High school students across the country are walking out of class to protest gun laws, and the stories are playing predominately on TV stations’ Facebook pages. For many stations, it’s become a national story that has no local boundaries.
I follow a lot of TV stations’ Facebook pages. Over the past few days, my feed has been inundated with stories about high school students leaving school, taking to the streets to protest, appearing before city or school officials, or going to their state capitol to protest gun violence. What follows are just a few of many, many posts by stations across the country.
I think it’s remarkable and I applaud the students’ movement.
Social Scorecard this week covers the Miami market, where WSVN is leading in total social media actions by more than 1.5 million.
WSVN, Sunbeam Television’s Fox affiliate, is first in social media actions in the market over the last six months according to data from audience insight firm Shareablee.
WSVN has more than 7.2 million actions on social, 28% of the total engagement generated by the DMA (No. 16), with more than 25.6 million social actions.
WSVN also led on Twitter with more than 440,000 actions and led on in actions per post with 663
Top 40 WHYI-FM (Y100), owned by iHeartRadio, led the market on Instagram with more than 465,000 actions.
Steven Cejas, WSVN.com’s executive producer, says the station saw a significant decline in Facebook referrals late last year and that change in algorithms have altered how the station posts to Facebook.
“It’s all about interaction now. It’s not just throwing whatever up there. We tailor every post that we do to Facebook so that we feel like we are going to get interactions. On a regular day we try to keep it between somewhere around 20 to 25. So it’s kind of a ‘less-is-more’ mentality and we have seen that that really has helped out our numbers.”
Cejas says WSVN’s Facebook users are interested in the safety of children, and that was true even before the school shootings in his area last week.
“People care about crime in the community so if something is going on in a very specific area of our community, we like to focus on that.”
WSVN’s first response to the high school shooting in Parkland, Fla., about 50 miles north of Miami, last week, was to get its chopper over the scene.
“That way people can see what’s going on as we are seeing it. We switched away to our live coverage from the chopper after a few minutes and we let that carry out for the rest of the evening.”
Amazingly, during the shooting, dozens of students and three teachers locked inside a classroom turned on a laptop to watch WSVN’s livestream.
“The only way for us to know what was going on outside is we were watching your live feed on the helicopters,” culinary instructor Ashley Kurth told WSVN. “And then, when we see the SWAT team come on, you kind of breathe a little sigh of relief knowing that help is there.”
Cejas says the station’s philosophy about using Facebook Live is “anything with suspense does well. Anything that people don’t know what the outcome is going to be, they tend to get drawn in.”
But stories about good news also find a place on the station’s Facebook page.
“We try to find a balance. We try not to be negative all the time. There is also a lot of good news and we try to find those stories and sometimes they are stories that we don’t carry on air.”
Cejas concedes that the station doesn’t make any money from its Facebook page, but points out that whenever there is breaking news, news viewers turn to WSVN both on television and its website.
“We want to be in front of as many eyeballs as possible and I think it’s proven whenever there is breaking news, you can clearly see in our ratings that people turn to us. Whenever we get a storm, whenever there is breaking news, people turn to us.”
NOTE:In an article in Buzz Feed, read how WSVN’s streaming coverage of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School became part of a new initiative by Twitter to show live local news broadcasts during major news events. Or as the article says, as Facebook deemphasizes news in its core experience, Twitter does the opposite.
KTVU, the Fox O&O in San Francisco, partnered with One Warm Coat, to collect and give away 23,000 coats to Bay Area homeless and low-income families.
KTVU’s One Warm Coat drive, in its 15th year, collected at three mall locations, The UPS Store and Big O Tires. These coats were distributed to those who needed them by nonprofit organizations throughout all nine Bay Area counties.
One Warm Coat is a national nonprofit whose mission is to ensure that anyone who needs a coat, has a coat. Since its inception in 1992, One Warm Coat has worked with its volunteers to give away more lthan 4 million coats.
Before you watch this first spot, you need some history.
Its roots go all the way back to the 1980s when a concept promo called Home Movies was created for WPVI, ABC’s Philadelphia O&O.
The idea is that a family visits the Philadelphia area and shoots some home movies of their trip. Then they’re at home watching the movies when they notice that everywhere they went, a news van managed to work its way into the shot.
“It’s a great example of a simple, single idea that’s well-executed,” said Mike Davis, the man who originated the spot.
Stephen Arnold Music hopes to help TV stations across the country grow viewership for their morning news programs with a new music/image campaign.
Morning Ready, a market-exclusive campaign, features two upbeat morning anthems to get viewers going in the early hours.
There are male and female vocal versions, with custom lyrics available upon request.
Morning Ready has the style and feel of popular hit music. The lyrics have broad appeal, and together with the rhythmic guitars and inspirational groove, create a positive vibe ideal for matching up with local images and personalities.
Morning Ready is the latest in this series of cost-effective marketing toolkits for stations to maximize their morning news marketing.
Previous morning image campaigns from Stephen Arnold Music used in more than 100 markets include All About Early, Waking Up My Day and Everywhere I Go.
“Audiences look to their local TV stations for critical information in the morning,” says Chad Cook, Stephen Arnold Music’s creative director.
“Morning Ready is a quick turnaround, turnkey bundle that creates an even deeper connection with a station’s morning news team.”
Earlier this week, I asked TV stations sending crews to the Eagles-Patriots Super Bowl to share their experiences, the behind-the-scenes, fun stuff.
Then I got the flu. The ‘flu’ needs a more sinister name, something that connotes the pit of misery that one gets from the plague.
In any event, it’s not easy for a local news crew to respond with their behind-the-scenes pictures and accounts. First, they’re busy, and second, they need permission.
No problem, I completely understand.
But I did make it out of bed to some of the Philly station’s Facebook pages to see what I could find.
From WPVI, the ABC O&O, Sarah Bloomquist took to a zip line in 6 degree weather for a super ride. What a trooper!
It’s about 1,200 miles from Philadelphia to Minneapolis, about 18 hours by car. In a news van, the trip can be an eternity. But that didn’t stop two cameramen from WPVI from beating the boredom with a fun video.
From NBC-owned WCAU, this reporter filed this Facebook video from inside a plane full of fans. The fans are so boisterous, you really can’t hear what the reporter is saying, but you get the gist.
Here’s that same reporter getting a send-off in the airport before departure.
From KYW, the CBS O&O, here are some behind-the-scenes of how the media deals with the cold.
NOTE: No audio for the first 20 seconds or so.
Also from KYW, an Eagles fan in Keyna teaches his students to sing the Eagles’ song.
From Fox-owned WTXF, this video shot in Philly, shows an Eagles’ fan who’s taken his devotion to a new level, his basement.
Also from WTXF, this somber story about a little boy from New York who had to visit Philadelphia often to get treatment at a local hospital. In the process, he became an Eagles’ fan because many of the players and coaches stopped by his room to give him encouragement. That little boy lost his battle with leukemia, but this story shows how the game of football can mean so much to a sick little boy, and how much his fight means to the team.
And this video is hysterical as a young lady, a die-hard Eagles fan, coming out of dental surgery thinks she missed the Super Bowl.
WTVO is Mission Broadcasting’s ABC affiliate in Rockford, Ill., while WQRF is Nexstar’s Fox affiliate. The stations share studios.
A local TV high school quiz show combines the perfect venue for education awareness, community support, corporate PR, inventive local programming and station revenue.
And now the idea is being tested in Phoenix on the CW affiliate there, KASW. The half-hour show debuts on Feb. 1. It will feature students from local high schools in a test of their knowledge and give them a chance to win prizes.
KSWB, Tribune’s San Diego’s Fox affiliate, unveiled a new set Tuesday during its 1 p.m. newscast.
The new set uses 360 degrees of studio space instead of the traditional 180, and was designed by Tim Saunders of Broadcast Design International.
The circular news desk design is the first and only of its kind in the San Diego market, and seats up to six people for more interactive conversations between anchors and guests.
The brick facade along the studio walls is a subtle nod to San Diego’s rich history and heritage, reminiscent of the Gaslamp Quarter.
A custom surfboard by local surf legend Bird Huffman of Bird’s Surf Shed, and an original print by renowned San Diego photographer Aaron Chang, add local elements that visually align KSWB’s So San Diego brand.
“It’s a constant goal of ours to create innovative ways to deliver content on broadcast and digital platforms,” said Rich Goldner, KSWB’s news director.
“This new 360-degree set creates a dynamic environment that will bring the viewer along for the ride during the broadcast.”
KPDX, Meredith’s MyNetworkTV affiliate in Portland, Ore., will rebrand itself to Fox 12 Plus on Feb. 12.
The move will expand the brand of KPTV, Fox 12, the Fox affiliate there, also owned by Meredith.
As part of the change, Fox 12 Plus will add news hours, expanding its weeknight 8 and 9 newscasts to seven days a week.
The station will also have weather breaks from the KPTV’s weather team.
Throughout the day, viewers will see short stories from popular Good Day Oregon segments, Andy’s Adventures and On the Go with Joe, that introduce viewers to exciting local happenings.
“This really gives us the ability to leverage the power of the number one brand in the market, FOX12, and expand it to a long-standing station in this community,” said Adrienne Roark, the stations’ general manager.
“We’re excited about Fox 12 Plus!”
Here’s a recent example of Andy’s Adventures and a Facebook graphic for On the Go with Joe:
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.
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.