Tag Archives: Nashville

WXYZ’s Stephen Clark Retires To Pursue Country Music Career

Not many news anchors write and perform country music.

But WXYZ’s Stephen Clark does. And he’s following his passtion right to Nashville.

Now that he officially retired from his other passion yesterday, being a journalist.

Clark has done it all as an anchor, reporter and TV photographer.

But after 16 years as an anchor and and multi-platform journalist at WXYZ and WMYD, he’s handing in his press card in favor of his guitar and songwriting.

WXYZ and WMYD are Scripps’  ABC and MyNetworkTV affiliates in Detroit.

“I became a journalist more than 40 years ago to tell inspiring stories of ordinary people accomplishing extraordinary things,” said Clark.

“As I begin my retirement, I’m happy to report the story of Detroit’s comeback is perhaps my favorite story over these past 40 years. The reborn, revitalized and re-energized Detroit has inspired me to get involved in my own community and I can’t begin to describe how happy I am to have been even a small part of one of the greatest stories of all time.”

Clark started his career as a newspaper photographer in Colorado.

He worked as a TV photographer, reporter and anchor at stations across the country, including KCNC in Denver, KGTV in San Diego and WCBS in New York.

He ran a news bureau in Washington, D.C., covering political stories for viewers in his home market of Denver.

During his career, Clark reported on some of the biggest stories of our times, including the conflict in Bosnia, the Los Angeles riots, the California wildfires, and the terrorist attacks of 9/11. (Clark was a correspondent for CBS News at the time of the attacks and reported from ground zero.)

Clark has also worked tirelessly with the nonprofit organization he co-founded, Scarlet’s Smile, that is committed to improving the lives of children afflicted with debilitating diseases. The foundation is named for his granddaughter Scarlet who was born with Spinal Muscular Atrophy.

The primary goal of the foundation is to build a million dollar playground in Oakland County where kids of all abilities can play together.

In addition to being able to spend more time with his family, Clark plans to pursue his passion for writing and performing country music. He’s an active member of the Nashville Songwriters Association International.

I’ve got a feeling we’ll be hearing more from Stephen Clark and his guitar.

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

What It Takes To Create Quality News Topicals

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.

Read On

Building Viewership With News Topicals, Part 1

Tonight at 11, there’s a big change in the weather forecast.

That’s one of the better 4-second news topicals you can write.

Granted, not one you can use every night, only when conditions warrant, yet weather is the main reason people watch local news, and a ‘change’ in the forecast creates a thirst for news.

News topicals, those ubiquitous promos embedded in programming enticing viewers to watch the next newscast, have been a staple of local TV news since forever.

Effective topical news promotion can lead to sampling, and during sweeps, possibly into ratings.

Read On

WTVF Millions Ahead In Nashville’s Social Media

In this week’s Social Scorecard, how WTVF is more than 2 million actions ahead on Facebook in Nashville.

WTVF, the Scripps-owned CBS affiliate in Nashville owned by Scripps, has twice as many social media actions as its next nearest competitor in the market over the last six months according to data from audience insight firm Shareablee.

WTVF has more than 5.2 million actions on social, 36% of the total engagement generated by the DMA (No. 27), with more than 14.4.million social actions. WTVF also led the market in actions per post with 436.

WRVW-FM, a top 40 station owned by iHeartMedia, led the market on both Instagram and Twitter, with almost 225, 000 and 128,000 respectively.

Read On

WSMV Adds ‘Today In Nashville’ To Morning Lineup

what-on-tvWhen 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.

untitleddb794ccae16f4fa28c6d4cba38f5fe7b-hdWSMV, 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.

Read On

How To Introduce A New News Anchor, By WCNC

While every TV market is unique in terms of how the stations’ news operation compare and match up against each other, there are similar challenges that most nearly every station faces at one time or another.

10jun-question-mark-faceFor example, the introduction of a new news anchor to your team.

How you market this is critical to getting viewers to watch or sample the anchor from the beginning.

The biggest mistake stations make is what I call “anticipointment.” In marketing a new news anchor, they create a level of expectation that’s hard to deliver.

So much so that viewers’ anticipation turns into disappointment.

q scoreEarly in my career, I was taught the importance of what was called ID/recognition. The name, the face, the place.

A “Q” score measures familiarity and appeal of, in this case, a news talent. I know him or her and I like him or her.

Knowing the new news anchor’s name is key from the very beginning. They can’t like you if they don’t know who you are.

WCNC, the NBC affiliate in Charlotte, N.C., owned by Tegna (formerly Gannett), had a new news anchor to introduce to the viewers whose name was a bit of a tongue-twister, Fred Shropshire.

Years ago, the thought might have been to change Fred’s last name to something easier to pronounce and remember. These days, not so much.

Here’s how KTVU, the Fox affiliate in San Francisco, used a talent’s unusual name to great advantage.

WCNC realized that Shropshire’s difficult-to-pronounce name might be an asset to getting people to remember the name.

“He has a unique and hard name to pronounce,” says Deborah Collura, WCNC’s general manager, “so we went out to see if people could pronounce his name.”

But WCNC wanted to do more than get his name out there.

Luanne Stuart

Luanne Stuart

“We wanted to show what kind of man he is,” says Luanne Stuart, WCNC’s outgoing creative services director, “and what he stands for.”

Stuart’s last day at WCNC was Friday, July 10. She’s going to Nashville to be the CSD at WSMV, the NBC affiliate there owned by Meredith.

Deborah Collura

Deborah Collura

“Who is Fred, and why should our viewers connect with him,” are the goals of the campaign, according to Collura.

“He’s from here … he’s a seasoned veteran journalist with a sensibility for connecting with people. So we wanted to try and capture that.”

Sitting your on-air talent down and just talking to them in an intimate setting can be an engaging and effective technique to allow them to be themselves, to be real, which is what you hope will ultimately be the reason viewers will want to watch them.

“Stripping away the veneer is a great way to say it,” says Collura. “I believe contemporary news anchors need to be real people.”

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Luanne Stuart New CSD At WSMV Nashville

Luanne Stuart

Luanne Stuart

Four hundred miles due west of the Hornet’s Nest is the Music City.

From the Queen City to what many say is the “IT” city, the boomtown of the New South. Charlotte to Nashville. Set your clocks back an hour.

Luanne Stuart is making the move from Charlotte to Nashville.

From being the creative services director at WCNC to being the new creative services director at WSMV, the NBC affiliate in Nashville owned by Meredith.

Stuart, a country music fan, says she’s going to enjoy listening and living in Nashville.
She starts July 10.

If you’ve got a hire you want to share, manager or staff, let me know.