Sunday, March 06, 2005

When Size Doesn't Matter

Spent the weekend in Iowa City. I've been encouraging Shannon to get certified as a lactation educator and this was part one. For those of you who know us personally, Shannon is a big advocate of breastfeeding and I have joined her on the bandwagon. It is a billion times better for babies... though I'm not going to get into the details here.

Also got a chance to check out some of the news. This market is made up of Cedar Rapids, Waterloo, Iowa City and Dubuque which adds up to market 88. But market size number is deceiving. The news content/stories/issues aren't much different than what you'd see in market 117... although at least one station seemed to have their own helicopter. The talent in a few cases is better... in some cases it's worse. All in all, pretty comparable, but there is almost a 30 market difference.

Got to see a Steve Nicoles report. I'm kind of surprised he went here from WHOI. No offense to the people in that market, but I think he could have made a bigger jump. I know he's from California and could have seen him going to Fresno from here.


Anonymous said...

I lived in Iowa City for a few years. Some differences in local news between the eastern Iowa market and Market 117:

1. KCRG has their own chopper. Gives a whole new dimension to tornado chasing. And it must be working out for them since they've had it for over 10 years now.

2. Live Doppler radar. Enough said.

3. With very limited exceptions (at least when I was there), meteorologists did all the weathercasts-- morning, noon, 5, 6, and 10. The dewpoint and other important weather information was reported. One station employs 4 meteorologists. Another employs three. The third network, one.

4. Two of the three major network affiliates (not counting FOX) have informative and well organized web sites. (It took me 1 minute to find the number of meteorologists at all three stations.)

5. There was more variety in the news. I can't really explain it, you have to have lived there for a few years and here for a few years. That might be a statement about the communities, but it might not.

6. In my personal opinion, the depth of news coverage was better. They also covered the entire region, not just one city.

Since you say you were there on the weekend, I would suggest not judging them on that basis. Every medium sized market is terrible on the weekends. The stories aren't as good, the control room makes mistakes, the talent is not yet ready for prime time... no escaping that in any of these markets. (I've lived in three and travelled to many. This is not a slam on any one in particular.)

But like I said, I lived there, and I've lived here about as long. And I miss their local news but I especially miss their local weather.

Anonymous said...

One major difference is news content. Peoria/Bloomington is more of hard news market. CR/Waterloo/Dubuque/IA City is more of an AG market. Not that there isn't a healthy part of that here.

As for weather coverage, the storms are much worse in that area and back to the overall AG thing.. weather is important.

Markets numbers aside.. there is the quality of life thing. In Market 117, you are right in the middle of St. Louis and Chicago (just about). In Iowa, you are right in the middle of nothing.

As for talent, market does in many indications dictate pay. The higher the market the more their share from national advertising and the more money talent gets.

Also, overall the look in this market is very.... well IOWA. Nuff said.

Gehly said...

Cedar Rapids/Waterloo is a split market, simliar to Champaign/Springfield/Decatur. only two of the big 3 are in CR, and KWWL is in Waterloo.
Peoria is different, and I think looks and plays a little bigger because everyone is in the same city competing for the same stories.

I used to live in Iowa, but haven't seen the product there in a while. I do know KCRG's chopper is a little old military they got on the cheap and put some fancy paint and cameras on it. it's not the same as the big boy's choppers, but still effective.

glad to hear Steve's doing well. I thought he was a good reporter. I too think he could have made a bigger jump. I know two other HOIers who went to Indy and are now in even bigger places, although they were a little cuter.

but yeah, he could have gone to Fresno. I almost went there instead of here, they have nothing against us goofy white guys.

Steve Nicoles said...

Thanks for worrying about me. I tried 4 times to go to Fresno and got shot down all 4 times. A nice rack goes a long away and I'm lacking one of those.

Cedar Rapids has it's advantages. The pays better and the people are more experienced. I just wanted to go to a place where I wouldn't be the oldest person on the reporting staff. I'm learning a lot here and hopefully after my three years are up, I can make that jump to California.

Bill Dennis said...

"Size doesn't matter ..."?

Speak for yourself, Edgar.


Bill Dennis said...

"Size doesn't matter ..."?

Speak for yourself, Edgar.


Edgar said...

Someone at 25 commented today on the catchiness of the post title.