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Pittsburgh Designated Media Area Ranking bogus?

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I'm gonna have a tendency to start sounding conspiratorial here, but I swear something is up when a large TV, radio and newspaper market like Pittsburgh gets basically shafted on a DMA ranking list. Thanks to SunD for pointing this out in the Seattle compared to Pittsburgh thread.

Pittsburgh has the skyscrapers, fortune 500 companies, and sports teams to equate to a Seattle, a Miami etc. but when it comes to that all important media market size . . . it is the size of Portland!?!?

Check it out:

http://tv.backchannelmedia.com/dma_directory

This is all fine and good until you realize a glaring omission . . . Pittsburgh's ABC, WB and UPN affliates are those networks sole provider to the "seperate" market of Wheeling-Steubenville (as well as most of the the "seperate" market of Youngstown-E. Liverpool-Weirton), the Newspaper of the "hometown" Pittsburgh Pirates owner is also the main paper read in those DMA markets. Not to mention how the PG Pavillion and the Pittsburgh International Airport is basically so close to them it hurts. All this and yet Pittsburgh is treated like its as close in the DMA rankings as San Diego would be to Wheeling!?!

This would move Pittsburgh up from #22 to #19 maybe not huge but instead of the Orlando's and Portland's it is more in line with the Cleveland's and Denver's and Miami's!

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Similar issues are common with other major DMAs. It's similar to what is called "spill" in radio. Steubenville is not part of the Pittburgh radio market, but you can easily receive Pittsburgh stations etc. Pittsburgh is not being slighted. I mentioned on a similar topic before, that Salt Lake City's DMA is essentially the whole state. Pittsburgh is surrounded by other markets, albeit, smaller markets, but markets nonetheless.

DMA size can't be viewed in the same way as straight up population. It is measured differently and for a different purpose.

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We're forever being made to look smaller than we are. I have kind of resigned myself to that fact.

But I don't mind too much in this case. Orlando and Portland are not really viewed as small cities. It isn't like we got ranked amongst places like Akron or Erie.

My only problem is when Cleveland and Pittsburgh get lumped into the same region, and because Cleveland is a bit larger, or is perceived as larger, it winds up being the regional hub/hq for whatever (like Clearchannel Entertainment for instance). That drives me freaking nuts.

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But again, DMA's don't = a city's size. No one should look at a TV DMA map as representative of metro size or significance. They have an totally different purpose and their designation is not based on standard criteria. Trust me, I use these maps often for my job.

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I'm gonna have a tendency to start sounding conspiratorial here, but I swear something is up when a large TV, radio and newspaper market like Pittsburgh gets basically shafted on a DMA ranking list. Thanks to SunD for pointing this out in the Seattle compared to Pittsburgh thread.

Pittsburgh has the skyscrapers, fortune 500 companies, and sports teams to equate to a Seattle, a Miami etc. but when it comes to that all important media market size . . . it is the size of Portland!?!?

Pittsburgh is not the size of Seattle or Miami. It is smaller than Seattle or Miami by over 1,000,000 people! Pittsburgh is the size of Portland. And if current growth trends continue, it will be smaller than Portland! What is so wrong about Portland that you can't accept it as a peer city?

Seattle/Miami & Pittsburgh are not peer cities. Portland & Pittsburgh are. The only reason Pittsburgh has more sports franchises & corporate HQs over Portland is age. You obsess on the trivial too much. Functionally, Pittsburgh & Portland are very close.

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Actually there are enough similarities between all of the cities, but that is neither here nor there.... speaking of trivial. Please not another waste of a thread like the Pgh Seattle one.

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Mj, to your first point that there are a few other metros with such "disputes" might be true . . . I don't know of another DMA though that provides 3 network affilates, and has it's neighbor's newspaper owner as the owner of it's "hometown" MLB franchise. That is a pretty obvious omission, close to non-debatable.

As far as the relevance of the DMA in the 21st century I tend to agree it is not as strong a factor as it once was BUT! in the world of Hollywood Blvd., Madison Ave., moviemakers, major corporate advertisers etc. it is THE BIBLE. If you ran the national corporate account for Microsoft ads or wanted to know where your retail chain could get the most bang for its ad buck in a new market territory. The large accounts, business VIPs, ad execs, and image makers out there follow DMA rankings as if they came down from Mt. Sinai, internet and cellphones be damned.

I don't wish to make this another "compare to Seattle" thread, but Portland includes Salem in its DMA. Your right Mj, that DMA's don't equate to metro population, from what I see they are a more megalopolis type ranking. Portland including Salem's metro area as defined by the census, Orlando, Fla. including two additional census defined metro areas, etc. Wheeling-Steubenville makes Pittsburgh #19 and it really should, the Pirates owner provides its major Newspaper and 3 Pittsburgh Network affilates are the sole provider of that network programming in the area. The Youngstown DMA is debatable since the southern area of it is also dependent on Pittsburgh stations (E Liverpool, Weirton etc.).

DMA's may not be relevant in 20 years, but the 10% of the people in this nation with the "money" and constantly needing a guide on how to distribute their investments NEVER go against the DMA rankings. I don't get how ABC, UPN, and WB as well as the Pirates owner Newspaper somehow don't have Pittsburgh media/advertising/retail impacting the Wheeling-Steubenville DMA!

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As far as the relevance of the DMA in the 21st century I tend to agree it is not as strong a factor as it once was BUT! in the world of Hollywood Blvd., Madison Ave., moviemakers, major corporate advertisers etc. it is THE BIBLE.

Nope. It's not even that much of a bible for ad buyers anymore with smaller, more concise cable submarkets. DMA's mean little these days of cable, satellite, & internet.

I don't wish to make this another "compare to Seattle" thread, but Portland includes Salem in its DMA.

And does Pittsburgh include Greensburg? Salem doesn't have its own T.V. stations & other than the state govt., prison, Supra, & the University, the area is a Portland bedroom community.

DMA's may not be relevant in 20 years, but the 10% of the people in this nation with the "money" and constantly needing a guide on how to distribute their investments NEVER go against the DMA rankings.

You are completely wrong about DMA's. They are not commonly used & are arbitrary unlike census numbers.

I don't get how ABC, UPN, and WB as well as the Pirates owner Newspaper somehow don't impact the Wheeling-Steubenville DMA!0

Enough about the Pirates owner newspaper. It means nothing. The owner of the Trailblazers owns The Sporting News so I guess that makes America Portland's DMA using that silly logic.

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SunD, I agree DMA's aren't the rock they were in the days of Walter Cronkite etc., but the Census numbers for certain aren't a replacement for them seeing how Salem is NOT Portland, how Daytona Beach is NOT Orlando is NOT Melbourne/Titusville according to the US Census.

Say I won the lottery tommorrow and wanted to put 20% in national retail, 30% in media outlets, 30% in venture capital for tech and law firms, and 20% in govt. bonds. 80% of that money would depend not so much on Census numbers (take Miami for instance tons of people but unlike Atlanta, NY, LA etc. a major rich vs. poor element thus a high cenus ranking but a comparatively low DMA rank). Where would I go SunD to get the "bible" of market demos?

Census as I've mentioned is out b/c people don't neccesarily equal market size or market spending, also because Orlando transverses three census designations, Portland two. What link do you use or at least source do you use to see these cable micros etc. Also the internet is erroding the DMA's but nothing on the Internet has replaced the localized ad dollars or localized market entry.

Also on a final note your remark on the Pirates' owner newspaper not being relevant is bogus. There is a major difference between "national media" newspapers and "local media" newspapers. The whole point of DMA's is to compare "local media" or "local markets". Pittsburgh for decades was the HQ for the world-wide "Stars and Stripes" publication, advertisers wouldn't look at DMA's when they bought adspace in that newspaper, just as they wouldn't look at DMA's when they bought adspace in the Sporting News. Think about it this way for a second if the Newspaper owner in Wheeling wanted to buy his "hometown" ballclub then shouldn't that LOCAL paper buying the LOCAL team be in the same DMA?!

SunD, what is the bible for me investing $150 million in local market ads and expanding a retailer or industrial firm in a dozen new markets? What is the benchmark stats for these decisions if not DMA?

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btw, I'm as much of a fan of these DMA's as you are SunD, so if there are a comprehensive alternative to them I'd like to know, I've just never heard of any "industry insiders" quote anything else on a overall comparative scale then the DMA's.

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SunD, I agree DMA's aren't the rock they were in the days of Walter Cronkite etc., but the Census numbers for certain aren't a replacement for them seeing how Salem is NOT Portland, how Daytona Beach is NOT Orlando is NOT Melbourne/Titusville according to the US Census.

There are areas in Pittsburgh's DMA outside of the metro area too. Salem has been back & forth between Portland & not. Functionally, they are one market with many nodes, Salem being the most southerly one. Take away the state govt. & Marion County's commute #s would place it safe within the census definitions.

Say I won the lottery tommorrow and wanted to put 20% in national retail, 30% in media outlets, 30% in venture capital for tech and law firms, and 20% in govt. bonds. 80% of that money would depend not so much on Census numbers (take Miami for instance tons of people but unlike Atlanta, NY, LA etc. a major rich vs. poor element thus a high cenus ranking but a comparatively low DMA rank). Where would I go SunD to get the "bible" of market demos?

You would look at census #s or #s put together by a demographics or marketing consultant using census #s or state #s. DMAs are arbitrary. You only use them when doing a mass ad buy which most people don't do anymore with speciality T.V. & smaller geographic cable T.V. ad zones.

What link do you use or at least source do you use to see these cable micros etc.

I just know my local comcast ad area. Call the local cable provider to get those questions answered.

The whole point of DMA's is to compare "local media" or "local markets".

No, the whole point of DMA's is to measure broadcast television territory & nothing else. Newspapers have nothing to do with DMAs. I have seen maps posted showing areas where certain papers have high circulations before, maybe you could google up one of those.

SunD, what is the bible for me investing $150 million in local market ads and expanding a retailer or industrial firm in a dozen new markets?

Good marketing & demographics consultants. If you went strictly by DMA's, you would advirtise the same products in Provo as Park City & if you know anything about those two places, they are nothing alike culturally.

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Local Newspapers do use the DMA's SunD, and my point of Wheeling should be a part of the Pittsburgh DMA is driven further home with this (hometown newspaper buys hometown Pirates, Pittsburgh should be shown to be hometown to Wheeling).

http://www.ad-placement.com/dma.htm

click on any of the DMAs Sun, and it will take you to all the newspapers of that DMA.

As far as the relevance of DMA's, maybe we are misunderstanding each other when I state things like "bible", I know there is a market and role for consultant firms to narrow in on a niche or even a sub region, but again what is the base? what is the first thing (even if it becomes modified) that ad people, business people and companies that want to franchise or expand look at. If DMA's are so irrelevant, why are they constantly cited as an intro to a place when it comes to money. Again I am certain that serious business people dig deeper but only AFTER narrowing down (and throwing lesser SEEMING DMA's like Pittsburgh) out of the pile. That is what really I worry about. If people would dig deeper into Pittsburgh--both bad and good--I wouldn't be as zealous as I am, I do realize that there are many many more market stats people look at but again its like the DMA is the product in the window before they decide to stop into the store of that region. I will call my cable company (like that will answer things lol) but I have never heard of any other benchmark bible type of data being available for metros. More detailed and precise data is out there but no systematic overall national ranking on the scale of DMA's, again I'd be glad to be shown I'm wrong on this one, Pittsburgh needs a fair ranking.

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Local Newspapers do use the DMA's SunD,

No. DMA's strictly have to do with broadcast television. You know, that dinosaur television tower way of broadcasting. Newspaper coverage & broadcast t.v. regions are not the same.

and my point of Wheeling should be a part of the Pittsburgh DMA is driven further home with this (hometown newspaper buys hometown Pirates, Pittsburgh should be shown to be hometown to Wheeling).

I still don't understand your point. Please state it differently.

http://www.ad-placement.com/dma.htm

click on any of the DMAs Sun, and it will take you to all the newspapers of that DMA.

What does this have anything to do with newspaper coverage? Each individual newspaper sets there own coverage area, they just don't go out & conform to the DMA.

As far as the relevance of DMA's, maybe we are misunderstanding each other when I state things like "bible", I know there is a market and role for consultant firms to narrow in on a niche or even a sub region, but again what is the base?

Again, DMA's are not that relevant unless you do major ad buys or own a broadcast T.V. station. That's it.

If DMA's are so irrelevant, why are they constantly cited as an intro to a place when it comes to money.

DMA's are rarely mention; population, economic, & demographic figures are used. The only time I ever see DMA's used is a). advirtising, and b). in news articles written by people with ad/marketing background who don't know any better.

Again I am certain that serious business people dig deeper but only AFTER narrowing down (and throwing lesser SEEMING DMA's like Pittsburgh) out of the pile.

Only ad people look at DMA's. The people who make the real decisions (away from advirting) don't give a rip & don't consider them in anyway because there are better sources of data & in more defined spatial areas as opposed to arbitrary DMAs.

again its like the DMA is the product in the window before they decide to stop into the store of that region.

No. Only ad people use them. Nobody else does. And guess what, the smaller the DMA, the better in some cases becauses it makes advirtising more affordable on dinosaur broadcast T.V. that people watch less of these days.

I will call my cable company (like that will answer things lol) but I have never heard of any other benchmark bible type of data being available for metros.

The data bible:

http://www.census.gov

That's it. All the pro's get their numbers here including the people who do the DMA stats.

More detailed and precise data is out there but no systematic overall national ranking on the scale of DMA's, again I'd be glad to be shown I'm wrong on this one, Pittsburgh needs a fair ranking.

Pittsburgh has a fair ranking because it is what it is. Again, DMA's are arbitrary. I don't understand why you care. You are totally misunderstood on the utility & actual use of DMA info.

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Again, DMA size is done on a different criteria and DOES NOT CORRELATE THE SAME AS METRO SIZE.

I work in media and look at market data everyday and no one ever says wow look how small Pittsburgh is, or Kansas City must be a bigger, more significant city because it's DMA boundaries are larger etc. There are media related reasons for these markets.

As the last post mentions, nobody refers to DMAs, except for people like me who buy media. And it's mainly a determination for TV.

You can't look at this from an outside perspective, it's a media tool, and nothing more.

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Wow this has sparked lots of discussion,

First thanks Evergrey I was totally unaware of that census.org site very very cool!

To your points SunD it is unfair, if you are correct that DMA is only relevant for network TV, Wheeling-Steubenville and the southern end of the Youngstown DMA depend on Pittsburgh stations for THREE network affiliates, why then are they seperated? Portland-Salem, Seattle-Tacoma are not.

SunD if you don't realize it most in those DMA's are so close to Pittsburgh that they could drive to the Pittsburgh Airport and the Pittsburgh Concert Pavillion in less time then many in the smaller Pittsburgh census metro area.

As far as the relevance SunD and Mj, you might be right I might be reading a little too much into my outsiders take on business and the media's constantly citing DMA information. Any links or references would be appreciated to just how strongly DMA info is used in franchising, ads, print, retail etc.

Mj I am aware of the differences between census and Neilsen boundaries, Pittsburgh is larger with the DMA then with the census, but on both I have strong beliefs that the upper Ohio Valley of Wheeling, Steubenville, E Liverpool and Weirton should be included in both Census and Neilsen DMA for Pittsburgh. In my mind it's a no-brainer for an area that is solely dependent on Pittsburgh for 3 network affilates, the Newspaper owner having the "hometown" Pirates and the frequent use by those citizens of the Pittsburgh Airport, Concert Pavillion and sizable commuter-to-downtown-Pgh populations (though I guess not enough to tip the balance for the Census or is that due more to the politicos in Columbus or Charleston).

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quote name=PghUSA' date='Nov 6 2005, 02:29 PM' post='241421]

To your points SunD it is unfair, if you are correct that DMA is only relevant for network TV,

Read two posts above.

Wheeling-Steubenville and the southern end of the Youngstown DMA depend on Pittsburgh stations for THREE network affiliates, why then are they seperated? Portland-Salem, Seattle-Tacoma are not.

Salem has zero t.v. stations since they are so close to Portland. Salem is as far away from Portland as Latrobe is to Pittsburgh. Also Tacoma is a part of the Seattle/Tacoma DMA. The Seattle/Tacoma Fox affiliate actually is licenced in Tacoma though they have broadcasted out of Seattle for the last decade. The UPN station is (or may now be was) based out of Tacoma. Seattle & Tacoma is one single market. Drive between the two & it is nothing but dense development.

To sum it up, Wheeling has broadcast affiliates, Salem doesn't, & the ones in Tacoma are shared jointly with Seattle hence the current DMA's are accurate. But again, I don't understand why you care.

SunD if you don't realize it most in those DMA's are so close to Pittsburgh that they could drive to the Pittsburgh Airport and the Pittsburgh Concert Pavillion in less time then many in the smaller Pittsburgh census metro area.

DMA's have nothing to do with commute rates or other variables; broadcast t.v. coverage areas; that's it. If you are not buying or selling ads, you shouldn't give a rip about them.

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SunD,

Three network affiliates that broadcast from "Pittsburgh" serve greater Wheeling/Steubenville.

Where is the difference between this and Seattle-Tacoma?

I'll grant you Steubenville has one affilate and Wheeling has one affilate and then they "share jointly" as you put it the three other network affilates out of Pittsburgh.

Also Latrobe to Pittsburgh is 1:14 travel time, Wheeling to Pittsburgh is 1:15 travel time (according to maps.yahoo.com). Latrobe is in Pittsburgh DMA but Wheeling isn't?

Again three network affiliates in Pittsburgh provide the sole feeds for Wheeling/Steubenville. Pittsburgh should be #19 at the very least (not even counting S. Youngstown).

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SunD,

Three network affiliates that broadcast from "Pittsburgh" serve greater Wheeling/Steubenville.

Where is the difference between this and Seattle-Tacoma?

Wheeling has its own broadcast t.v. stations, Seattle/Tacoma is like one city. If Wheeling/Pittsburgh was like Seattle/Tacoma, your Fox affiliate would be licensed in Wheeling, not Pittsburgh.

Also Latrobe to Pittsburgh is 1:14 travel time, Wheeling to Pittsburgh is 1:15 travel time (according to maps.yahoo.com). Latrobe is in Pittsburgh DMA but Wheeling isn't?

So Salem is functionally closer to Portland than Latrobe. Salem 45 minutes from downtown Portland. Latrobe is in the DMA & Wheeling isn't because Wheeling has their own broadcast t.v. stations.

Again three network affiliates in Pittsburgh provide the sole feeds for Wheeling/Steubenville. Pittsburgh should be #19 at the very least (not even counting S. Youngstown).

Again, you are what you are. Since DMA's don't mean squat, I still don't understand why you care. In a more important stat, I see Portland is trending to pass Pittsburgh in airport boardings.

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People like getting on planes to go away from Portland? :lol:

SunD where is the stat for that?

If our Fox affiliate was licensed in Wheeling? What if their ABC affiliate was licensed in Pittsburgh (which it is along with two other network affilates)? Wouldn't the same rule of thumb apply. Also SunD, I will take your and Mj's word that DMA's don't really mean as much as they used to . . . I do have you to thank in pointing out how Pittsburgh is getting the short end of the stick with them though, in the Seattle comparison on the other thread you had made mention of DMA stats as a reason Seattle was not comparable to Pittsburgh. Since we share 3 affilates with Wheeling/Steubenville like Seattle does with Tacoma (or Tacoma with Seattle), in addition to having Wheeling/Steubenville have a couple of their own TV stations (much like the Seattle area), it makes more sense to include Wheeling/Steubenville.

Oh Morgantown I do see is in the Pittsburgh DMA and has a TV station of its own (possibly more), much like Seattle-Tacoma.

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quote name=PghUSA' date='Nov 6 2005, 10:25 PM' post='241652]

SunD where is the stat for that?

http://www.faa.gov/arp/planning/stats/2004...y_boardings.pdf

If our Fox affiliate was licensed in Wheeling? What if their ABC affiliate was licensed in Pittsburgh (which it is along with two other network affilates)? Wouldn't the same rule of thumb apply.

Again, there is nothing, nothing seperate about Seattle/Tacoma. Wheeling has seperate broadcast t.v.s stations. Apples, oranges.

Also SunD, I will take your and Mj's word that DMA's don't really mean as much as they used to . . . I do have you to thank in pointing out how Pittsburgh is getting the short end of the stick with them though, in the Seattle comparison on the other thread you had made mention of DMA stats as a reason Seattle was not comparable to Pittsburgh.

Among other things. Seattle is a tier or two above Pittsburgh, I was just citing one of the numerous examples that demonstrates that. You in that other thread was trying to imply that Pittsburgh & Seattle are on the same tier (and they are not) & that Pittsburgh & Portland are on seperate tiers (they are not; they are pretty darn alike).

Since we share 3 affilates with Wheeling/Steubenville like Seattle does with Tacoma (or Tacoma with Seattle), in addition to having Wheeling/Steubenville have a couple of their own TV stations (much like the Seattle area), it makes more sense to include Wheeling/Steubenville.

UGGH!!! You are not comperhending the relationship between Seattle & Tacoma; IT IS ONE BIG CITY! (think Minneapolis-St. Paul, just further apart) And Tacoma & Seattle do not have any seperate broadcast t.v. stations. If there is an ABC affiliate in Tacoma, there can not be one in Seattle just as you can't put a ABC affiliate McKeesport when there is already one in Pitt.

Oh Morgantown I do see is in the Pittsburgh DMA and has a TV station of its own (possibly more), much like Seattle-Tacoma.

Does that station in Morgantown broadcast in Pittsburgh & is the main affiliate in Pittsburgh market? If not, it is nothing like Seattle/Tacoma.

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Sun, your link is dead. I did go to the FAA website to try to find it, hunted around on the stats area and this:

http://www.faa.gov/airports_airtraffic/airports/

but no data comparing airports.

As far as your hubric comment on Seattle and Pittsburgh being not equal, even if I conceded the DMA (a ranking you insist is irrelevant thus really not applicable), the other standards such as Fortune 500, Fortune 1000, College populations, Research Univ.'s, Sports teams, and Skyscrapers all point to a link between Seattle and Pittsburgh. If DMA is relevant in general city comparables (something you say isn't so outside some very narrow media circles), then Pittsburgh needs a waiver, either that or you need to make some West Virginians and Ohioans very angry cutting their link to three network affiliates brought to them by Pittsburgh.

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Oh and as compelling as future trending projections of what could be passenger boardings in some point in the future, lets compare present day operations. Although boardings are a nice stat (present ones a bit more relevant), I prefer to look at what the layman would see as airport operations . . . in essence just that aircraft operations at an airport.

According to the latest stats from the FAA ( http://www.airnav.com/airports/ ) these are total commercial aircraft operations at the three in question:

Pittsburgh 971 average aircraft operations 60% of which are commercial

SeaTac- 971 average aircraft operations 59% of which are commercial

Portland 721 average aircraft operations 50% of which are commerical

So average commercial flights to and from those airports break down as:

Pittsburgh 583

SeaTac 573

Portland 361

Sun you keep stating your point but if I asked a 2nd grader which two are most alike in all these categories the answer is obvious, DMA I will give you (Pittsburgh at #19 even with Wheeling etc.) is a bit closer to Portland but moving closer to Seattle. That is irrelevant though in your mind.

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