Nexstar Broadcasting's gamble on pulling its programming from cable outlets seems to have paid off in San Angelo, Texas.
Though Nexstar's KODE (allegedly a Mission Broadcasting station, but come on) finished a distant second to KOAM in the Joplin market, KLST, Nexstar's CBS affiliate in San Angelo topped the February sweeps, according to an article written by John Boyd in the April 2 San Angelo Times-Standard.
That doesn't mean that the station isn't bleeding viewers. Apparently, KLST had a sizable margin over its competitors, which it retained in spite of losing approximately one third of its viewers.
"The sky didn't fall," the article quotes Nexstar chief operating officer Duane Lammers as saying.
What is unusual about the Nielsen ratings is that they indicate that many of the Nexstar station's defectors are headed toward KSAN...the NBC affiliate owned by Mission Broadcasting, Nexstar's doppelganger.
According to the article, "The two stations share a general manager, news director, and (as of) April 11, a newsroom." Apparently, one thing the two stations did not share was a retransmission rights deadline. Apparently, KSAN is still operating on Cox Communications cable in San Angelo. KLST was removed from Cox when Cox refused to pay for retransmission rights, the same as the situation in Joplin, where KODE and KSNF were removed from Cable One.
As always, Lammers was modest about the stations' accomplishment. ''If you want to use television advertising in San Angelo, we're still the two people to talk to," Lammers told the Times-Standard.
The article indicates advertisers are still taking a wait-and-see attitude and are not totally willing to commit money to the Nexstar station.