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.
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.
Every day, as Tropical Storm Harvey continues to dump copious amounts of rain on Texas and Louisiana, TV stations across the country announce their efforts to raise funds to help the victims.
Today, WLS-TV, the ABC owned affiliate in Chicago, is teaming up with the Red Cross, for ABC 7’s Day of Giving, an initiative to ask Chicagoans to support recovery efforts for communities affected by the devastating storm.
The station will do live cut-ins during newscasts and throughout the broadcast day starting this morning at 5 and continuing until 8 tonight encouraging viewers to support the relief effort by donating online or calling the studio.
A phone bank has been set up in WLS’s studio where station employees and volunteers from the American Red Cross of Chicago and Northern Illinois will take financial donations. The ABC 7 Eyewitness News Team of anchors and reporters will also be part of the coverage and donation efforts, answering calls at the phone bank. ABC 7’S A Day of Giving will be streamed live at abc7chicago.com, the station’s Facebook page and on the ABC 7 News App.
“This has become personal for ABC 7 because many colleagues and friends at our sister station, KTRK [Houston], have been profoundly affected,” said John Idler, WLS-TV’s general manager.
The Walt Disney Co. and KTRK have announced that they are committing $1 million cash to the American Red Cross in support of Hurricane Harvey recovery efforts.
In Cleveland at WKYC, Tegna’s NBC affiliate there, the station is hosting a 24-hour fundraiser to aid in relief efforts.
The Digi-thon will be carried on WKYC’s digital and social outlets including its website (www.wkyc.com), Facebook page (www.facebook.com/WKYC.Channel3) and mobile apps.
Hosted by members of the WKYC’s news team and various WKYC staff members, the Digi-thon will inform viewers on the historic scope of this disaster, why the need for assistance will continue long after the storm has passed.
It will also give the community a chance to ask questions and offer their own perspectives on this event.
“We hope that Northeast Ohioans do what they always do and come together and give generously to those in need,” said Denise Polverine, WKYC’s digital content director.
Yesterday in Boston, NBC O&O WBTS, Telemundo’s WNEU, and news cable channel NECN, all owned by Comcast NBCUniversal, held a hurricane relief drive to raise funds for victims of Harvey that started at 4 in the morning and went until 11:30 last night.
In addition, WBTS aired a live, 30-minute special at 7:30 last night that featured live reports from Houston.
And on Tuesday in Sacramento, Calif., KCRA and KQCA partnered with the American Red Cross to raise more than $750,000 to help victims in areas impacted by Harvey. KCRA is the NBC affiliate and KQCA is the MyNetworkTV station there, both owned by Hearst.
KCRA and KQCA did live cut-ins throughout the day and had coverage during newscasts asking for donations.
“From the moment we launched our telethon, our phones never stopped ringing,” said Lori Waldon, KCRA’s news director.
And in Orlando, Fla., WESH, Hearst’s NBC affiliate, along with the American Red Cross, raised $156,000 in a 12-hour telethon yesterday.
When there’s a change in local TV news ratings in a market, that’s news.
And TVNewsCheck prints sweeps performance stories from newspaper articles and other media.
I get press releases from many stations touting their sweeps performance overall or in a particular time period, and in some cases, I will follow up with that station for a column.
But I can’t respond to every presser.
So I ask that stations try and put that performance into some kind of context. And try to focus on one time period or newscast that did well.
Why did your station do well, do you think? What did your station do differently from a marketing and /or coverage point of view? Please provide any relevant marketing and examples of actual news coverage.
I’ve been calling it an elevator pitch, that one- or two-minute summary you might give to someone in an elevator.
If you have any questions about how to proceed, by all means give me a shout.
Here are some past examples from stations about their sweeps successes.
When there’s a shift in news viewership at a TV station, that’s news. A station that was second in the ratings in late news last November is now the top choice among viewers. Why is that? What actions did the station take in news content and marketing that might explain the shift?
Or in some cases, news ratings in a particular market don’t really change from one ratings period to another. One station seems to dominate the marketplace and is the clear choice for news regardless of the newscast or time period.
We profile these stations and markets to see if there is anything other stations can take away that might help them improve their news ratings.
We ask the managers to comment and we show examples of news marketing and sometimes news content.
KCRA, the Hearst-owned NBC affiliate in Sacramento, Calif., remains the dominant news station in household ratings, taking the top slot in every newscast.
So I asked Lori Waldon, KCRA’s news director, why she thinks viewers are choosing to watch KCRA’s news?
Have you ever stood on a busy street corner and pushed a button that’s supposed to stop traffic so you can cross? Only nothing happens.
Now imagine you’re standing at the entrance to a hospital emergency room and you frantically press a button that says, “if you need emergency room assistance, press here,” and nothing happens because emergency personnel can’t hear it.
On Oct. 29, the first day of the November ratings period, KCRA, the Hearst-owned NBC affiliate in Sacramento, Calif., aired an investigation into such an incident at a Sacramento veterans’ hospital.
One of the results of this investigation is some nurses there will have to undergo “sensitivity training.”
A local veteran who thought he was having a stroke went to the VA’s emergency room. It wasn't until AFTER the vet's wife continuously pounded on the door that someone responded to their call for help. Watch the FULL story at http://bit.ly/1ScQH9P.
One of the constants about working in local television is change. Creative services departments need to be able to quickly and effectively respond to unanticipated changes.
Like the announcement late last week that all the Hearst stations are televising and streaming today’s Voters First Forum, featuring GOP presidential candidates.
That meant that 27 Hearst-owned stations’ creative services departments had to quickly scramble to create on-air and digital advertising to promote the forum.
That also means that nearly 21 million households, the combined reach of the Hearst stations, will be able to see and hear from the 14 GOP candidates scheduled to appear.
The forum is part of Hearst Television’s ongoing Commitment 2016 initiative, which will include multiple debates at the national, regional and local levels, as well as other special political coverage leading up to November 2016.
The forum is hosted and produced by New Hampshire’s Union Leader newspaper and C-SPAN, which is sharing the feed with the Hearst stations.
The two-hour forum from St. Anselm College in Goffstown, N.H., is airing at different times today on the Hearst stations depending on location.
Currently 14 candidates are scheduled to appear: Jeb Bush, Ben Carson, Chris Christie, Ted Cruz, Carly Fiorina, Lindsey Graham, Bobby Jindal, John Kasich, George Pataki, Rand Paul, Rick Perry, Marco Rubio, Rick Santorum and Scott Walker. Each candidate will have approximately five minutes to answer questions individually on the stage.
KCRA, the Hearst-owned NBC affiliate in Sacramento, is promoting the forum on-air and digitally on Twitter and Facebook.
KCRA 3 will televise on-air — and stream on KCRA.com and the KCRA 3 Mobile app — the Aug. 3 Voters First Forum,…
Breaking news doesn’t come with a bow around it. Breaking news doesn’t happen on any schedule.
It doesn’t appear in the newsroom with a set of instructions, a step-by-step guide to how it ought to be covered.
There’s no diagram that’s points out what will happen next.
It might start with some chatter on the police scanner. Or maybe a tip from a source. Perhaps a viewer calls an alert.
However it starts, how or when it will end is usually unknown.
So local TV newsrooms have to marshal their forces accordingly. A reporter and photographer here, a satellite truck there, a live truck on standby.
Too much of a reaction in one direction can often lead to not enough resources if the direction should change.
At 10:22 one morning in Sacramento, Calif., a police officer approaches a couple sitting in a parked car.
Four hours later, two policemen have been shot dead, another is seriously wounded as is a citizen who refused to allow his vehicle to be carjacked.
After a massive man-hunt, including evacuating a school, the couple was arrested hiding out in a quiet residential neighborhood.
And how KCRA, the market’s Hearst-owned NBC affiliate, responded to all this earned it a regional Edward R. Murrow Award for Breaking News coverage.
The station also won the regional Murrow award for Overall News Excellence.
As part of its coverage, KCRA laid out a timeline of events, showed live press conferences from the police and sheriff’s departments, got an interview with the carjack victim, and the woman whose owned house where the alleged shooter was captured.