Category Archives: digital media

How Stations Use News Topicals On Facebook

This is the final part of our five-part series, Building Viewership with News Topicals. Read Part 4 here.

Across the country, millions of people watch the entertainment programming TV stations provide during the day and at night. So it makes sense for stations to promote their newscasts topically within all that programming in the hopes viewers will stay and watch the next newscast.

For years, this was the only means stations had to recruit news viewers with the news of the day, unless stations bought time on other media, like radio, print or cable.

Then came Facebook.

Facebook provides stations with another — and much more mobile — screen to reach potential news viewers.

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WGN Collects 37,000 Toys For Charity


The WGN Morning News Drive-Thru Toy Drive celebrated its 15th year, the first year benefiting SocialWorks Chicago, a youth empowerment charity.

WGN is Tribune’s Chicago independent.

This five-hour event featured Santa, holiday fun and an appearance by Chance the Rapper. Viewers and companies drove through to drop off a record 37,000 toys for needy kids.

All toys will be donated to Chance The Rapper’s nonprofit SocialWorks, a 501c3 charity, and will be dispersed to Chicagoland children and families in need.

SocialWorks aims to empower youth through the arts, education, and civic engagement while fostering leadership, accessibility, and positivity within the youth throughout Chicago.

As you can see below, Chance the Rapper is also pretty good at weather forecasting.

Chance the Rapper tries his hand as a WGN weatherman

HE'S HIRED! Chance The Rapper tries his hand as a WGN weatherman — and he's preeeeetty good.

Posted by WGN Morning News on Friday, December 8, 2017

KARE Wins duPont Award For Investigative Reporting

KARE, Tegna’s Minneapolis NBC affiliate, won an Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award for investigative reporting. It was recognized for investigative reporting in three pieces.

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Danielle Ray Takes Over Marketing At WDAF

Danielle Ray

WDAF, Tribune’s Fox affiliate owned in Kansas City, named Danielle Ray to be the station’s new creative services director.

Ray starts the first week in January. Ray will continue to be the CSD for KARK, Nexstar’s NBC affiliate in Little Rock, Ark., through the holidays.

“Danielle is an innovative creative ambassador,” said Tracy Brogden Miller, WDAF’s general manager, “bringing both big picture marketing and digital experience to Kansas City. We are delighted to have her as part of our Fox 4 family.”

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WBZ’s 11 P.M. News Top-Rated In Boston

WBZ, the CBS O&O in Boston, was No. 1 at 11 p.m. in both Households and adults 25-54 in the November sweeps.

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What It Takes To Create Quality News Topicals

This is Part 2 of a five-part series, Building Viewership with News Topicals. Read Part 1 here.


Being a news topical writer/producer is one of the toughest jobs in local TV news marketing.

And to do that job well, the experts say, you need to have a passion for journalism, a thorough knowledge of what news is covering in the newscast, the ability to recognize what stories will resonate with viewers, and the confidence to promote those stories even if they’re not the news department’s top stories.

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WXYZ Promo Makes Free Holiday Gift List

This clever and well-executed promo for WXYZ’s new app is sure to get many downloads. Phil Wrobel, creative services director at the Scripps-owned Detroit ABC affiliate, sent me this note along with the spot.

“I thought this would be a fun promo to share with you. Our goal was to reinforce that our viewers and users can connect with us and get our content on any platform. With the holidays right around the corner, we thought it was a perfect opportunity promote our brand on all the OTT platforms since many of these devices will probably be on a lot of people’s list this year.”

“We had a little fun with the copy and the timing of the spot was perfect for the shopping season. I hope you enjoy!”

KDFW’s Heartwarming Story Catches Christmas Spirit

On Tuesday nights during the summer, for the past 40 years, I get together with some old  friends to play softball. No uniforms, no umpire, no teams, really; we pick different teams each night.

Just the game. And the friendships. OK, and a few beers.

So this story from Fox Dallas O&O KDFW has special meaning for me.

A grieving husband who lost his wife found solace playing softball. He was going to skip Christmas this year, until his softball team showed up to show him the meaning of the holiday season, and sportsmanship.

Tributes Pour In Honoring Lee Minard

Lee Minard

Lee Minard, former creative services director at KLAS in Las Vegas, died last week at his home in Fountain Hills, Arizonia.

The local TV marketing community is a tight-knit group, especially among long-time veterans.

Many of us are thankful to the mentorship of others in the business who helped us along the way, and so it is for many who crossed paths with Lee Minard.

Lee had an especially long and varied career in television, starting as an art director in 1962 at KEPR Pasco, Wash. Over the years he worked at WREX Rockford, Ill.; KIMA Yakima, Wash.; WFAA Dallas; KCNC and KUSA in Denver; WDIV Detroit; WCBS New York; and WMAR Baltimore. In addition to his work in local TV, Lee also had top marketing roles at PAX-TV and the Food Network.

Last week, I wrote a short piece announcing Lee’s death and asked for anyone to write a comment. Family and friends sent me emails while others posted their comments at the end of that column.

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Building Viewership With News Topicals, Part 1

Tonight at 11, there’s a big change in the weather forecast.

That’s one of the better 4-second news topicals you can write.

Granted, not one you can use every night, only when conditions warrant, yet weather is the main reason people watch local news, and a ‘change’ in the forecast creates a thirst for news.

News topicals, those ubiquitous promos embedded in programming enticing viewers to watch the next newscast, have been a staple of local TV news since forever.

Effective topical news promotion can lead to sampling, and during sweeps, possibly into ratings.

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