WDIV Focused On More Informed Voter Turnout

Voter turnout in 2014 in key state elections in Michigan was less than 50% in many counties around Detroit.

“As a region, we can do better and should do better,” said Marla Drutz, general manager of WDIV, Graham Media’s NBC affiliate in Detroit.

To that end, WDIV/ClickOn Detroit launched Your Soapbox, a citizen engagement project, part of the station’s Decision 2018 coverage leading up to the midterm elections.

Through conversations with the people of metro Detroit, Your Soapbox will identify local issues of priority for voters and work to inform and engage diverse viewpoints.

Through the Your Soapbox roadshow, WDIV/ClickOnDetroit will travel across the region to connect with voters and citizens of all ages to encourage voter participation and hear what is important to their lives.

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WISH Unveils Floor-To-Ceiling Studio Rebuild

WISH, the CW affiliate in Indianapolis owned by Nexstar, just completed a major overhaul of its studios. I got a note from Scott Hainey, WISH’s creative services director, detailing the process along with some pictures of the finished product.

Scott Hainey

WISH does nearly 70 hours of local news and programming in the market. Almost half of its broadcast day, 11.5 hours, is produced in its studios. So Hainey says the station needed a set “which could provide the versatility and space to support our current news production, as well as future growth opportunities.

“In designing the new studio space, we utilized technology to create that functionality and flexibility,” says Hainey.

“From color-changing walls, and monitor arrays, to the nearly 100 LED micro-tiles used in our desks and background scenery; the entire set can change with the push of a button. Rehearsal feedback, from talent and production, has been very positive. We hosted a set preview party a couple weeks ago with partners, clients and community leaders. Of course, it was nice to hear all the ‘oohs and aahs,’ and comments that ‘it looks like a network set,’ but the best compliment, by far, was ‘this set looks like you’.”

“When someone basically says, your set is an extension of your brand as the local news source, you know you’ve accomplish your goal.”

Hainey says when WISH became a Nexstar station last year, the station told Nexstar corporate that they needed a new set to “give us more versatility for presentation and storytelling.”

“They not only said yes, but encouraged us to evolve what was a simple set plan, into what we have today — an entire floor to lighting grid studio remodel. This includes new cameras, robotic pedestals, LED lighting and a list of other technology upgrades, including a new graphics system.”

“We’re lucky to have a great internal design team here at WISH, and at our Nexstar Nashville Design Center. We worked together on this project.”

PromaxBDA Station Summit Focusing On ‘Essentials’

The 2018 PromaxBDA Station Summit in Las Vegas June 25-26 is just weeks away. TV station marketing director and creative services directors are anxiously awaiting the annual conference to hear and see industry speakers, attend educational sessions and meet with their respective networks and syndicators to learn the latest trends that affect marketing local television and local news.

To make sure the content presented at the summit is relevant and timely, PromaxBDA solicits input from a variety of sources including the top VPs of marketing from the networks and broadcast groups, PromaxBDA members who have attended previous summits, and other stakeholders from the program distributors, ownership groups and of course, creative services directors.

In an earlier article, Market Share talked to Rick Swanson, the man charged with programming and marketing the 2018 Station Summit, about how one theme will be the convergence of content and marketing.

Rick Swanson

“Because of the shift in audience behavior,” said Swanson, “we no longer live in a world where the news room does the news stories and the promo department does the promos.”

And while there are sessions designed to prepare local TV stations for the future, Swanson said there is also a track of sessions that will tackle the basics.

“One of the themes that came up this year that was reinforced over and over again was the idea of a track of content we call Essentials,” Swanson said.

He estimates that anywhere from 20% up to 40% of the summit attendees are there for the first time.

“Essentials is designed for a person who might be new to the job of marketing director or creative services director. Maybe they moved over from news or sales within the television station or maybe they came from outside of the industry or maybe they are a recent college graduate. There is any number of different scenarios that might bring somebody to a marketing job at a local television station. So we have a track of content really designed for those people that really goes back to basics and it gives them sort of a Marketing 101 view.”

Spending smarter is always an essential to make sure you’re getting a return on your marketing investment.

Ashley Colette Gonzalez

Emerson Spartz

Spending Smarter: Get More ROI from Your Marketing Dollar, presented by Ashley Colette Gonzalez and Emerson Spartz from Dose Media, is focused on new media.

Swanson says this is the session that will show you “how to use social media and the money you spend in social media, how to spend it wisely, how to make it work harder for you. When do you need to spend money, when do you not spend money, the difference between earned media and paid media. All of these questions around a media plan if you will, this is going to be the session that balances all of that out.”

Greg Derkowski

Another session in the Essentials track is called Topical Promos That Kick Butt, presented by Greg Derkowski, 602 Communications’ audience retention specialist.

And while you might be thinking that the emergence of social media and digital advertising has made promoting the news topically on TV passé, we still live in a world where a lot of viewers are watching television in real-time.

“The pendulum has swung so far in the other direction now where people just think topicals are irrelevant. How many rating points are you willing to leave on the cutting room floor because the PR of a topical promo can’t compare to the PR of a Facebook post. You know what, they are both important,” said Swanson.

Merry Aronson

Co-op advertising is another essential tool in the  TV station marketing plan, but it doesn’t get a lot of attention these days. For many stations, this is their only opportunity to buy outside media.

“There are still a large number of stations that do co-op,” said Swanson. “They buy radio, they buy outdoor, and they buy cable. The money still gets spent. So how do you spend that money wisely?”

Check out an essential session, Making Old Media New Again, moderated by Merry Aronson of Merry Media, to discover how to make the most out of your coop dollars.

Mayhem could be just around the corner, according to those Allstate commercials.

And that’s true at a TV station. Towers fall. Lightning strikes. Studios flood. Mass murders occur. “It’s like, hey, here is a disaster and it’s at your doorstep,” said Swanson.

Larry Shenosky

So PromaxBDA is addressing that possibility to help stations have a plan with an essential session titled, When Disaster Strikes: A Survival Guide, presented by Larry Shenosky, of Cutting Edge.  

“If marketing directors are going to be leaders in these television stations, here is an area where they can lead. They can lead a concerted effort to create a plan in the event of a disaster. It goes in everybody’s desk drawer and when it happens, it allows you to execute a plan.”

Pumped? Me too. See you at the Summit.

Brand Connections

Men ‘Catfishing’ Hook Former WAPT Anchor

If you’re like me, when you think of catfishing, you picture a rod and reel, a hook and a tasty worm.

But there’s another kind, catfishing on internet dating sites, that uses a similar technique.

They lure in lonely women using phony pictures and fake identities, and then once they get them to bite, they scam them for money.

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WYFF And Community React To 2 Journalists Killed

Mike McCormick and Aaron Smeltzer, a news anchor and photojournalist for Hearst’s WYFF Greenville, S.C., respectively, died on Monday when a tree fell on their SUV as they were out covering severe weather. When fire personnel arrived, they found the SUV in drive with the engine running.

McCormick joined WYFF in 2007 before becoming an anchor in 2014.

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Tampa’s WTVT Leads Facebook By 5 Million

This week’s Social Scorecard shows how WTVT dominates in nearly all performance categories provided by Shareablee, which includes being more than 5 million actions ahead on Facebook.

WTVT, the Fox O&O in Tampa, Fla., leads in social media actions in the market over the last six months according to data from audience insight firm Shareablee.

WTVT has more than 14.5 million actions on social, 35.6% of the total engagement generated by the DMA (No. 13), with more than 41 million social actions.

WTVT led on Facebook with over 14.4 million actions, and led on Instagram with more than 90,000 actions.

In addition, WTVT led on actions per post with more than 2,000 despite having the least content of the top 8 media outlets in the market.

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WPTV Gives Voice To Movement After School Shooting

On Valentine’s Day, 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., were killed in a mass shoo0ting by a former student. Dozens more were injured.

Since the shooting, WPTV, the Scripps NBC affiliate in nearby West Palm Beach, has spent considerable time covering the story.

During three months of coverage, Alex Hagan, a WPTV reporter, talked to students, teachers and parents and began working on a longer-form special.

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Brand Connections

Picture Yourself In Memphis As Promo Manager

Can you picture yourself Walking in Memphis?

Might as well listen to Marc Cohn’s great song while you imagine yourself there (or John Hiatt’s Memphis in the Meantime).

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Catskills Station Means Business For Advertisers

WYBN is the first new television station in the Albany, N.Y., region in more than a dozen years. Owned locally by Cable Ad Net New York, Dan Viles is the president.

It brands itself as the Catskills’ only locally owned and oerated TV station.

WYBN, broadcasting from high atop Windham Mountain in the Catskill Mountains of New York, is capable of reaching almost a million people in the upper Hudson Valley region.

Today, WYBN offers seven channels of diginet programming including Tuff-TV, Retro-TV, ThisTV, Rev’n, France 24, Family Channel, and Latin Alternative Television, (LATV).

The programming features news, sports, movies, sitcoms, classic TV shows and Latin programs.

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KXTV Reporter Finds Offbeat Stories On Backroads

John Bartell

John Bartell

“I find these weird, quirky stories on California’s backroads,” says John Bartell, a reporter at Tegna’s ABC affil KXTV Sacramento,and the guy behind Bartell’s Backroads.

You might find Bartell’s stories on the side of the road, but more likely off the beaten path.

“I’m on one story and something catches my eye,” is how Bartell describes how he finds his stories.

Haven’t you ever been driving down the road and you see something unusual, and wonder to yourself, what’s the story with that? That’s what Bartell does, tells the backstory.

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