Storm Leaves Boston Stations with a lot of Makegoods

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The February storm that pounded New England was great for the news departments.

The sales department?

Not so much.

Media Life Magazine reports that the snow during February, shutting down schools and knocking out power, and the storms led to dozens of makegoods on Boston TV stations.

As the storms crept in, stations preempted regular programming during the day and in primetime for local weather coverage.

The widespread power outages also led to audience declines for many shows because people didn’t have any way to power their televisions.

Since then, stations have been offering makegoods for advertisers whose commercials were preempted or whose ads aired in programming that did not reach guaranteed rating points.

“Agencies work closely with stations to work out appropriate makegoods in the event of a storm, not only to keep purchased audience levels, but to maintain the integrity of the buy,” says Tracie Manna Chinetti, associate director of broadcast at Blitz Media in Boston.

She says most stations have been helpful, sometimes even proactively moving spots to more favorable positions before the preemptions occur.

“There are also occasions when partial makegoods can be negotiated,” Chinetti says. “These are common if regular programming runs, but audience levels are diminished due to power outages.”

Despite the impact of the storms, TV in Boston is pacing slightly ahead of last year when discounting 2012 political dollars. Pricing is down slightly with no extra inventory pressure coming from political candidates.

Most of the major categories have boosted spending this year, including telecom, fast food, auto and cable. Advertisers looking to get on the air late will pay a 20 to 25 percent increase in rates.

“I am not aware of any major categories dramatically decreasing spending,” says Chinetti.

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