Milwaukee: Ad dollars boom on TV and radio
Television will be up 5 percent this year, with auto and telecom big
February 26, 2016
Wisconsin is a swing state this presidential election year, meaning there will be a great deal of political spending statewide, including in its largest city, Milwaukee.
That influx of cash will add to an already healthy media market, where spending is up in many key categories.
“Stations are forecasting spot dollars to be up 5 percent over last year.”
Finance, automotive, healthcare and telecom are driving the market and have all increased spending versus a year ago, while no major category in Milwaukee has significantly pulled back.
Stations in Milwaukee are forecasting considerable political activity throughout the year, although two months into 2016 it’s been fairly quiet on the political front, with no major disruptions in inventory.
That, of course, will change later this year during three separate periods.
Wisconsin’s presidential primary takes place on April 5, and the state will hold a partisan primary in August for seats in Congress and the Wisconsin legislature. That determines the candidates for the general election in November.
“Wisconsin is considered a purple state, meaning fairly heavy activity from both sides of the aisle,” Fleming says.
“TV and radio will be very tight three weeks prior to April 5 and Aug. 9, and four weeks prior to Nov. 8.”
Political spending will affect the news dayparts first and then trickle to other areas including primetime and early and late fringe.
Meanwhile, like TV, radio is pacing slightly ahead of last year, with spending up mid-single digits.
Categories driving radio in Milwaukee include telecom, auto, fast food and insurance. Morning and afternoon drive times are the tightest and most expensive, while there is more room for negotiation in midday and evenings.
Political also will impact radio in Milwaukee, where two of the market’s top stations are news/talk outlets.
Scripps-owned news/talk station WTMJ-AM was the No. 2 station in the market in January with a 6.6 average quarter-hour listener share, according to Nielsen Audio, while iHeartMedia news/talk station WISN-AM tied for No. 3 that month with a 6.4 AQH share.
The has one dominant station, iHeartMedia classic hits station WRIT-FM.
Until late last year WRIT was known as Oldies 95.7, but in September it rebranded to 95.7 BIG FM, although its format remained largely unchanged.
The move hasn’t affected ratings at all. In January WRIT posted an 8.7 AQH share, more than two full points ahead of its closest competitor.
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