Tribune Uses Technology For ‘Always Open’ Ad Sales


Regardless of what transpires between Sinclair Broadcast Group and Tribune Media — if anything, given the revelation by FCC Chairman Ajit Pai that he has deep concerns over a merger of the two companies — Tribune hopes it will remain highly attractive to advertisers thanks to a new programmatic advance it introduced July 11.

In what the company says is a first for the local broadcast television industry, Tribune Broadcasting has launched an “always-open” TV ad sales operation thanks to a technology partnership with programmatic TV player WideOrbit.

As an early adopter of machine-assisted sales of local spot advertising, Tribune collaborated with WideOrbit on enhancements to WO Programmatic Open Marketplace. In particular, a new rule-based Auto-Acceptance feature enables Tribune to accept complying offers for ad time around the clock.

Tribune’s sales management will be able to use WideOrbit’s Auto-Accept feature to intelligently adjust pricing for sell-out levels and offer dynamic floor pricing.

WideOrbit’s Open Marketplace allows advertisers to review and order spots on Tribune’s 42 owned or operated local television stations, which Sinclair plans to acquire.

In addition to inventory from its primary channels, Tribune will also offer multicast advertising opportunities in WideOrbit’s Open Marketplace. In total, Open Marketplace offers access to ad inventory from more than 1,000 stations that reach nearly 95% of U.S. households.

“We have to compete on audience programming value and ease of use to service advertisers,” said Kerry Oslund, VP/Strategy and Business Development at Tribune Broadcasting. “Automating sales workflows with WO Programmatic allows us to take orders from ad buyers based on pre-set parameters anytime just like digital self-serve platforms.”

Tribune Media Chief Revenue Officer Angela Betasso added, “Programmatic ad sales platforms that allow our valuable audiences to be sold in both high tech and high-touch environments will increase demand in our Local Spot sector. We applaud WideOrbit’s efforts in this space and will continue to work with them and others in advancing it.”

WideOrbit is headquartered in San Francisco and has among its customers NBCUniversal, Entercom Communications, Raycom Media and TEGNA.