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.
This is Part 2 of a five-part series, Building Viewership with News Topicals. Read Part 1 here.
Being a news topical writer/producer is one of the toughest jobs in local TV news marketing.
And to do that job well, the experts say, you need to have a passion for journalism, a thorough knowledge of what news is covering in the newscast, the ability to recognize what stories will resonate with viewers, and the confidence to promote those stories even if they’re not the news department’s top stories.
KPHO, Meredith’s CBS affiliate in Phoenix, unveiled a new set that includes two video walls, a touchscreen monitor, LED curtains, LED ticker displays as well as advanced lighting that can change the look of the set within seconds.
Along with the new set, the station launched a new graphics package designed by Hothaus Creative.
The new graphic look introduces a golden orange color palette along with more vibrant blues giving the newscasts an overall brighter feel.
WNEM, Meredith’s Flint-Saginaw-Bay City, Mich., CBS affiliate, leads the market in social actions in the past six months according to data from audience insight firm Shareablee, but it’s a close two-station race.
WNEM racked up almost 1.4 million social actions in that period, accounting for almost half (42%) of the total engagement generated in the market’s total 3.2 million actions.
I know, every day is sweeps at your station. But in some cases, newsrooms still do special reports.
That means local TV creative services departments are busy writing and producing the promos for these reports.
If your station has a February special report promo and story you want to share, let me know at [email protected].
Here are a few sweeps promos I found on Facebook and the stories they promote.
WCAU, the NBC O&O in Philadelphia, discovered tens of millions of tons of medical waste, asbestos and municipal trash shipped to Pennsylvania for disposal from out of state.
“But, now, in the wake of the extraordinary presidential campaigning and the erosion of trust in media it exposed, I think editorials and commentary are the last things TV stations ought to become involved in,” he wrote.
His provocative column generated quite a few comments and soon, other industry titans took issue with his stance and penned their own ideas.
When a TV station wants to add new entertainment fare to its daytime lineup, most go the syndicated programming route. The costs are known, the promos are fed every day, and there’s usually a track record of expected performance levels. It’s turnkey.
And daytime television isn’t exactly a revenue generator. So you know what you’re going to get; the risk is low and you’ll take whatever rewards come with it.
Some stations fill the programing holes with local news, especially in those time periods that lead-in to already scheduled newscasts. The talent is there, content is available and the necessary production capabilities are ready to use.
Then there are a few brave stations that opt to go it alone. Create their own local entertainment show. From scratch.
Consider the risks. Hire new talent to host the show. Build or reconfigure existing studio space to produce the show. Book guests. Create new promos for the show. The list goes on and on. The investment is daunting for a station to carry alone, and the rewards, well, are in the eye of the beholder.
WSMV, Meredith’s NBC affiliate in Nashville, is banking on the city’s country music popularity to carry its new morning entertainment show, Today in Nashville, which launches this morning at 11.
Today in Nashville will air live following the fourth hour of NBC’s The Today Show.
“Nashville has needed a locally produced show that takes viewers inside the music scene and highlights our community,” said Doreen Wade, WSMV’s general manager.
Matter of Fact With Soledad O’Brien, launches this weekend at TV stations across the country.
The second season of the political magazine program, which launched in 2015 with another host, debuts with Soledad O’Brien, an Emmy and Peabody Award winning journalist, at the helm as anchor and producer.
The weekly half-hour program will air on the Hearst-owned stations as well as stations owned by CBS, Meredith, Nexstar, E.W. Scripps, Tegna and Tribune.
New stations carrying Matter of Fact With Soledad O’Brien are the Fox O&Os in Los Angeles and Charlotte, N.C., extending the show’s reach to 75% of the country.
“Soledad is one of the most recognizable and accomplished journalists in television today,” said Jordan Wertlieb, Hearst Television’s president.
“Her breadth of experience in global, political and investigative journalism will be invaluable as we expand the program’s reach.”
This week’s second-season launch features Baltimore Ravens tight end Ben Watson discussing Colin Kaeprnick’s anthem protest, and Congressman Mike McCaul (R-Texas), chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, addressing the anniversary of 9/11.
O’Brien has produced non-scripted programming, several documentaries and presented live events, concert specials, and award shows on numerous platforms, including CNN, Nat Geo, HBO, NBC, MSNBC, A&E networks, and Lifetime.
She reports for HBO RealSports with Bryant Gumbel, PBS NewsHour and WebMD. She is the winner of multiple Emmy awards, the George Foster Peabody Award and the Alfred I. DuPont Award.
For a complete list of stations and time that air Matter of Fact With Soledad O’Brien, click here.
Here’s a story from last week’s program about a teenager who was elected mayor of a small town of nearly 4,000 people.