Boston station's site has a healthy glow

By Published on .

Good health is a killer. A killer app, that is.

It's the focal point Boston's WCVB-TV is using to market its Web site and, by extension, the station itself.

"We're doing more incorporation of other departments within the station and are putting new features up on the site as part of this," said Neil Ungerleider, the ABC affiliate's managing editor for news. "We've enhanced our database areas to contain some more of our popular features."


Both from an educational and treatment standpoint, Boston seems to be a real hub for medicine.

"We find that when we ask our audience what is of interest to them, medical news rates very highly," Mr. Ungerleider said. "Their interest covers everything from medical advances [to] medical issues, as well as trend stories."

To meet this need, as well as to cross-promote medical news pieces that appear frequently on-air, WCVB has archived two years of medical news online. Although Bank of Boston and Tufts Health Plan have banner ads on this section of the site, WCVB doesn't emphasize alliances and cross-promotions for these archives.

Instead, said Mr. Ungerleider, the station relies on its own on-air marketing capabilities.

"Our primary method of marketing is on-air promotion. One of the advantages that local TV stations have in marketing Web sites is that you have the same marketing power available to you that you give to promoting the site," he said. "We bring that to Web site promotion not only in terms of produced on-air promos, but by making sure we mention our site if we have a particular related story [online]."


Even though on-air site mentions intertwine with site market goals, the two media are sold separately.

"We do not throw in our Web site as value-added, because we believe if we give away Web advertising now, we'll never be able to come back later and charge for it," Mr. Ungerleider said.

WCVB's site is linked to the site, which also links to three other Boston TV stations and the Boston Globe.

Because WCVB is carried and promoted by, but also competes for advertisers with it, a potential for conflict exists. But Mr. Ungerleider said it hasn't been a problem.

"We're not competing with them, we're partnering with them," he said.

Copyright May 1997, Crain Communications Inc.

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