Local broadcasters that have budgets to buy outside media face a dizzying array of options. To help navigate the landscape, KDVR Denver and WCNC Charlotte, N.C., are working with Media Partners to make the most of their options.
TV stations that have budgets to buy outside media face a dizzying array of options.
While traditional media like radio, outdoor and cable are still in the mix, stations must also consider digital technologies like YouTube or OTT, and social sites like Facebook, TikTok and Instagram.
Those stations with limited budgets tied to network and syndicated programming co-op spent mostly during the traditional sweeps months of February, May and November, often seek a media buying firm to make the most of all the options.
Two stations, KDVR, Nexstar’s Fox affiliate in Denver, and WCNC, Tegna’s NBC in Charlotte, N.C., are working with Media Partners, Inc. to navigate their outside media buying.
Rob Dwyer says he was looking for a media buying partner when he became the marketing director at WCNC three years ago and has been using Media Partners since.
“The thing that impressed me is they really knew the Charlotte market,” Dwyer says. “They knew of all the players in the market, they knew from traditional media. They had a good grasp on new digital technologies. So, I said let’s see what we can do together.”
Clyde Becker, KDVR’s creative services director, says Byron Grandy, the station’s general manager, recommended Media Partners.
After talking to Media Partners late last year, “from day one, I felt confident they would be great partners for our stations here in Denver,” Becker says.
He says Media Partners provides services important to every creative services director when it comes to media buying.
“They make sure that I am getting my money’s worth,” Becker says. “They are really good at negotiating and they really learned the Denver market swiftly, and really built great relationships with my media partners.”
In addition to the actual media buying, Dwyer says having an agency with experience in co-op is critical.
“Basically they help with the behind the scenes stuff of co-op filing, invoice review, reimbursement submissions, all of the stuff that takes a massive amount of time out of a CSD’s schedule, they handle,” Becker says.
“You need somebody to help get all that paperwork done, make sure it is done correctly, make sure it is all reconciled correctly,” Dwyer says. “It is a lot of work.”
Both Dwyer and Becker say alleviating that time-consuming paperwork allows them to focus more on marketing their stations.
John Rice, Media Partners’ director of client services, who has years of experience as a TV station marketing and creative services exec, understands how administering the co-op paperwork relieves the pressure on stations.
“Creative services directors are asked to spin many plates — branding and marketing of their local television station, local lifestyle shows, commercial production, events and public relations,” Rice says. Given all that’s on the plates of creative services directors, they might not have the time or knowledge to balance the myriad of media buying options like a media buying agency can.
“They understand our target audiences,” Becker says. “They were able to figure that out quickly and provide a really solid media plan that is based on targeting the audiences that we needed to reach.”
Both Becker and Dwyer say Media Partners offers suggestions to consider in balancing out their budgets, ones they might not have considered or known about.
“They did suggest, in terms of radio, to expand our reach by utilizing a couple of different radio station groups that we hadn’t been using,” Becker says.
From traditional media like radio and billboards to YouTube and streaming, “they really do the numbers for you,” Dwyer says.
Dwyer says his station has been growing steadily for the past two years.
“[There has been] nice incremental growth month to month, and I think they are contributing to that,” he says.
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