Interesting story in today’s WSJ about the challenges facing local television stations. Much has been written about the impact the Internet will have on the TV business. Many analysts were quick to point out that television revenues and CPMs continue to climb despite a clear erosion of viewers. The WSJ story suggests that the impact of the Internet is being felt at local television stations throughout the country.
One local TV executive profiled is Diane Kniowski of WOOD-TV in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Kniowski has launched an aggressive assault on the online classified market with a focus on — no surprise here — autos. Now she’s turning her attention to the local eye surgeon to sponsor a health section on the station’s Web site. The next step is to offer additional local classified opportunities or "anything people might not want to ask a neighbor for a referral is a prime target." Sounds an awful lot like local search and directional advertising to me.
For the local eye surgeon, this is yet one more local media opportunity that might work. What’s still blurry is of course how the millions of small and local business owners will find the right ad mix for achieving their business objectives.