Tag Archives: Hearst

Facebook Live Pushes WMTW To Social Win

In this week’s edition of Social Scorecard, learn how Facebook Live helped make WMTW the market leader in social media actions.

WMTW, Hearst’s ABC affiliate in Portland, Maine, holds a slight lead in social media actions in the market over the last six months according to data from audience insight firm Shareablee.

WMTW has more than 2 million actions on social, 26% of the total engagement generated by the DMA (No. 79), with more than 6.5 million social actions.

WCSH, Portland’s NBC affiliate owned by Tegna, led the market on Twitter with almost 29,000 actions. WCSH also led the market in actions per post with 195.

WHTP-FM, owned by Mainestream Media licensed to Kennebunkport, Maine, and broadcasting a Rhythmic Top 40 format, led the market on Instagram with more than 50,000 actions during the same period.

Amy Beveridge

Amy Beveridge, WMTW’s news director, says the station’s use of Facebook Live during breaking news and severe weather is one reason why the station led the market.

“Back in July, we had seven tornado warnings in one day that was actually a record for an entire year. We had two meteorologists in-house and we were able to be on Facebook Live actually faster than we were able to be on air. So we were able to reach people right away.”

Route 302 Bidgton

The unbelievable storm video and pictures continue to come in this evening. This is Route 302 at Moose Pond right after a suspected tornado hit the area. Utility poles are nearly on their side! http://bit.ly/2t2pWRb

Posted by WMTW-TV on Saturday, July 1, 2017

Craig Smith

In October, a major wind storm knocked out power to half a million homes and businesses in the area, so the station turned to Facebook Live.

During the height of the storm,” says Craig Smith, WMTW’s digital media manager, “to be able to utilize Facebook Live to present the most up to date information really helped out a lot of people who had lost power. They couldn’t watch TV, all they had was their smartphone, so Facebook Live is certainly a powerful tool.”

Live Storm Coverage

BREAKING: Central Maine Power is now reporting more than 100,000 power outages. Watch live storms coverage. http://bit.ly/2yZfWtH

Posted by WMTW-TV on Monday, October 30, 2017

Politics and state government also got lots of engagement via Facebook Live for WMTW.

A budget impasse that threatened to shut down the state was the subject of several successful Facebook Lives by the station’s political reporter, Paul Merrill. The station passed along questions and comments from users to Merrill during his interviews.

“Our political reporter was obviously there covering it almost 24/7,” says Beveridge, “and he did exclusive interviews on Facebook Live with the power players. Some of those were pretty successful.”

#shutdown – day three. #mepolitics

Posted by Paul Merrill WMTW on Monday, July 3, 2017

But one of the station’s most successful Facebook Lives, a funeral procession, had no audio at all.

“We had a Marine from Maine who was killed in a helicopter crash,” says Beveridge, “and we had a Facebook Live of his casket coming off of the plane to begin the convoy up to Maine. There wasn’t even any audio to it. It was just something that people just wanted to watch and it really touched people.”

Fallen Maine Marine Benjamin Cross returns home one final time tonight. Watch the procession from Logan Airport. Thank you for your service and sacrifice. http://bit.ly/2eYbbY6

Posted by WMTW-TV on Thursday, September 14, 2017

Facebook Live, says Beveridge, can be used as a tool to heighten interest and drive viewers to the station’s newscasts, like the series the station did on opioid addiction.

“Just a couple hours prior to that, we did our own Facebook Live with an in-studio interview with people who worked in the recovery community. They can be really useful to promote to that special.”

Both Beveridge and Smith say WMTW’s connection to the community helps drive its successful Facebook strategy.

“I think of the boy who had cancer,” says Beveridge, “and his last wish was to get Christmas cards from as many people as possible. That story really, really took off.”

“Even people across the country were seeing his story and reacting to it in a positive way,” says Smith.

Facebook stories like that are where “you can really touch people in a real heart-warming way,” he says.

Penguins visit Jacob

A day after a caravan of police officers honored a little boy battling terminal brain cancer, Jacob Thompson received another special visit today from his favorite animal! 🐧❤️ Tap the link to see more of the visit and how you can help him celebrate the holidays. http://bit.ly/2hhpurB

Posted by WMTW-TV on Thursday, November 9, 2017

Beveridge says uplifting stories about people in the community on Facebook is transforming how her station covers the news on broadcast.

“Before Facebook, you didn’t see as much of those sorts of stories in a newscast, and now you will. Take that story, for example, we were able to really advance it by picking up the popularity of it on social media then advancing it through the newscast.”

While Beveridge admits the station’s makes little money from Facebook, the platform is a vital part of WMTW’s marketing.

“An interactive promotional tool that gives people stories they care about, that’s invaluable. So it might not be a money amount that’s attached to it, but the word of mouth that comes from it is so important.”

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.

Read On

Creativity, Flexibility Drive Best News Topicals

This is Part 4 of our five-part series, Building Viewership with News Topicals. Read Part 3 here.

News topicals can take many forms.

Some creative services directors and topical writer/producers say recording the main news anchor sitting behind the anchor desk works best for their station.

Others see value in shooting their news anchor in the newsroom, cinéma vérité style.
And other stations try to feature real people and sound bites, along with reporter teases from the field.

Read On

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

WTAE Says Bundle Up All Day Pittsburgh

Starting this morning at 5, Hearst ABC affiliate WTAE Pittsburgh will be pleading with area residents to bundle up, even though temps are expected to hit 50 degrees.

It’s time for the 32nd annual WTAE Project Bundle-Up Telethon benefiting area children and senior citizens.

Volunteers will take viewer pledges from a phone bank throughout the day that will be broadcast during segments of newscasts and in breaks throughout regularly scheduled programming.

The day-long telethon will continue with an hour-long special from 7 to 8 p.m., preempting regular programming, and wrap up during WTAE’s 11 p.m. newscast.

“It’s more than a coat; your generosity brings smiles and the comfort of knowing someone cares,” said Charles W. Wolfertz III, WTAE’s general manager.

“Our longstanding partnership with WTAE Channel 4 has raised over $14 million and helped more than 275,000 kids and senior citizens stay warm,” said Major Deborah Sedlar, Salvation Army divisional commander, Western Pennsylvania Division.

“WTAE-TV project Bundle-Up serves as reminder of the good that happens in our community, when we come together for a good cause.”

WCVB Airing Boston’s Tree-Lighting Concert

WCVB’s annual live broadcast of Boston’s official tree-lighting concert is airing tonight starting at 7. In addition to it airing on TV, the event will be live streamed on WCVB.com.

WCVB is Hearst’s ABC affiliate.

The tree-lighting will take place immediately after a live concert with performances by Grammy Award Winning R&B Group, All-4-One, the Boston Pops Gospel Choir, and several other top named acts.

There’s an interesting back story to the tree that will be lit in Boston Common and the Public Garden.

The 53-foot white spruce tree is a gift to Boston from Nova Scotia as a thank you for sending emergency aid to the province after the explosion in Halifax Harbor 100 years ago on Dec. 6, 1917.

Within 24 hours of the disaster a train loaded with supplies and emergency personnel was making its way from Boston to Nova Scotia.

The broadcast is made possible by a partnership with WCVB, Boston Parks and Recreation, The Province of Nova Scotia and Magic 106.7 FM.

 

New WCVB Promos Are Authentic, Thus Effective

Harvey Leonard, Ed Harding, Maria Stephanos and Mike Lynch.

When you want to know what someone’s really like, ask the people they work with.

Your co-workers probably know you better than your wife and kids. Because, after all, you probably spend more time at work than at home.

That’s the creative behind these new image spots for the main anchor team from WCVB, Hearst’s ABC affiliate in Boston.

And they work. No hollow claims, no research-driven buzz words, only the observations of co-workers in their own words makes these spots, and the people in them, believable, real, and genuine.

Russ Nelligan

Russ Nelligan, WCVB’s creative services director, says when anchors have been on the job long enough, it’s easy to assume everyone knows who they are.

“WCVB is blessed with people who have been reporting in Boston many years. We decided to take a step back and ‘introduce’ our anchor team to the viewers. We thought that having their co-workers drive the narrative was effective, in part because they really appreciate each other’s strengths.”

I was able to talk to Nelligan on the phone at length about these spots and I was struck by how well he knew the members of his main anchor team, anchors Maria Stephanos and Ed Harding, Chief Meteorologist Harvey Leonard, and Mike Lynch, WCVB’s spots director and anchor.

There’s an old adage about sales — a good salesman know his product, and you can tell that Nelligan knows his front-line people well. The only way that happens is to be around them in the newsroom.

“They are smart people and they are very genuine,” says Nelligan.

“You don’t have to be around Maria too long before you realize what an exceptional human being she is. She is the kind of person who you meet and all she does is ask about you. As a result, she just has this way of drawing people out.”

When talking about co-anchor Ed Harding, Nelligan says he’s been in the market a long time and is hard working. “Ed is just like this Energizer Bunny.”

Chief Meteorologist Harvey Leonard has been forecasting the weather in Boston and New England for 40 years. Nelligan says Leonard still gets excited when it’s about to snow.

“He is just really into it, but is so worried that people are depending on my forecast and I have got to get it right. The other meteorologists in town have just the utmost respect.”

According to Nelligan, Mike Lynch is an institution in Boston when it comes to covering the major pro sports teams, but “has carved out a niche covering high school sports for more than 30 years.”

WLWT’s Murder Story Promo Is Editor’s Dream

Listen and watch closely to this promo from WLWT, the NBC affiliate in Cincinnati owned by Hearst.

The promo is for a news story about a cold case murder of a policeman. This version of the promo aired on WLWT.

Read On

WCVB Named ‘Station Of The Year’ — Again

WCVB, Hearst’s Boston ABC affiliate, was named Station of the Year, for the fifth consecutive year, at the annual Sound Bites Awards presentation by the Massachusetts Broadcasters Association.

In addition, WCVB won seven first-place awards and three merit awards for its work in news, promotion and community service.

“There is certainly no greater honor than being recognized by your peers for excellence in the work we do,” said Bill Fine, WCVB’s general manaer, “and I am grateful to the MBA for their recognition of the dedication and hard work of the entire team here at Channel 5.”

Read On

KCRA Helps Raise $900,000 For Wildfire Victims

Wildfires have swept through Northern California consuming over 200,000 acres, killing at least 41 people, destroying more than 5,000 homes and businesses and displacing around 90,000 people.

So Hearst’s KCRA and KQCA, Sacramento’s NBC and MyNetwork TV affiliates, respectively, partnered with the Gold Country Region Chapter of the American Red Cross to hold a disaster relief drive on Monday, Oct. 16.

More than $900,000 was raised to help victims.

Both stations did live cut-ins throughout the day and had coverage during newscasts asking for donations.

“After seeing the devastating pictures and hearing the tragic stories of loss, Northern Californians showed their generosity by helping us raise more than $900,000 to help those affected by the fires,” said Elliott Troshinsky, KCRA-KQCA’s general manager.

“As our viewers watch these tragic images, they want to know how they can help,” said Lori Waldon, KCRA’s news director. “Our telethon provided an important way for our viewers to help in a direct and meaningful way.”

“We were a little concerned coming into a second telethon in six weeks – after raising $750,000 for the hurricanes, would KCRA viewers be ready and willing to support this new and dire need? They responded with a resounding YES!,” said Gary Strong,  American Red Cross Gold Country Region CEO.