The complex media market of New York is ground zero for cross-platform local media brands. Cross-media companies including CBS (radio, TV and out-of-home) and NBC (TV and out-of-home) are adopting new business practices to leverage programming and sales resources.
As the flagship of NBC Local Media, WNBC-TV, along with its local production shop, LX.TV, handles content and sales for on-air and its digital channels (New York Nonstop), online, in taxis and on New Jersey PATH trains. The poster child for NBC’s lifestyle programming is the new LX New York program, which replaced the Live at 5 newscast in September. Though LX NY, opposite early newscasts on competing stations, is last in its time period, it serves as the incubator for NBC’s other local content.
CBS has also stepped up its cross-promotion and sharing of personalities and content among WCBS-TV and its six radio stations, including top-rated radio news brands WCBS-AM and WINS-AM, and the top-rated sports station WFAN-AM.
In the traditional TV news race, WABC-TV, ABC TV’s flagship, still holds the news lead among English-speaking stations. It is the only owned-and-operated outlet to sit out the local news service consortium formed last year among WNYW-TV (Fox Television’s O&O), WNBC, WPIX (Tribune’s CW affiliate) and WCBS. The news race among the Anglo stations has tightened since Nielsen began increasing the sample in the market, now at 900 households.
WCBS, a station that used to be at the back of the pack, is now a contender, coming in No. 2 in early news to WABC and running neck and neck with WNBC in late news. WNYW trumps all the late newscasts in the ratings at 10 p.m.
Spanish-language news does well in New York, especially among young demos. At 6 p.m. and 11 p.m., WABC ranks second in adults 18-34 to Univision’s New York flagship, WXTV. At 11 p.m., WNJU, NBCU’s Telemundo O&O is No. 1 among adults 18-34, WABC is No. 2 and WXTV is No. 3.
New York really is the mecca of big out-of-home advertising, Times Square especially, but there are also more diverse formats here. CEMUSA manages the transit and street shelter contracts. CBS Outdoor recently picked up the New York Metropolitan Transit Authority contract after the MTA cancelled its contract with Titan Worldwide. Vector Media, which has the ad contract for CitySights NY bus fleet, recently added the ad rights for Gray Line New York’s double-decker sight-seeing bus fleet.
In Times Square, Clear Channel Spectacolor and Sherwood Outdoor dominate the spectacular signage where more than 566,500 people pass every day. Retailers such as Walgreens, American Eagle and Disney are integrating large-scale digital spectaculars as they build out their stores in the area.
There’s been a big shift in the dynamic of the rest of the outdoor market. In February, a New York Appeals Court upheld the city’s right to ban billboards within 200 feet and in sight of arterial highways in commercial and manufacturing districts, effecting hundreds of billboards. The result is significantly less outdoor inventory in the market; billboards on those roadways are either carrying public service ads or are now blank.
Meanwhile, in one of the few multinewspaper markets, war has broken out between News Corp.’s The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times. The No. 1 daily in the country (circulation grew 0.6 percent to 2,024,269, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations), the WSJ recently launched a local section called Greater New York, a straight shot at the Times, whose circ dipped 7.2 percent to 927,851. The Times responded with a TV campaign featuring the tag line, “You don’t become the most respected news organization in New York overnight. Or set the agenda in New York overnight.”