PASADENA, California The WB Television Network's cable-exclusive station group serving America's smaller television markets - ranked 100 to 210 continues to grow by leaps and bounds. Now in eight million households in 108 markets across 44 states, The WB 100+ Station Group's viewer reach is greater than that of the New York City DMA, it was announced today by Russell H. Myerson, executive vice president and general manager.
"Building a station group based on a never-done-before business model and with all-new technology has been quite an adventure, but one with great rewards," Mr. Myerson said. "We now exceed the WGN Superstation's cable household penetration prior to disengagement by more than three million homes. More viewers than ever can see The WB's programming and business communities in virtually all of the 100+ markets can reach its highly prized young demographic through their very own local station."
The WB 100+ Station Group (formerly known as the WeB), which has created valuable shelf space for syndicators to place their programming, made television history on September 21, 1998, when 80 new stations signed on - the biggest-ever simultaneous launch of a station group. At the time, the station group's reach was just under three million cable homes. It has since grown to more than twice that size, steadily adding new markets and cable systems to reach its current 8 million households encompassing 108 of the total 111 television DMA's in the 100+ markets. The three remaining markets are Gainesville, Florida, Lafayette, Indiana, and Fairbanks, Alaska. Since Gainesville has an over-the-air WB station and the network's Kokomo, Indiana, affiliate covers Lafayette, that only leaves the viewers of Fairbanks without The WB in the 100+ markets.
"When The WB was formed, we faced the challenge of finding an acceptable means of distributing our unique brand of television to young viewers in small cities," said Jed Petrick, The WB's President and Chief Operating Officer. "There simply weren't enough traditional broadcast stations to house 5, let alone 6 networks. The WB 100+ Group is quickly becoming a significant platform for our shows and our sponsors' commercial messages to reach the desirable and elusive young adult and teen audience that has just begun forming their lifelong purchasing habits."
The size of the station group's launch was only one of many firsts. The WB 100+ Station Group's business model is based upon an unprecedented partnership between The WB, local broadcasters and cable operators - a partnership many in the industry felt could not be forged. It also utilizes a state-of-the-art new technology distribution system that makes it possible to insert local ad spots, promos and branding into its programming unique to each market from a central site in Los Angeles. Each station is locally managed, promoted and sold by a broadcast affiliate or cable partner. The station group was created to serve viewers and local business communities in markets ranked 100-210 by Nielsen where no over-the-air broadcast opportunity was available.
In addition to featuring The WB's celebrated primetime line-up and #1 rated Kids' WB!, The WB 100+ Station Group centrally programs all 108 of its stations with top syndicated fare, including first-run talk, reality and action-adventure series, popular off-network shows, movies, animation and more. The programming runs in across-the-board time periods and is supported by marketing campaigns created by the station group's in-house department.
The WB 100+ Station Group is a local cable-delivered station group that is affiliated with The WB Television Network and is exclusive to markets ranked 100-210.
Natalie Anderson, The WB 100+ Station Group 818-977-8244
"Paul McGuire, The WB Publicity" (818) 977-0040