The Media Markets and Geography

Posted by JJinPhila on February 8, 2009 

Pennsylvania, and the whole nation, is divided into media markets, especially in regard to television.  There are seven media markets in the state.  Centre County is in what's known as Johnstown/Altoona/State College Media Market or the Central Pennsylvania Media Market (CPMM) .  A map can be found here: 

http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt?open=512&objID=3056&mode=2

(Well, I think I have it working)

Basically, that means that most of the people reading this who also live in Centre County will be watching their local news on a station that is in or near, Johnstown, Altoona or State College.   So will most people living in counties from Indiana in the west, Bedford in the south, to Potter in the north, will watch the local news on one of these stations. 

For nearly 20 years, any time that Mr. Gricar was on television, he'd be seen in this area, and usually only in this area.  Sure, for a really big story, like the sniper on the Penn State campus, maybe there might a short clip here in Philadelphia, but not usually.  Until he disappeared, I do not recall ever seeing him on television in Philadelphia.  Mr. Gricar was not always on television, every night, but after nearly 20 years, he was seen a fair amount of time.  Some people anywhere in this media market would see him and might recognize him.

Mr. Gricar car was found about 50 miles, as the crow flies, from his home in Bellefonte.  Had he driven 25 miles from his home, he'd still be in CPMM.  Had he driven 50 miles to the south, or the west, or the north, he would still be in the CPMM.  Only when he drove more than 25 miles to the east, would he be out of his home media market.  The odds that this is random are probably less than one in four.  

 The question is why?  There can be five answers:

1.  It is a complete coincidence (a one in four chance).

2.  Mr. Gricar was meeting someone who was in Lewisburg at the time.  Maybe he/she lived there, was visiting there, or would meet Mr. Gricar at a mid point, i.e. he/she had to drive about the same distance.

3.  Mr. Gricar did not wish to be in an area where he would likely be recognized.

4.   The person Mr. Gricar was meeting was recognizable in the CPMM and didn't want to be recognized.

5.  Some combination of 2, 3, and/or 4.

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