Category Archives: local news

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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WITI Wins Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Award

WITI, Tribune’s Fox affiliate in Milwaukee, was named a 2018 Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Award winner for its investigative piece Men on the Margin.

Men on the Margin challenged public opinion about laws put in place to protect children from convicted child sex offenders, laws which may actually put children at even greater risk.

“Our mission is to bring the Milwaukee market news, stories and information that makes a difference every day,” said Chuck Steinmetz, WITI’s general manager, “and Men on the Margin is another outstanding example of that.”

The duPont-Columbia Awards uphold the highest standards in journalism by honoring winners annually, informing the public about those journalists’ contributions and supporting journalism education and innovation, thereby cultivating a collective spirit for the profession.

Every year about a dozen news stories and films are honored by the duPont­-Columbia University Awards for the strength of their reporting, storytelling and impact in the public interest. The winning pieces are selected by the duPont jury from hundreds of entries vetted by a board of screeners. The awards are presented at Columbia University’s Low Library in a ceremony hosted by some of the country’s leading broadcast journalists.

Click here to see all the 2018 winners.

Creativity, Flexibility Drive Best News Topicals

This is Part 4 of our five-part series, Building Viewership with News Topicals. Read Part 3 here.

News topicals can take many forms.

Some creative services directors and topical writer/producers say recording the main news anchor sitting behind the anchor desk works best for their station.

Others see value in shooting their news anchor in the newsroom, cinéma vérité style.
And other stations try to feature real people and sound bites, along with reporter teases from the field.

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Check Out WGN’s 11 Emmy Award Winning Examples

WGN, Chicago’s independent station owned by Tribune, earned 11 Chicago/Midwest Emmy Awards last week.

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Finding And Keeping News Topical Writer/Producers

This is Part 3 of our five-part series Building Viewership with News Topicals. Read Part 2 here.

Creative services directors are finding it harder and harder to find good news topical writer/producers.

Some grow their own, plucking them right out of college, perhaps as interns, and train them. Others look internally, finding someone already at the station who wants to be creative.

With bigger salaries to offer, CSDs in bigger markets have the ability to recruit from smaller markets, but that presents challenges, too.

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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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