Executives from NBCUniversal Local (Frank Comerford, above), Tegna, Sinclair and Hearst told a TVNewsCheck webinar they’re bedeviled by persistent gaps in the available buying/selling pipeline, which have bogged down the transaction process and added to their expenses. Those woes are leading some broadcasters to bring more of their automated functions in house.
Executives from Tegna, Sinclair, NBCU stations and Hearst will evaluate the industry’s progress towards automating key elements of the spot TV buying and selling process in a TVNewsCheck Working Lunch webinar on May 19. Register here.
Frank Comerford, NBCU Owned Television Stations’ CRO and president of commercial operations, says its Post-In Flight deals are starting to take off and could eliminate much of the post-buy work for both the station group and ad agencies. He says Spot ON, NBCU’s OTT/CTV product, is also bolstering business development and making it easier to communicate with advertisers.
A TVNewsCheck webinar on optimizing spot TV in this COVID-challenged economy last week found spot revenue picking up in some places, with steady rises since April’s low point. But concerns are afoot about Nielsen’s sample base and problems that may stem from its addition of broadband-only homes to the local TV currency.
The great challenge for local TV is not only to create compelling digital products and services, but to find and train people to sell them. Station groups are stepping up those efforts, hoping to latch on to some of the dollars that are migrating from broadcast to digital. “Digital, social, secondary channels, websites, mobile – it’s literally a laundry list that each sales rep needs to understand, then master himself,” says sales consultant Adam Armbruster. Part II of this special report tomorrow will address integrating new programmatic or automated selling platforms with existing sales, traffic and billing workflows. Also see today’s Open Mike on sales compensation for new hires.