WDIV Connects With Nextdoor Neighborhoods

WDIV, Graham Media’s Detroit NBC affiliate, is partnering with Nextdoor, the free and private social network for neighborhoods, to boost conversations around local news in communities across the Detroit area.

Mike Katona

“It gives us an opportunity to connect with our viewers on a very specific, geo-targeted neighborhood level,” says Mike Katona, Graham’s digital product manager.

WDIV can not only post relevant and interesting news stories to specific Nextdoor neighborhoods in Metro Detroit, but also engage residents in the stories it works on.

Through open-ended questions and Nextdoor polls, WDIV can hear directly from residents about the various issues affecting them.

Dustin Block

“Discussing local news with neighbors is an essential way to build a strong community and an informed civic dialogue,” says Dustin Block, WDIV’s digital executive producer.

“We hope that the stories we share lead to further community discussions about the topics that matter most to you.

There are more than 140 Detroit neighborhoods on Nextdoor.

“It really allows us to be a member of that community and target our news coverage and events that are of interest to them,” Katona says.

“We had a water outage a few days ago in a certain area, and in addition to doing our normal broadcast about that, we also targeted that section, that neighborhood, that community, posted some information and shared the news about it.”

If there is an article/story that WDIV does not share that residents would like to discuss with neighbors, participants can use the “Share on Nextdoor” icon that will be accessible on all of WDIV’s news stories.

Since Facebook change its algorithms earlier this year to favor posts from friends and family over local news, does this give WDIV an advantage?

“When we are targeting that news message to specific communities that have a built in interest in it, they for sure are going look at the story, share their comments, and participate in a poll,” Katona says.

He adds that right now Graham is working with Nextdoor exclusively in the Detroit and San Antonio markets, and is looking to roll out the agreement in other Graham markets.

“We can reach out to those communities and find out what the pulse of what’s going on there, and build stories off of that, we can throw questions out to those communities and just ask for feedback. It’s us being members of those communities.”

Nextdoor verifies people’s addresses who want to join their network neighborhood on NextDoor to establish that they are members of that neighborhood.

Instead of the “like” icon on Facebook, Nextdoor uses a “thank” button to signal the content they care about.

“It’s a rewarding word to hear,” Katona says.

WLS Names David Lee VP Of Creative Services

David Lee

WLS, the ABC O&O in Chicago, has named David Lee vice president of audience development and creative services effective March 26.

John Idler

“David has been a creative force in the ABC station group and it’s exciting to have someone with his diverse experience and vision join WLS,” said John Idler, WLS’ general manager.

“David’s creative instincts combined with his expertise mining the digital space make him the ideal person to lead our station’s talented Creative Services Department.”

Lee comes to WLS from KTRK, the ABC O&O in Houston, where he held the same title.

Prior to joining KTRK, Lee worked as the creative services director at KFSN, the ABC-owned affiliate in Fresno, Calif., and at KXLY, the ABC affiliate in Spokane, Wash.

Lee was born and raised in Great Falls, Mont., and graduated from Montana State University with a degree in film and television production.

After college and a brief stint working in Hollywood, Lee began his TV career in Great Falls producing commercials, promotions and directing newscasts.

He also worked at WMAZ in Macon, Ga., and for 10 years at KMSP in Minneapolis.

Lee has been a part of many Emmy-award winning productions, and is a graduate of NAB’s 2012 Broadcast Leadership Training Program.

He currently serves on ABC’s affiliate marketing advisory board.

News Franchises Put WTVR First On Facebook

Social Scorecard this week discovers how a handful of news franchises is used to generate engagement that has put WTVR on top on Facebook in Richmond, Virginia.

WTVR, Tribune’s CBS affiliate in Richmond, Va., is ahead in social media actions in the market over the last six months according to data from audience insight firm Shareablee.

WTVR has more than 2.6 million actions on social, 37% of the total engagement generated by the DMA (No. 55), with more than 7.1 million social actions.

WPER-FM, broadcasting a Christian format and owned by Baker Family Stations, led the market on actions per post with 201.

WRIC, the market’s ABC affiliate owned by Nexstar, led on Twitter during the same period with almost 65,000 actions.

WWBT, the market’s NBC station owned by Raycom led on Instagram with more than 61,000 actions.

Scott Wise

Scott Wise, WTVR’s director of interactive media, says the station’s success on Facebook, and on the television side, is due to a newsroom full of storytellers.

“Sometimes they are investigative stories, sometimes they are hard news, crime stories and sometimes the more heartwarming stories.”

Wise says the station has developed these into news franchises that have been successful on all the station’s platforms — on-air, social and the website.

“Sometimes we put a little teaser on Facebook, then encourage people to watch the full story on the news,” says Wise.

WTVR’s main station brand is Working for You, so Wise says reporters and producers get a little more time to solve people’s problems with local government, with businesses, or with other people.

Heros Among Us, features people making a difference in the community, “positive heartwarming really emotional kind of stories,” says Wise.

Wise says the station has a crime reporter who has deep sources with local law enforcement able to “break stories hours, sometimes days before other folks in the market.”

“We created a franchise around him called Crime Insider. So with that kind of content, we are able to distinguish ourselves on TV, on air, online and on social media and it’s really resonated with folks here in town.”

PLEASE SHARE: Investigators have identified persons of interest in the disappearance of a Middlesex County mother from her front yard, according to Crime Insider sources.

Posted by WTVR CBS 6 News on Tuesday, February 27, 2018

In addition to the franchises mentioned — Problem Solvers, Heros Among Us and Crime Insider —Wise says WTVR has a couple more that help the station generate engagement on Facebook.

I Have a Story finds everyday people who you think you know, “but when you really learn that person’s story, there’s a lot more to the story,” Wise says.

Building Better Minds is another feature that focuses on someone in the schools — a teacher, student or staff member — that “we are dedicated to doing regularly which has helped us build an audience,” says Wise.

Facebook Live is also a staple to the station’s success on Facebook. Recent stories about a woman found murdered, police shootings, and severe weather were streamed live on Facebook.

And a Facebook Live segment called Lunch Break is gaining traction.

“As restaurants announce their openings, we try to get in a couple of days before the opening, interview the chef, interview the owner, take the tour to give people an idea of what’s happening in the community,” says Wise.

And the station also will use Facebook as a tool to drive users to view the station’s newscasts, although “Facebook themselves have told us that really isn’t what they recommend just because people see Facebook differently and the timing of when they see the posts might not jive with your newscast.”

Wise says the station takes the long view when it comes to its Facebook strategy.

“If we are consistently engaging people on social media, the hope and the odds are that those people will, when it’s time to make a decision as to who to turn on that morning or that evening, that they will choose the people with whom they are engaging with on social media. And our ratings have been doing well, we have been on the increase for the last four or five years.”

Brand Connections

Lara Logan Talks ’60 Minutes’ On Kreiner’s Korner

Lara Logan

Well, she doesn’t actually talk for 60 minutes. It’s more like 34 minutes, but she does talk about her time on the show, 60 Minutes, on one of Jeff Kreiner’s podcasts, Kreiner’s Korner.

Among the topics discussed include her favorite and most memorable stories she’s done on 60 Minutes, stories about the Holocaust, the gorilla doctors of Africa, the story about Iraqi orphans, and the story about vets who do extraordinary things.

Kreiner also asked her about what motivates her to do the stories she does at CBS News, covering war zones around the world, and where she got the passion to cover news.

Among those who have sat down in front of Kreiner’s mic are Les Moonves, president of CBS, Harry Jessell, editor of TVNewsCheck, Jeff Fager, executive producer for 60 Minutes, Van Gordon Sauter, former president of CBS News; Sean McManus, CBS Sports chairman; Neal Shapiro, former president of NBC News; Kenny Lawrence, former local TV marketing executive and current general manager of WJHL; Scott Jones, editor of FTVLive; and yours truly.

Jeff Kreiner is a former VP and creative director at both CBS and NBC, and the author of two books, is now sitting down with television leaders and recording conversations as podcasts that can be heard on iTunes and Soundcloud.

KVLY Flies High For North Dakota Make-A-Wish

Some sick children and their families in North Dakota will have their wishes come true soon thanks to KVLY and North Dakota Make-A-Wish Miles Drive.

Last week, KVLY, Gray’s NBC affiliate in Fargo, N.D., partnered with the North Dakota Make-A-Wish Chapter to make history with the first North Dakota Make-A-Wish Miles Drive.

The drive collected unused airline miles to help North Dakota children with critical illnesses.
The final tally was 544,937 miles donated. Those miles will translate into airline tickets for North Dakota children with critical illnesses.

Read On

WTAE Airing Live Congressional Debate In Pittsburgh

Voters in the Pittsburgh will get a chance to see and hear from the candidates running for Pennsylvania’s 18th Congressional District on Saturday night at 7.

The live hour-long debate will air commercial free on Hearst’s ABC affiliate WTAE, which is partnering with The League of Women Voters of Greater Pittsburgh (LWVGP) to host the debate between Democrat Conor Lamb and Republican Rick Saccone.

Jim Parsons

“We are committed to providing citizens with the information they need to cast their vote in this special election,” said Jim Parsons, WTAE’s news director.

“Our mission centers on non-partisan voter service, citizen education and advocacy,” said Maureen Mamula, LWVGP’s president.

“The public deserves a chance to learn about the candidates’ position on major public policy issues through a high-quality, informative and robust debate.”

WTAE anchor Shannon Perrine will moderate the debate and will be joined by three expert panelists: Bob Mayo, WTAE reporter; Elaine Effort, freelance journalist and former KQV-AM Pittsburgh reporter; and Kathleen Kleinmann of The LWVGP.

The Odds-On Favorites For Oscar Winners

Who will win the Oscar for Best Actor?

And who’s the odds-on favorite to get the Best Actress Oscar?

And what about Best Picture?

Sunday night is the 90th Academy Awards and one of the world’s largest sportsbook, (Bookmaker.eu), has just released the betting odds on this year’s nominations.

See how your picks measure up against the odds makers.

Read On

Brand Connections

WXYZ’s Stephen Clark Retires To Pursue Country Music Career

Not many news anchors write and perform country music.

But WXYZ’s Stephen Clark does. And he’s following his passtion right to Nashville.

Now that he officially retired from his other passion yesterday, being a journalist.

Clark has done it all as an anchor, reporter and TV photographer.

But after 16 years as an anchor and and multi-platform journalist at WXYZ and WMYD, he’s handing in his press card in favor of his guitar and songwriting.

WXYZ and WMYD are Scripps’  ABC and MyNetworkTV affiliates in Detroit.

“I became a journalist more than 40 years ago to tell inspiring stories of ordinary people accomplishing extraordinary things,” said Clark.

“As I begin my retirement, I’m happy to report the story of Detroit’s comeback is perhaps my favorite story over these past 40 years. The reborn, revitalized and re-energized Detroit has inspired me to get involved in my own community and I can’t begin to describe how happy I am to have been even a small part of one of the greatest stories of all time.”

Clark started his career as a newspaper photographer in Colorado.

He worked as a TV photographer, reporter and anchor at stations across the country, including KCNC in Denver, KGTV in San Diego and WCBS in New York.

He ran a news bureau in Washington, D.C., covering political stories for viewers in his home market of Denver.

During his career, Clark reported on some of the biggest stories of our times, including the conflict in Bosnia, the Los Angeles riots, the California wildfires, and the terrorist attacks of 9/11. (Clark was a correspondent for CBS News at the time of the attacks and reported from ground zero.)

Clark has also worked tirelessly with the nonprofit organization he co-founded, Scarlet’s Smile, that is committed to improving the lives of children afflicted with debilitating diseases. The foundation is named for his granddaughter Scarlet who was born with Spinal Muscular Atrophy.

The primary goal of the foundation is to build a million dollar playground in Oakland County where kids of all abilities can play together.

In addition to being able to spend more time with his family, Clark plans to pursue his passion for writing and performing country music. He’s an active member of the Nashville Songwriters Association International.

I’ve got a feeling we’ll be hearing more from Stephen Clark and his guitar.

WCAU-WWSI Hosting Calls About Foster Care

WCAU and WWSI, the NBC and Telemundo stations in Philadelphia owned by NBC, are hosting a live phone bank today for families interested in providing foster care.

The two-and-a-half hour phone bank, starting at 4 this afternoon, will feature recruitment experts from Philadelphia’s Department of Human Services and its 25 provider agencies that will answer the phone lines to provide information in English and Spanish.

“With nearly 6,000 youth in Philadelphia living in foster care at any given time, NBC10 and Telemundo62 are committed to raising awareness about the need for families to provide loving homes for these children,” said Ric Harris, the stations’ general manager

“We are proud to partner with the Philadelphia Department of Human Services and to host a phone bank at our studios to increase the network of resource parents in the city.”

“Our children and youth need dedicated resource parents who can provide loving, stable homes,” said Cynthia F. Figueroa, DHS’ commissioner,

“There is no ‘one size fits all’ resource parent. The children and youth we serve are diverse, and we need resource parents that can provide welcoming homes to all children.”

WJHL Names Jay Quaintance News Director

Jay Quaintance

Kenny Lawrence

WJHL, the CBS and ABC affiliates in Johnson City, Tenn., owned by Nexstar, has named Jay Quaintance as its new news director.

Quaintance comes to WJHL from WATE, the ABC affiliate in Knoxville, where he had been the assistant news director for the past 11 years.

Quaintance started at WATE in 2000 first as the assignment editor, than as the station’s executive producer and managing editor in from 2005 to 2007.

For Quaintance, it’s a return home of sorts as he graduated from East Tennessee State University located in Johnson City.

Quaintance won’t have to drive far from Knoxville as Johnson City is just 100 miles away.

“I’m excited to team up with Jay,” said the station’s general manager, Kenny Lawrence. “He brings great experience, local knowledge, and the drive to advance and complement our goals to be the dependable local news provider for the Tri Cities area.”