCF, which adds to the morning and 4 p.m. newscasts it was already running.

WKMG and WOFL battle it out for the No. 3 spot. Hoping to improve ratings, in the fall WKMG dropped its 5 p.m. early news (replacing it with Dr. Phil) and expanded its 6 p.m. news to an hour, shifting the CBS Evening News to 7. But so far, the ratings needle hasn’t moved. WOFL is making a bigger play for mornings, having added in September an hour of local news and lifestyle programming at 9 a.m. Of the three 10 p.m. newscasts, WOFL is a clear No. 1.

Expanding its brand, WOFL is also experimenting with airing news headlines on the 16 digital billboards operated by Clear Channel Outdoor, the largest operator in the market. For example, during the World Series, the station fed score updates to the boards.

In addition to Clear Channel, CBS Outdoor also provides bulletin coverage. Signal Outdoor offers bus shelter ads. JCDecaux manages advertising at Orlando International Airport, which is scheduled to complete construction of a fifth terminal this year.

Though both Clear Channel and CBS have radio outlets in the market, Cox Radio dominates the ratings. Cox has four of the top five-rated stations, including Rhythmic Contemporary Hit Radio WPYO-FM, which in the most recent Summer survey increased its ratings 1.5 share points to land in first place, besting sister station Urban Contemporary WCFB-FM.

There are plenty of local papers serving diverse communities in the market, but the primary paper is the Orlando Sentinel. The Tribune-owned paper’s daily circulation declined 12.1 percent to 181,090 in the most recent Audit Bureau of Circulation estimate survey period.
The Sentinel is managed out of Miami where Tribune owns the Sun-Sentinel and a TV station.

Vital Stats

TV DMA Rank: 19
Population 2-plus: 3,561,548
TV Households: 1,455,620
TV Stations (Net/Ind/Multicast/Public): 6/13/2/4
Wired Cable Households: 1,037,650
Radio Metro Rank: 34
Population 6-plus: 1,523,100
Radio Stations (rated): 23
Newspapers (Daily/Weekly): 6/30

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