Quirky Jacksonville Market Poised for Growth

By Andrew Gauthier 

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Broadcasting & Cable

Jacksonville is a quirky market, with its NBC and ABC affiliates in one building, Fox and CBS outlets in another, and an unaffiliated station (please don’t call it an independent, says the general manager) as the market leader. Adding to the non-traditional nature of the No. 47 DMA are two new general managers in WTLV-WJXX President/General Manager Dodie Cantrell-Bickley, who arrived 10 months ago, and WJXT VP/General Manager Bob Ellis, with six months in-market.

Formerly the news director at WDIV Detroit, Ellis has been struck by the interest in local TV news in Jacksonville compared to the more fractionalized audiences in other cities. The things you do all day are well received and appreciated by the community, he says. Television is still important to people’s lives here.

Ellis steps into a winning situation. Despite losing its CBS affiliation in 2002, Post-Newsweek’s WJXT is the market’s ratings and revenue leader. Even without network prime, WJXT won total day household ratings in May, along with morning and evening news. WJXT posted a 6.9 rating/10.2 share with its 10 p.m. news, while Gannett’s NBC outlet WTLV won the 11 p.m. race with a 6.4/11.7. More…

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