Understanding Philadelphia’s Media Market

Philadelphia is the country’s fourth largest media market. The landscape of each region’s designated market area (DMA) can be vastly different, just as Philadelphia is unique from other big cities.

Understanding the intricacies of the Philadelphia media market and how it compares to other regions is critical to a successful media relations strategy. Below, we breakdown a few of the media market’s challenges and opportunities:


1. More Media & More Beats

Philadelphia is an incredibly news-rich environment. We have major broadcast affiliates, radio outlets like WHYY and KYW, dailies like The Philadelphia Inquirer, diverse outlets like Philadelphia Tribune and AL DÍA, business news through Philadelphia Business Journal, and niche publications such as Technical.ly Philly, Generocity, and Philadelphia Citizen (to name a few).

Having a wider range of news media in the city gives publications and their editorial teams more freedom to drill down on coverage and focus on specific beats. For example, in a smaller media market, such as Reading, Pennsylvania, there may be only one real estate reporter responsible for covering all development initiatives in the region. However, in Philadelphia, there are beat-specific reporters covering everything from luxury homes, preservation, and building design to transportation and affordable housing policy.

Having more media outlets, more reporters, and more specific beats creates a greater opportunity for Philadelphia-based organizations to target reporters and tell their stories in a meaningful way.


2.“The City of Neighborhoods” – and New Jersey and Delaware

Philadelphia has earned the moniker “The City of Neighborhoods” and this nickname also translates into understanding our media market. Smaller communities and local neighborhoods have their own hyper-local news, such as West Philly Local and Northeast Times.

If you are not familiar with the city, it could be easy to underestimate hyper-local outlets due to having a smaller staff and readership. However, these communities are incredibly tight-knit and their media outlets have a small, yet dedicated and invested audience. In fact, The Philadelphia Inquirer struggled for years trying to compete with the small but mighty Northeast Times.

Philadelphia is also interesting because media coverage expands outside city borders into Delaware and southern New Jersey. For example, WHYY has Delaware-specific reporters and in May 2022, The Philadelphia Inquirer launched its “Down The Shore” newsletter.


3.Heightened Competition

Philadelphia is home to more than 1.5 million people. Even though there are a number of media outlets, there is also higher competition for coverage. On any given day, your news or announcement is competing with rapidly breaking news and countless other events and announcements throughout the city.


The above are just a few considerations to keep in mind when developing media relations strategies. Working closely with a PR or communications partner who is knowledgeable about Philadelphia’s media landscape, and keeps a tab on news trends and reporter beats is critical.

For more on successfully working with local media, check out additional Maven insights, “15-Minute Mini Media Training” and “8 Tips To Determine Newsworthiness.”

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