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Agrimarketing : October 2007
i-26 AgriMarketing October 2007 LOCAL AG TV IS BACK by Jeremy Povenmire, NAFB Member Services Manager Over the years the supply of agri- cultural news and information to rural America has had its ups and downs. Changing economics, industry consolidation, and popula- tion shift from rural areas have influ- enced this across the country. The medium arguably most affected by this volatility has been farm television. Scott Eymer became the GM of KMEG Television in Sioux City, IA, in January 2006. He relocated to Iowa from Boise, ID. Upon his arrival, it didn't take Eymer long to realize the significant presence of agriculture in the Sioux City area. "The KMEG signal covers a 23- county designated market area (DMA)," Eymer says. "Only four of those counties are considered the metro area of Sioux City. It basically boils down to the fact that two-thirds of our signal population resides out- side the four-county metro area. After learning this, and seeing first- hand the level of agriculture in the area, we began running a few stories on farm issues. Little did I realize we had ignited the spark that would begin a whole new era at KMEG. "We were launching a new morning newscast and made two decisions that would be key to KMEG evolving into an ag station," he says. "First, we decided to sign- on at 5:00 a.m. with local news rather than 5:30 a.m. like our competitors. Second, as we planned our content for the new show, we decided to add local stories and features relating to agriculture in the first hour and then transition to a more traditional broadcast in the second hour. AG SPONSORS "Our morning meteorologist started doing ag-related weather informa- tion, like soil temperatures during planting etc. We had an ag specialist on our marketing team who attracted local ag-related business to the sta- tion. The new morn- ing show premiered with implement deal- ers, seed and fertilizer providers and crop insurance specialists as sponsors. We looked like an ag sta- tion because Dennis Morrice was on our marketing team." Because the sta- tion already had someone on staff with knowledge, experience and back- ground in agriculture, plus terrific ag-related contacts, it was a logical step to promote Morrice to the posi- tion of Farm Dir according to Eymer. Morrice began his farm broadcasting career in 1987. He had been with KICD Radio, Spencer, IA, and KFEQ Radio, St. Joseph, MO. Before joining KMEG, he was Exec Dir of the Kansas Soybean Association. "I was ready to get back into farm broadcasting and found the opportunity at KMEG to be a great fit for both of us," Morrice says. "They are very dedicated to delivering ag programming to their audience." HUMAN INTEREST Just prior to Morrice being named Farm Dir at KMEG, morning and midday News Anchor Sarah Te Slaa began doing a weekly program, "Proud to be a Hometown Farmer." Each week she goes out in the area and features a producer, their family, and their operation. As the audience support for ag programming continued to increase, so did the support from paid adver- tising to be part of the message. Soon there was enough momentum in expanding the ag time on KMEG that Scott and Dennis decided to enlist the advice of some producers for content. They ended up organizing an "Agri- culture Summit" that included pro- ducers and farm organization repre- sentatives from Lincoln, NE, Des Moines, IA, and Sioux Falls, SD. The result from some of the summit advice was Eymer 's weekly program "Farm Focus." The program showcases current national farm news, regional news, and even local stories to the Sioux City area. It runs every Friday morning and Friday midday. The program is in addition to the market reports Morrice does each morning, noon and evening news cycle. "I started doing Farm Focus from behind the anchor desk in the studio," Eymer explains. "I have gradually worked my way out into the field each week covering differ- ent news in the area. Again, I think this increases the relevance to our audience.." He started his career nearly 31 years ago working at a television station that carried a substantial amount of agriculture programming. "I feel like my career has come full circle in many ways. Maybe it is just a case that things are back to the way they should be!" he says. KMEG Television is a member of the NAFB and is located just outside Sioux City, IA, in Dakota Dunes, SD. The station covers 23 counties in its DMA and is online at www.kmeg14. com. AM KMEG Television's Farm Dir Dennis Morrice and News Anchor Sarah Te Slaa. At right, KMEG's GM Scott Eymer.
November December 2006
November December 2007