Tag Archives: Charlotte

New Weather And Morning News Promos

Here are three new (about a month old) news promos from Charlotte, Memphis and Pittsburgh.

Having written and produced many morning news and weather promos, it’s interesting to discover how the creative is different at each station.

Here’s a morning news spot from WSOC, Cox’s ABC affiliate in Charlotte, N.C.

Read On

Meteorologist Pushes WCNC To Top On Facebook

In this week’s Social Scorecard, learn how WCNC’s meteorologist helped Tegna’s NBC affiliate in Charlotte, N.C., lead on Facebook by almost a million actions.

WCNC is ahead in social media actions in the market over the last six months according to data from audience insight firm Shareablee.

It has more than 3.5 million actions on social, 26.5% of the total engagement generated by the DMA (No. 23), with more than 13.3 million social actions.

WCNC also leads in actions per post with 226.

WBTV, the CBS affiliate owned by Raycom, led on Instagram with almost 280,000 actions.

iHeartMedia’s WHQC-FM, broadcasting a top-40 contemporary hits format, led on Twitter with more than 184,000 actions.

Matt King

Brad Panovich

Matt King, WCNC’s news director, says success on Facebook is helped significantly by Brad Panovich,the station’s chief meteorologist.

“I believe he has the most followers on social media of any one of our meteorologists in the company. This past weekend we had a tornado warning and the station was No. 1 in CrowdTangle, another station was No. 2 and then Brad was No. 3 individually, beating the rest of the other media outlets.”

King says Panovich often does Facebook Lives from his living room or his office, “that are kind of becoming must-see TV so to speak. He is so popular on social media.”

Hard news does well for high engagement on WCNC’s Facebook, especially when the station has a plan to cover it, like the death of the Rev. Billy Graham.

“We had a playbook or a plan in place for what would happen when we did get conformation,” says King.

“We were the first on Facebook and we went live with our news team on the set and we did special coverage. The engagement numbers on that specific day were through the roof.”

Digital-only coverage of news events is also part of WCNC’s strategy, says King.

“We had an officer funeral here that really touched a lot of people. We were online, digital only, with live shots of people out in the field for hours and people just wanted to be a part of that.”

Amy Lehtonen

Amy Lehtonen, WCNC’s digital director, says the station’s Facebook strategy is focused on the audience.

“We pay attention to the data and we recognize 67% of our Facebook audience is female. So we focus a lot of our Facebook posts around the female audience.”

Here’s an example of a WCNC news story that was tailored for the Facebook audience.

Lehtonen says the kinds of stories that do well on WCNC’s Facebook page are “stories that make people feel good and stories that people are going to care about.”

Like a story about a cat that walked 12 miles to get home.

King says the cat story was the most watched on Facebook among all of the Tegna stations.

Lehtonen says one viewer-generated video had more than 3.3 million views when the station asked for photos/videos of snow in Charlotte.

King says the station pays close attention to the comments users’ post.

“The comments and the discussion that we have will then lead us down a totally completely different path that we weren’t expecting and then two or three other great stories come out of that thread.”

Here are two examples of news stories that aired on WCNC as a result of social listening.

Both King and Lehtonen say their success on Facebook is posting what they think people will share on their feed.

“What are the things that you are gravitating towards when you are scrolling,” says King.

“Whatever it is that all our customers would share on a regular basis, we want to be part of that.”

WJZY Remodels House Of Vet With 3 Purple Hearts

WJZY providing live coverage of the Purple Heart Homes rehab project.

WJZY, Charlotte’s Fox O&O, joined forces with Purple Heart Homes (PHH) to make some much-needed improvements to a house where a three-time Purple Heart recipient lived.

Vietnam veteran Jackie Drakeford said he felt unappreciated when he returned from combat.

“It’s so overwhelming really. To see this many people come out just to help me,” said Drakeford.

The remodeling was done by local college students, WJZY employees and viewers, PHH team members, construction experts and members of the Tega Cay, S.C., community.

WJZY’s team put some power behind the Purple Heart Homes rehab project for a deserving veteran, helping to build a deck and front steps.

Over the next few months, WJZY and PHH will collaborate again to build an entire home from the ground up for a veteran and single mom in Denver, N.C.

Click here for more information about PHH.

WBTV Launches Untraditional Newscast At 7:30

Tuesday night at 7:30, Raycom’s CBS affiliate WBTV Charlotte, N.C., launches a half-hour news program that in the station says “should not be mistaken for a traditional newscast.”

On Your Side Tonight With Jamie Boll promises to be a thoughtful, in-depth news program responsive to viewer questions, concerns and curiosities.”

Jamie Boll is an award-winning journalist who has been with WBTV since March 2005. He currently anchors WBTV’s 4 and 5:30 p.m. newscasts, as well as producing investigative and political reporting.

“Reporting the news today demands a very fast pace. But, we also see the need to take a longer look each day at how what’s happening in the news is affecting our community,” said Boll.

“Our goal is to teach ourselves and our viewers something new every night and we’re excited to get going.”

Scott Dempsey

The addition of On Your Side Tonight with Jamie Boll brings the amount of local programming produced by WBTV to 52 hours each week, the most in the Charlotte market, according to the station.

“This shows our commitment to deliver even more quality local journalism produced right here in this community,” said Scott Dempsey, WBTV’s general manager.

“It’s part of our ongoing mission to be available when and where our audience demands.”

On Your Side Tonight With Jamie Boll follows WBTV Primetime, and replaces Access Hollywood, which will air at a different time.

What’s New In Local TV Promos This Month

WSOC Charlotte, N.C.

In this tightly edited spot from Cox’s ABC affiliate WSOC, still black and white images are combined with color graphics over a rich soundtrack filled with sound bites and select audio clips from the station’s coverage to highlight WSOC’s investigative work in the 5 and 6 o’clock newscasts.

Read On

Vietnam Vet Gets Heat And Food Thanks To WJZY

A former Marine, a Vietnam vet with a Purple Heart, nearly froze to death in his house when the temps dipped into the teens.

When WJZY, the Fox O&O in Charlotte, N.C., shared his story, someone paid the oil company enough to keep his heat on throughout the winter. And the Publix grocery store chain donated a fridge full of food and supplies when they heard his was empty.


Samantha Bethune: I love reading stories of people helping each other.

WJZY says it’s focused on “getting results.” And it has a whole page on its website of stories like this to prove it.

What if local TV news operations concentrated on finding people in their markets who need help? They could tell their stories and businesses in the community could step up to provide the services needed.

In exchange, the businesses get free publicity for the help they give.

Car dealers could donate a used car. Gas stations could give free fill-ups. Doctors could volunteer free medical exams. Grocery stores could deliver food. Landlords could offer vacant apartments to homeless families.

And since viewers love seeing stories of people helping each other, news viewership would increase.

And one by one, people who find themselves in trouble — broke, sick, down on their luck, unable to pay their bills — will get the help they need and we’ll all feel better knowing that the world is now just a little bit better place.

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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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.

Read On

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.

Read On

WBTV’s Image Promos Pledge Accuracy

“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.

“Local News Is Most Trusted News Source by Americans,” was the headline of another article using information from a study by Videa.

This has been my experience working in local TV news. News that’s accurate, unbiased, well-researched and verified, without any slant.

Robby Thomas

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.”