Tag Archives: Nexstar

Jackson’s WJTV Needs A Creative Services Director

Nexstar’s CBS affiliate in Jackson, Miss., WJTV, is looking for a creative services director.

Jackson (DMA: 95) is the state capital and is the largest metro area in Mississippi, leading the charge for the arts, culinary and cultural progression while holding on to its distinct Southern charm.

As WJTV’s new creative services director, you’ll direct brand strategies and marketing across TV, digital and other video platforms.

You’ll be responsible for the consistent, successful execution of all creative projects from estimation through launch and maintenance.

In addition, you’ll be responsible for the marketing and brand development of Nexstar’s CBS affiliate in Hattiesburg, about 90 miles south, WHLT.

If you’re up for the challenge of running two shops and want to make your mark in one of the biggest broadcast companies in the land, click here to go TVNewsCheck’s Media Job center for more information and directions on how to apply.

You’ll live in a city where more than a quarter of the city’s population is younger than 20.

The average rent in Jackson for a two-bedroom apartment is $766, and the median price for a house is $129,500.

WIAT Announces Meteorologists Changes

WIAT, Nexstar’s CBS affiliate in Birmingham, Ala., announced two internal moves for its meteorologists, Ashley Gann and Nate Harrington.

Ashley Gann

Ashley Gann has been named Chief Meteorologist, and will assume her new role by moving to the station’s 5, 6 and 10 p.m. newscasts.

“Forecasting the weather is Ashley’s passion,” said Rob Martin, WIAT’s news director. “She will stay until the last storm leaves our coverage area.”

Gann is a Storm Spotter certified by the National Weather Service and has taken her training nationwide as a storm chaser.

Gann has always been interested in weather. She says her fascination began when she was five years old and recalls learning about weather science at the Discovery Place in Birmingham.

Nate Harrington

Nate Harrington moves to WIAT’s morning and noon news.

“I’m very excited to join a growing morning show and bring my knowledge and humor to a great atmosphere,” said Harrington.

“I’m confident I can contribute to making our viewers’ mornings informative and fun to watch.”

Harrington is known for his expertise in tracking severe weather and has spent many hours in the field, at the very center of severe weather giving his viewers a unique perspective of weather situations as they unfold in real time.

He covered Hurricane Mathew in 2016 along the Southeast coast. Over five days, Franklin delivered more than 100 live reports for both WIAT and stations across the country.

KXAN’s 5-Part Investigation Uncovers Police Loophole

KXAN, Nexstar’s NBC affiliate in Austin, Texas, is running a five-part investigative series, Denied, on social, digital and television newscasts that reveals a loophole in Texas law giving police the discretion to withhold crucial information when someone dies in custody.

Denied launched Sunday on Facebook and KXAN.com. The stories will air on KXAN at 10 p.m. tonight and tomorrow night.

The investigation began when a Texas police department denied KXAN investigators access to video recordings captured during a high-profile in-custody death in Austin.

As KXAN’s team of investigators researched, they uncovered that police have used this law for decades.

Read On

News Franchises Put WTVR First On Facebook

Social Scorecard this week discovers how a handful of news franchises is used to generate engagement that has put WTVR on top on Facebook in Richmond, Virginia.

WTVR, Tribune’s CBS affiliate in Richmond, Va., is ahead in social media actions in the market over the last six months according to data from audience insight firm Shareablee.

WTVR has more than 2.6 million actions on social, 37% of the total engagement generated by the DMA (No. 55), with more than 7.1 million social actions.

WPER-FM, broadcasting a Christian format and owned by Baker Family Stations, led the market on actions per post with 201.

WRIC, the market’s ABC affiliate owned by Nexstar, led on Twitter during the same period with almost 65,000 actions.

WWBT, the market’s NBC station owned by Raycom led on Instagram with more than 61,000 actions.

Scott Wise

Scott Wise, WTVR’s director of interactive media, says the station’s success on Facebook, and on the television side, is due to a newsroom full of storytellers.

“Sometimes they are investigative stories, sometimes they are hard news, crime stories and sometimes the more heartwarming stories.”

Wise says the station has developed these into news franchises that have been successful on all the station’s platforms — on-air, social and the website.

“Sometimes we put a little teaser on Facebook, then encourage people to watch the full story on the news,” says Wise.

WTVR’s main station brand is Working for You, so Wise says reporters and producers get a little more time to solve people’s problems with local government, with businesses, or with other people.

Heros Among Us, features people making a difference in the community, “positive heartwarming really emotional kind of stories,” says Wise.

Wise says the station has a crime reporter who has deep sources with local law enforcement able to “break stories hours, sometimes days before other folks in the market.”

“We created a franchise around him called Crime Insider. So with that kind of content, we are able to distinguish ourselves on TV, on air, online and on social media and it’s really resonated with folks here in town.”

PLEASE SHARE: Investigators have identified persons of interest in the disappearance of a Middlesex County mother from her front yard, according to Crime Insider sources.

Posted by WTVR CBS 6 News on Tuesday, February 27, 2018

In addition to the franchises mentioned — Problem Solvers, Heros Among Us and Crime Insider —Wise says WTVR has a couple more that help the station generate engagement on Facebook.

I Have a Story finds everyday people who you think you know, “but when you really learn that person’s story, there’s a lot more to the story,” Wise says.

Building Better Minds is another feature that focuses on someone in the schools — a teacher, student or staff member — that “we are dedicated to doing regularly which has helped us build an audience,” says Wise.

Facebook Live is also a staple to the station’s success on Facebook. Recent stories about a woman found murdered, police shootings, and severe weather were streamed live on Facebook.

And a Facebook Live segment called Lunch Break is gaining traction.

“As restaurants announce their openings, we try to get in a couple of days before the opening, interview the chef, interview the owner, take the tour to give people an idea of what’s happening in the community,” says Wise.

And the station also will use Facebook as a tool to drive users to view the station’s newscasts, although “Facebook themselves have told us that really isn’t what they recommend just because people see Facebook differently and the timing of when they see the posts might not jive with your newscast.”

Wise says the station takes the long view when it comes to its Facebook strategy.

“If we are consistently engaging people on social media, the hope and the odds are that those people will, when it’s time to make a decision as to who to turn on that morning or that evening, that they will choose the people with whom they are engaging with on social media. And our ratings have been doing well, we have been on the increase for the last four or five years.”

WJHL Names Jay Quaintance News Director

Jay Quaintance

Kenny Lawrence

WJHL, the CBS and ABC affiliates in Johnson City, Tenn., owned by Nexstar, has named Jay Quaintance as its new news director.

Quaintance comes to WJHL from WATE, the ABC affiliate in Knoxville, where he had been the assistant news director for the past 11 years.

Quaintance started at WATE in 2000 first as the assignment editor, than as the station’s executive producer and managing editor in from 2005 to 2007.

For Quaintance, it’s a return home of sorts as he graduated from East Tennessee State University located in Johnson City.

Quaintance won’t have to drive far from Knoxville as Johnson City is just 100 miles away.

“I’m excited to team up with Jay,” said the station’s general manager, Kenny Lawrence. “He brings great experience, local knowledge, and the drive to advance and complement our goals to be the dependable local news provider for the Tri Cities area.”


Facebook-First Content Puts KOAT Ahead By A Million

Social Scorecard this week reveals how original content created just for Facebook has led KOAT to be the leader on Facebook by more than a million actions in Albuquerque, N.M.

Hearst-owned ABC affiliate KOAT is ahead in social media actions in the market over the last six months according to data from audience insight firm Shareablee.

KOAT has more than 2.1 million actions on social, 44% of the total engagement generated by the DMA (No. 46), with more than 4.8 million social actions.

KQRE, the market’s CBS affiliate owned by Nexstar, led on Instagram during the same period with more than 30,000 actions.

Read On

WTVO’s High School Quiz Show Goes Illinois-Wide

WTVO-WQRF’s high school quiz show, the Bergstrom Stateline Quiz Bowl, will include a statewide invitational tournament this spring.

WTVO is the ABC affiliate in Rockford, Ill., owned by Mission Broadcasting, and is the sister station to WQRF, the Fox affiliate owned by Nexstar, through a shared services agreement.

In January of 2015, WTVO-WQRF launched the area’s first locally-produced, half-hour game show featuring 22 academic teams from local area high schools in a test of knowledge.

Kelly Lattimer

“Within a few weeks of the show’s premiere, word had spread quickly, and we were bombarded by requests from academic teams across the region asking how they could get involved for Season Two,” said Kelly Lattimer, WQRF, general manager.

“It’s time to expand the brand statewide,” said Lattimer.

“We’ve heard from numerous academic coaches that our show is well-known in scholastic bowl circles. We’re told that kids and coaches from academic teams in other markets are envious and wish they had a show like ours. So, we decided it was time to give folks across the state the opportunity to experience what Rockford has been doing the past three years.”

Eight top academic teams from across the state will be invited to compete in the Bergstrom Stateline Quiz Bowl Tournament of Champions.

The Tournament of Champions will be played April 28 and 29 in the historic Nordlof Center in downtown Rockford. All matches will be recorded live to tape and will air for eight consecutive weeks May 26 to July 15.

WTVO-WQRF anchor Eric Wilson will be the show’s host.

The Bergstrom Stateline Quiz Bowl Tournament of Champions will be carried on a five-market regional network reaching more than four million TV households.

Network affiliates include WCUU Chicago, WCIX Champaign, WMBD Peoria, WHBF Quad Cities and WTVO-WQRF Rockford.

Specific telecast dates and times in each market are yet to be determined.

The Bergstrom Stateline Quiz Bowl recently celebrated its 100th episode.

“We couldn’t have done one show, much less 100, without the schools taking part and the support of our great sponsors,” said Lattimer.

To help celebrate 100 episodes, Nexstar has announced that during the Season Four finale on May 18, it will award each member of the winning team a $1,000 grant. Students participating on the second-place team will take home $500.

Click here to read how a Nexstar station in Phoenix started its own version of a high school quiz show.

Click here to read how WTVO started the high school quiz show back in January of 2015.

Tim Busch

NOTE: Tim Busch, Nexstar Broadcasting president, says WTVO’s high school quiz show was shared at Nexstar’s general managers meeting last year as an example of “best practices,” and says multiple Nexstar markets are reviewing it.

“We’ve encouraged our other GMs to consider it for their market. And I think you’ll see it roll out in its own time. Rest assured there will be other markets that will pick it up. They can do something that’s unique and different and it’s all about local.”

Grendel Levy New News Director At Nexstar’s WOWK

Grendel Levy

Grendel Levy is the new news director at WOWK, Nexstar’s CBS affiliate in Charleston-Huntington, W.Va. She starts later this month.

Levy joins WOWK from Boise, Idaho, where she worked for 7 years at ABC affiliate, KIVI, first as executive producer and then for the past 4 years as the station’s news director.

“I am sad to leave a team I truly respect and admire,” said Levy about KIVI, “but I am excited about this new challenge and the next chapter in my life! I look forward to many successes for my new team at WOWK.”

Levy shared this note she sent to her team at KIVI:

My News Family,

My heart aches as I type this. When you work with a group of people this closely, many of you for almost 7 years, it definitely feels like a family. We’ve won together, lost together and grown together. We’ve shared stressful moments and many happy times. We’ve come so far together and I’ll forever be proud of all of your accomplishments. I know that momentum will continue and I can’t wait to hear of future victories. We are so close! Just remember — unique content is what it’s all about. You are a very talented team of story tellers and you outshine all of the others in the market. Keep it up… and keep raising the bar!

Today it’s with great sadness that I must say I have decided to move on. I’ve accepted a job as news director of WOWK in Charleston, West Virginia.

NOTE: I worked with Levy briefly at KIVI when I was parachuted into Boise in 2011 for several months to help with the station’s marketing.

Hands On Buzzers, Quiz Show Comes To KASW

One of the benefits and strengths of being part of a large broadcast group like Nexstar is the ability to share and duplicate successful ideas from one market and station to another.

Three years ago, I wrote about a high school quiz show, Stateline Quiz Bowl by Bergstrom, on WTVO, the brainchild of Kelly Lattimer, WTVO-WQRF’s general manager.

WTVO is Mission Broadcasting’s ABC affiliate in Rockford, Ill., while WQRF is Nexstar’s Fox affiliate. The stations share studios.

A local TV high school quiz show combines the perfect venue for education awareness, community support, corporate PR, inventive local programming and station revenue.


And now the idea is being tested in Phoenix on the CW affiliate there, KASW. The half-hour show debuts on Feb. 1. It will feature students from local high schools in a test of their knowledge and give them a chance to win prizes.

Read On