Tag Archives: KDFW

KDFW Recognized For Tracking Down Criminals

Every Wednesday night at 9, Fox O&O KDFW Dallas airs a segment called Trackdown that so far has resulted in the capture of eight criminals, some wanted for murder.

Trackdown, fronted by KDFW reporter Shaun Rabb, helps identify wanted criminals through surveillance video, photos and other material and asks for viewers to help identify them.

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KDFW’s Heartwarming Story Catches Christmas Spirit

On Tuesday nights during the summer, for the past 40 years, I get together with some old  friends to play softball. No uniforms, no umpire, no teams, really; we pick different teams each night.

Just the game. And the friendships. OK, and a few beers.

So this story from Fox Dallas O&O KDFW has special meaning for me.

A grieving husband who lost his wife found solace playing softball. He was going to skip Christmas this year, until his softball team showed up to show him the meaning of the holiday season, and sportsmanship.

KDFW Commands Dallas Social Scene By 7 Million

KDFW, the Fox O&O in Dallas, dominated social media actions in the market over the last six months according to data from audience insight firm Shareablee.

KDFW has just over 13.5 million actions on social, 36% of the total engagement generated by the DMA, with more than 37 million social actions.

KDFW was also first in actions per post on Facebook with 1,571, and leads the market on Twitter with more than 300,000 actions.

KKDA-FM, (K-104), an urban contemporary station owned by Service Broadcasting, leads the market in Instagram with over 550,000 actions.

How is KDFW able to dominate the market on Facebook so completely, literally doubling what its nearest competitor gets?

Bruce Smith

It starts with having a legitimate history of listening to its viewers, says Bruce Smith, KDFW’s assistant news director.

“We have been a very interactive station with our viewers for a long time that far proceeded social media. We have a franchise called Viewers Voice which has been around for 18 years, which got its start from people calling into the newsroom commenting about a story. Now, Facebook is just simply another platform where we can interact with our viewers.”

Mark Norris

Mark Norris, KDFW’s senior web producer, says one reason the station is so successful on Facebook is because they know what people want. And what they want are local stories about people

“It’s people at their best or people at their worst,” says Norris.

“Crime stories, we do those. They can be horrifying, but it’s following up and figuring out what’s the human element of this” that is key.

“The other side of it is finding the people who are doing exceptional things. We want to showcase people doing good in the community, positive stories. But, bottom line, it’s people either way.”

Norris says that the amount of posts KDFW generates is only half what the other stations do, yet what they post scores high engagement. “We know what works and we know what connects, and we know how to ride it.

“I would say the biggest example of that would be the July 7th anniversary of the shooting of the police officers here in downtown Dallas. That was a really horrible time here.”

Norris says KDFW’s approach was not to relive those moments, but to honor “the memories of people who lost their lives.”

Sometimes, a story that shows high interest and engagement on Facebook, will prompt KDFW to give it added coverage in its newscasts.

Smith says the story of a missing 3-year-old girl is an example.

“Obviously, there’s great interest in that story. She has still not been found. So each day, that story continues to be one of the top posts. Based on that information, we have continued to put a reporter on that story every day.”

Unlike many  TV stations, KDFW uses Facebook Live sparingly, says Norris.

“We are not afraid to use Facebook Live, but we do not use it nearly as much as a lot of people do. A lot of stations use Facebook Live, it’s a way of life for them. They will Facebook Live anything and everything. To us it is a tool. If there is a situation that deems us using it, then we will go for it.”

Norris points to an example, the controversy over the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee.

“Instances like that when there is a major story that’s been playing out, we will go live. It has to be a good and special reason for us to go live on Facebook.”

KDFW does, however, use Facebook Live regularly featuring the station’s main anchor and meteorologist.

During severe weather, there are times that the severe weather doesn’t warn us cutting into programming,” says Smith, “but it’s severe enough our meteorologist will frequently be doing Facebook Live.”

Ultimately, Norris says the station’s success is based on its presentation.

“The way we do it is very concise, very clear, letting people know what’s going on.”

Local TV Promo Examples That Market Meteorologists

This week, Market Share is sharing how TV stations market their meteorologists, and we’re looking for examples from markets all across the country.

Send me your YouTube or Vimeo links or the embed codes to any spots that promote your meteorologists along with a short blurb about its origins, its background, its purpose and especially its effectiveness.

It’s no wonder that people who watch local TV news cite the local weather forecast as one of the main reasons they tune in.

Because while you can get the weather forecast for your area almost everywhere, the nuances of what your local weather will do, when, where, when it will start, when it end and what will happen next is best determined by the local meteorologists on the ground.

They can almost tell you the precise hour the rain will likely start, and the exact neighborhoods it will hit.

So making your station’s staff of meteorologists the first choice for viewers when they think of the weather can often make your news operation the highest rated in town.

Here are some weather promo examples from local TV stations from past Market Share columns.

Getting a testimonial from your Mom hits all the right buttons because who knows you better than your Mom?

In a column from October 2009, I profiled the work of Mike Davis and Peter Churchman, who have combined to create more than 1,300 local spots for more than 60 TV stations which have racked up over 100 Promax awards.

Here’s one of the spots featured from WABC New York’s weatherman Lee Goldberg from 2008.

It incorporates a video of Goldberg doing a weather forecast for a local cable system when he was 15 years old.

Davis says the spot adheres to one of his axioms: “Find the truth and use it.”

This spot from KATV in Little Rock, Ark., was featured in a June 2014 column showing new weather promos from around the country. This spot promotes that the station has meteorologists from top to bottom, who are experienced in local weather.

People whose jobs demand that they work outside in the elements can make effective testimonials for local TV meteorologists. In Lafayette, La., an airboat captain touts the merits of a KATC meteorologist. KATC is the ABC affiliate there. This spot comes from a column about why severe weather is still local TV’s turf.

I used this spot from KMSP, the Fox affiliate in Minneapolis-St. Paul, in the same column about severe weather being local TV’s turf. It’s a somewhat scary re-creation interspersed with clips from the station’s weather coverage.

The KMSP spot reminded me of a slickly produced spot from KWTV in Oklahoma City for legendary meteorologist Gary England.

And if none of those scary severe weather recreations work, you might try the help of Ernest P. Worrell and his friend Vern to set you straight, as he did in this spot from 1985 from KDFW, the Fox affiliate in Dallas.

You know what I mean?

Spider Stars In TV Reporter’s Live Shot

Spiders creep most people out.

Arachnophobia, the fear of spiders, is the No. 1 phobia in the world.

So while we might be in awe of the intricate webs they spin in nature, seeing them in the house fills many with dread.

Now imagine one crawling on your shoulder, slowly stepping its eight legs down your arm.

And you’re a TV reporter in the middle of a live shot.

Shannon Murray, a reporter for KDFW, the Fox O&O in Dallas, was in the middle of a routine live shot covering a workplace protest, the kind of live shot she says she’s done hundreds of times.

A large spider can be seen walking down her arm, but Murray was calm and unfazed.


“I was aware there was something on my arm, I thought it was a mosquito,” said Murray.
“I just kind of ignored it.”

She said her photographer didn’t notice it as he was concentrating on the shot nor did anyone back in the TV station’s control room.

It wasn’t until the shot was over that a viewer pointed it out.

“I got in the car and I got a notification for a viewer on Facebook, ‘Oh my God, Shannon, you have a spider on your arm’. It really creeped me out at that point, I didn’t realize how large the spider was.”

She says she’s been told it was probably a wolf spider, which is a menacing name for a spider that’s relatively harmless.

Has Murray ever had problems with insects before?

“I’ve was doing a live shot standing in a pile of fire ants before.”

NOTE: Years ago, while working at WDSU in New Orleans, one of our reporters was doing a live shot and accidentally stepped into a fire ant pile. Suddenly, he drops out of the frame, and can be heard saying, “Goddamn fire ants,” then he valiantly pops back up and tries to continue, to no avail.

That appeared on the station’s blooper reel for years.

‘Happy Holidays’ From KDFW In Dallas

The Happy Holiday promos for TV stations continue to roll in.

If your station has created some Happy Holiday promos, either on-air or on Facebook, that you’d like to share, please let me know by calling 817-578-6324 or email me at [email protected].

Next week, I’ll also be sharing some year-enders, too.

Here are a handful of fun holiday promos from KDFW, the Fox O&O in Dallas.

A Fox rep sent these along with this note:

Our fearless “Good Day” morning news team helped create a series of fun spots, featuring everything from holiday lighting and questionable wardrobe, to why it’s advantageous to have the station’s consumer reporter as your secret Santa.

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KDFW Dallas: A Facebook Selfie

facebook-vs-tvFive years ago, the job didn’t exist at most TV stations. Today, it’s one of their key positions.

Social media, especially Facebook, has become a fundamental platform for stations.

It has allowed viewers to participate in the electronic news gathering process.

It provides a real-time connection to viewers, giving them a voice in how their news is covered.

It has removed the curtain that existed between the anchors, reporters, producers, even the photographers, in the newsroom and the viewers, between the editorial process and the finished product.

Who are these people who handle the daily postings on social media?

What are their backgrounds? How is their success measured?

Recently, we profiled the Facebook practices of KARK, Nexstar’s NBC affiliate in Little Rock. Today, we head a little further south to Dallas and Fox O&O KDFW.

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Dallas Stations Augment Shooting News On Facebook

untitledDallas was in shock early Friday after gunmen shot and killed five police officers and wounded seven during a peaceful protest Thursday night over fatal police shootings of black men in other states. In light of the events in Dallas overnight, I’m going to try and give readers a sample of the local coverage there via the Dallas TV stations’ Facebook page timelines.

Keep in mind that this situation is developing as we speak.

I visited the Facebook pages of the four major network affiliates in Dallas at around 7 a.m. ET today to see what the stations were posting to their timelines.

If any of the Dallas TV stations want to bring to my attention some element of their coverage or their marketing of this event as it unfolds throughout the day, I will do my best to update TVNewsCheck immediately.
[email protected]

Here are some examples from each.

If you want to go each TV station’s website to see their streaming coverage, here are all of their addresses and Facebook page links.

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Opinions On Who Won Battle Of Promo Superstars

Picture3One of the more popular sessions, judging by the number of people sitting on the floor and standing in the room, at this year’s PromaxBDA Station Summit was Battle of the Promo Superstars. It was the first of its kind at the summit and judging by the crowd, I predict it will be a continuing session.


The premise is interesting for those of us who have promoted TSRs — targeted special reports — special stories from news to promote during sweeps.

In the Battle of the Promo Superstars, five stations representing five different broadcast companies create five different promos, all from the same news story.

They get 48 hours and must use the material they have in-house.

What did they come up with? Which one worked best?

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Best Practices For Social Media? Have A Strategy

Emily Mowers

Emily Mowers

Your brand is not your baby anymore.

It’s owned by the audience and you are who they say you are, according to Emily Mowers, marketing director at WVEC Norfolk, Va., Tegna’s ABC affiliate.

Building Your Brand with Social Media was the title of a session at the 2016 PromaxBDA Station Summit a couple weeks ago in which she participated.

Mowers said companies no longer create the brands and attract customers in order to sustain the company.

“We create customers that help us build the brand in order to sustain the company.”

4 - VEGAS-Mowers-4Some of her other highlights:

What are the hallmarks of successful brands? Successful brands are fluid, easily moving from platform to platform, and evaluating and adjusting at points along the way.

Connect and engage, not be a voice that always tells them what they should think.

Create striking clear pictures. Be vivid, that’s our advantage.

Sell the experience, not what the product offers but the experience of using the product.

4 - VEGAS-Mowers-3Cultivate loyalists. It’s a tribe mentality. We have to build brand ambassadors and engage audiences so they want to join our tribe.

Reveal something to them- they can then buy into the story and seek out more information from you.

John Kukla, creative services director for the Dallas Fox-Owned affiliate, KDFW, was the session’s  moderator. Click here for more information on Kukla’s presentation on social media.

In addition to Mowers, other speakers were Cynthia Lieberman from Lieberman Communications, and Carly Munoz, brand manager for WOTV, Media General’s ABC affiliate in Battle Creek, Mich.

Click here for more information on Lieberman’s presentation.