Seven Questions with Steve Lanzano


Steve LanzanoPersonal information
Current company: TVB
Position: President & CEO
Location: 3 East 54th St NYC (until end of April). Moving to 120 Wall Street.
Place of Birth: New York City
Date of Birth: 5/21/59
Personal info: Wife: Carmelene (30 year Anniversary this year); Son Danny (27); Daughter-In Law Lindsay; Grand-Daughter Giavanna Rose (3 months); Daughter Michelle (23); Son Thomas (16)
College: Seton Hall University
Favorite band or artist: Earth, Wind & Fire (and of course Sinatra)
Favorite movies: It’s A Wonderful Life, Eight Men Out, Bull Durham
Favorite books: The Razor’s Edge, Jack, I Am Third, The Great Gatsby
Sports Team Preferences: Yankees, Giants, Knicks, Rangers
Hobbies/Passions: My Family
Causes/Charities: Broadcasters Foundation of America, Ad Council, Greater North Jersey Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Emma L. Bowen Foundation, St. Bartholomew’s Church Financial Council

1. How did you get started in the business?
I took an elective class in school called Media Planning & Buying. I had no idea what it was but I ended up loving it. Afterwards, I had an internship at Katz Communications during my senior year and then spent the next 29 years at Ad/Media Agencies before joining the TVB.

2. What is digital revenue looking like this year for station websites and apps?
We’re expecting it to be very strong with continued growth, particularly in mobile apps. For example, January 2013 showed 9% growth in website revenues, while mobile exploded, with an increase of 90%. Borrell is forecasting a 10-20% increase for most stations, while “high roller” stations will do much better, and will drive TV station digital revenues to an increase of around 23%.

3. How is retransmission consent and reverse compensation trending – and do you think there is still significant room for local broadcast stations to grow revenue per subscriber? And while we’re on the topic, do you think Congress and/or the FCC will jump into this issue?
I’ll best leave this for Gordon at the NAB, but considering the huge viewing differential between Broadcast and cable programming it should continue to grow. On average 95 of the top 100 programs every week are broadcast programs and across the board of all age demos any surveys that ask viewers to rank the top 5 networks they can’t live without, 4 of them are always ABC, CBS, NBC & FOX.

4. What are the best strategies for dealing with the roller-coaster even-odd advertising conditions caused by even-year elections?
By continuing to build our core business with those categories that are with us every year (Auto, Retail QSR, Telecom, Financial, etc.). The only comps I look at is core growth year over year (sans political) and that continues to grow at low single digits.

5. NAB President/CEO Gordon Smith says that as far as incentive auctions go, they aren’t hearing a stampede of participants. What are you hearing?
We’re hearing the same thing as Gordon. I have not heard of one member who will be participating. With new ultra-high HD, Mobile DTV & Digital Sub-Channels broadcasters are doing great initiatives with their spectrum.

6. What will 2013 over 2012 comps look like, with and without political factored in, and what are looking like the strongest and weakest ad categories?
With political factored into the mix, we’re estimating a decrease of between 7 to 8%. But if we just focus on our core business, we expect to see about a 4% increase. Our key large spending growth categories are things like Automotive, Telecom, Casual Dining Restaurants, Furniture and Bedding Stores, Floor Covering Stores, and Food Store Chains. We’d expect slower growth to be with the early large spenders like QSRs and Wireless providers (for cell phones and plans).

7. Is there any question you’d like to answer that we forgot to ask?
Measurement. With all advertisers looking for greater accountability we continue to push for more accurate measurement, including being compensated for time-shifted viewing, cross-platform, merging databases (set-top-box & sales data) to create “buyer”-graphics versus demographics. We need to ensure we have the best measurement systems possible as our industry keeps evolving.