Lanzano: TVB's effort to move gov't ad dollars to local TV (audio)



Steve Lanzano, TVB President, told RBR-TVBR on Friday a bit of background that’s behind the local TV trade group’s insightful moves – lobbying, letter writing and number crunching – that helped influence the FCC’s recent recommendation that the federal government move ad dollars from the national local media. It all started with a conversation between TVB Chairman/Gannett Broadcasting President Dave Lougee and Kurt Wimmer at communications and media law firm Covington & Burling. They wanted to know how TVB could play a role in contributing to the FCC report that was coming out, “The Information Needs of Communities: The Changing Media Landscape in A Broadband Age,” by Steve Waldman, Senior Advisor to FCC Chair Julius Genachowski.

Says Lanzano: “We did some due diligence in spending in government. We knew we weren’t getting a lot of government business (local broadcasters). We looked at it first from a marketing perspective – does it make any sense? After looking at how much money they spent in national broadcast and because of the SQAD analysis that we did that we’ve been running around to everybody that shows it’s actually cheaper now in almost all day parts to buy media on a local level vs. a national level, we saw there was an efficiency opportunity there. Secondly, we started to look at recruitment advertising for each of the sections of the armed forces and saw there was an opportunity to make them more efficient in terms of how they’re buying, to provide geographic skews to where they’re buying and then greater flexibility – because obviously it’s much more flexible to move dollars around with local broadcast.”

They got all of the information together and then sent a three-page letter off to Waldman on 4/15. “We were extremely happy with how the report came out and that he took our recommendation to heart,” Lanzano told us.

Among Walden’s recommendations: The federal government should divert its ad dollars from the national media to local media. “Targeting existing federal advertising spending to local news media could help local news media models — both commercial and nonprofit, online and off-line — gain traction and help create local jobs, while potentially making taxpayer spending more cost-effective.”

According to the TVB, local media only gets some 10% of the federal/military recruitment dollars, as well as those from census efforts, Job Corps, the US Postal Service, Health and Human Services, Department of Transportation, national parks and Veterans Administration.

Hear the rest from Lanzano, and more plans for the future by clicking on the audio, above.