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.
“While national news outlets continue to debate the ‘fake news’ controversy, new evidence confirms that consumers are not questioning the veracity of their local television newscasts, sports reports, weather forecasts and traffic updates,” according to new research from Coda and published on TVNewsCheck back in May.
This has been my experience working in local TV news. News that’s accurate, unbiased, well-researched and verified, without any slant.
Here’s a campaign from WBTV, Raycom’s CBS affiliate in Charlotte, N.C., that is nominated for an Emmy.
“It’s a reverse-speed narrative written to take the audience behind the scenes into the process that drives WBTV’s commitment to accuracy and transparency,” says Robby Thomas, WBTV’s marketing director about the campaign called, Before.
“Market research tells us that WBTV has earned “most trustworthy source of news and information” here in Charlotte, which I’d argue is more important than ever in today’s media environment. This campaign helps reinforce that trust. It drives home our advocacy brand positioning with the build up to our ‘On Your Side’ slogan.”
On September 20th, 2016, Keith Lamont Scott was fatally shot by a police officer. The shooting led to riots in Charlotte, N.C., over two nights.
Last week, on the one-year anniversary of the shooting, WJZY, the Fox O&O in Charlotte, brought together community leaders and activists for a half-hour discussion on the healing process, lessons learned and what more can be done.
WJZY, the Fox O&O in Charlotte, N.C., received a regional Edward R. Murrow Award in the large television market in its region.
Other states in WJZY’s region include Kentucky, South Carolina, Tennessee, and West Virginia.
The Radio Television Digital News Association has been honoring outstanding achievements in electronic journalism with the Murrow Awards since 1971.
Here’s how WJZY described its submission for the award:
For three nights in September, the city of Charlotte made national headlines after violent riots broke out following the deadly police shooting of a black man.
This is a compilation of live coverage from the moment protesters began clashing with police on the evening of September 20, continuing through the next night when peaceful protests turned to violent riots in the streets of uptown Charlotte, and concluding with a third night when National Guard arrived.
This is the type of story that demonstrates local TV news at its best.
It’s like a gritty 60 Minutes exposé complete with “gotcha” interviews, well-documented facts, ripped-off consumers and finally, government action.
A local TV news investigation that shines a light into the dark corner of a shady car dealer whose listing with the Better Business Bureau is an ‘F’.
WJZY, the Fox O&O in Charlotte, N.C., in a series of investigative reports, revealed how a used car dealership knowingly sold salvaged and flooded cars, some with the titles doctored as “clean” despite having serious damage.
After investigative reporter Bill Melugin’s first report aired, a North Carolina Department of Transportation inspector opened up an active investigation into Auto City.
And then former employees came forward to blow the whistle on the dealership’s unethical business practices.
“There was a sense of relief when I first saw your story, I thought I was the only one,” said Ryan Ricker, who worked as the inventory manager at a salvage year also owned by the same man who owns Auto City.
“I’m stepping forward because something needs to be done about their business practices.”
Matter of Fact With Soledad O’Brien, launches this weekend at TV stations across the country.
The second season of the political magazine program, which launched in 2015 with another host, debuts with Soledad O’Brien, an Emmy and Peabody Award winning journalist, at the helm as anchor and producer.
The weekly half-hour program will air on the Hearst-owned stations as well as stations owned by CBS, Meredith, Nexstar, E.W. Scripps, Tegna and Tribune.
New stations carrying Matter of Fact With Soledad O’Brien are the Fox O&Os in Los Angeles and Charlotte, N.C., extending the show’s reach to 75% of the country.
“Soledad is one of the most recognizable and accomplished journalists in television today,” said Jordan Wertlieb, Hearst Television’s president.
“Her breadth of experience in global, political and investigative journalism will be invaluable as we expand the program’s reach.”
This week’s second-season launch features Baltimore Ravens tight end Ben Watson discussing Colin Kaeprnick’s anthem protest, and Congressman Mike McCaul (R-Texas), chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, addressing the anniversary of 9/11.
O’Brien has produced non-scripted programming, several documentaries and presented live events, concert specials, and award shows on numerous platforms, including CNN, Nat Geo, HBO, NBC, MSNBC, A&E networks, and Lifetime.
She reports for HBO RealSports with Bryant Gumbel, PBS NewsHour and WebMD. She is the winner of multiple Emmy awards, the George Foster Peabody Award and the Alfred I. DuPont Award.
For a complete list of stations and time that air Matter of Fact With Soledad O’Brien, click here.
Here’s a story from last week’s program about a teenager who was elected mayor of a small town of nearly 4,000 people.
Close your eyes, and imagine living in a broken down car with your mother for 207 days.
“You spend your nights sitting straight up. You’ve lived through fall, winter with snow and ice, and the car has no heat,” said Barbara Gregory, who was forced to live in her car with her daughter, Teresa Kramer.
Kramer said she was let go from her job which left her and her mom to survive on Social Security. And then their rent went up.
“You’re stuck living in your car. You have absolutely nothing. It can all fall away so quickly,” said Kramer.
Or you’re a young couple just two weeks away from expecting your first baby, when you lose everything you own in a fire.
The couple had bought all new items to care for the baby before the fire destroyed everything.
These are the kind of sad stories local TV news airs all too often. They go out over the airwaves, and then, usually, nothing happens.
These stories recently aired on WJZY, the Fox O&O in Charlotte, N.C. But then after the stories aired, with the help of WJZY, some businesses in the community stepped forward.
A local car dealer, Brandon Reeves Auto World, donated a van to the mother and daughter and put them up in a hotel until the paperwork is settled, according to a Fox spokesperson.
And the local Target and United Way showed up with a van full of all the essential equipment the couple might need for their new born baby.
NEW START IN LIFE: A Charlotte mom and daughter fell upon hard times and were living out of their broken-down car. But not anymore…A special thank you to Brandon Reeves Auto World for donating the vehicle to this wonderful family. FULL STORY: http://bit.ly/1TLRk8I
It seems there’s hardly a day goes by when it’s not in the headlines. Some kid, somewhere, in some situation, comes across a gun and shoots somebody. A sister, a brother, a mom, themselves.
So the subject of what kids will do when they come across a situation like that is legitimate, even if a gun might not be something that you have in your house. But it’s especially relevant if there are guns in a home.
WJZY, the Fox-owned affiliate in Charlotte, N.C., teamed up with a local county sheriff to put a group of kids to the test while their parents watched. They were secretly filmed to see what they would do when they found a gun hidden in the sofa, a harmless prop which looked like the real thing.
The results were literally sickening to some parents.
“To be honest I feel a little sick to my stomach.”
The second part of the series airs tonight and we’ll have that for you on Monday.