February 3rd, 2009

Lexus Buys Naming Rights to KDKA Studios

Pittsburgh Business Times

Downtown-based NewsRadio 1020 KDKA has sold the naming rights to the Gateway Center studios in which the radio station has operated for generations to Lexus of North Hills, a Wexford-based car dealership.

CBS Radio, the company that owns KDKA radio along with a handful of other local radio stations, expects the sponsorship with give Lexus “unprecedented exposure to the Pittsburgh radio audience,” according to public release.

The station will broadcast from Lexus of North Hills Studios beginning in March, giving the car dealership an on-air station identification in which its name will be mentioned each hour.

Michael Young, the Pittsburgh Market Manager for CBS Radio, said that radio stations elsewhere have used such sponsorship strategies, but he believes it’s the first time for KDKA.

“First and foremost, what we try and do is we try to be understanding of a customer’s needs and look at what aspects of the radio station can help meet those needs,” he said.

Term of the deal were not disclosed.

One of the country’s oldest radio stations, KDKA ranks as the region’s second-most listened to radio station, as ranked by 2008 Arbitron audience share, behind WDVE 102.5.

Michael Spacc, CBS Radio Pittsburgh’s director of sales, described the deal as a core business strategy of developing marketing campaigns that make advertisers part of the station’s fabric.

“This is an integrated marketing plan with many facets, from customized charity events to online campaigns that build brand awareness,” he said.

KDKA has faced a more difficult climate in which to sell advertising, and Young acknowledged the station experienced some job reductions in the last year.

“We’re certainly in a challenging time right now,” he said. “All media is in terms of the pressures the business climate puts on the economy.”

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