Tag Archives: November sweeps

Bad Biker And Getting Out Alive, November Sweeps

Yesterday was the first day of the November sweeps.

And  TV stations across the country are promoting their sweeps stories, special reports and investigations, both on-air and on Facebook.

If your station has a sweeps story that you’re promoting and you want to share both, let me know by email at [email protected] or you can always call me for any reason at 817-578-6324.

In the meantime, I’ll be watching my Facebook feed for sweeps promos and then finding the sweeps stories on that station’s web site and sharing them from time to time during the month.

Here are a couple of Facebook promos and the stories they promote.

Read On

Turning Facebook Users Into TV News Watchers

facebook-vs-tvTV stations face a dilemma every time they post on their Facebook page.

Should they give away free news to users on Facebook who want it now, or use Facebook to drive users to their other screens that pay the bills, like their websites or newscasts?

I follow many TV stations’ Facebook posts, and have interviewed many local TV executives about their use of Facebook for a weekly series called Social Scorecard on TVNewsCheck‘s sister site NetNewsCheck.

And almost universally, they mention this struggle between giving users free news and/or enticing users to go to the stations’ other screens, where there’s revenue.

Many stations report that upwards of 70% of their web traffic comes directly from Facebook.

And although it’s difficult to tie increased news ratings on TV directly to Facebook, many stations say they see a relationship.

So how are stations using their Facebook pages to get their fans to watch on TV, or go to their website?

Here are some random examples I found from the stations I follow on Facebook. By the way, if you want me to like/follow your station’s Facebook page, email me the link at [email protected].

It’s the November ratings period, so many stations are using Facebook to promote special reports for their TV newscasts.

In some cases, the Facebook promo is the same as the TV promo. But in many cases, the Facebook promo is different since it needs to be effective without any audio, as it’s been reported that 85% of Facebook users watch videos with the sound turned off.

I looked for posts that had a clear “call to action” to watch in either the post or the promo.

Read On

WBAL’s November Sweeps Elevator Pitch

wbalWhoever handles ordering the champagne at Hearst’s NBC affil WBAL Baltimore has had a busy few weeks.

First, the station had a good November ratings period and then it was awarded an Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Award for investigative reporting.

More bubbly, please.

The reason Market Share offers stations the chance to celebrate and share their ratings performance is to see if we can determine the reasons for that success in their news content and news marketing. Could it help you in raising news viewership at your station?

John Baldwin

John Baldwin

John Baldwin, WBAL’s creative services director, sent me some comments and spots about his station’s sweeps performance in November. WBAL is the Hearst NBC affiliate in Baltimore.

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WVTM’s November Sweeps Elevator Pitch

wvtmThere were no special report promos trying to drive tune-in this November on WVTM, Hearst’s NBC affiliate in Birmingham, Ala.

No spots promoting news packages from franchise reporters.

Yet the station’s news viewership grew.

So what did WVTM do to recruit viewers to watch its newscasts this November?

It focused on image and branding. So how did it do in the ratings?

Jason Holloway

Jason Holloway

“The November numbers surpassed our forecasts,” said Jason Holloway, WVTM’s creative services director.
“The station is back in the local news race.”

WVTM increased its household news ratings by an average of almost 50%, according to the station.

“We credit our quick successes to a return-to-basics approach,” said Holloway. “We feel we are striking a chord with viewers by once-again delivering relevant content at an accelerated pace.”

WVTM flooded the market — on-air, cable, radio, digital and outdoor door — with branding messages that promised a simple commitment: What’s happening right now, and what’s next.

“We’re in the process of building this news brand from the ground up,” said Holloway, “promoting a new energy at the station under the umbrella of Today’s WVTM 13 News.

Let me see if I understand this right.

During the November sweeps, WVTM floods the market place with image advertising that conveys a simple message of back-to-basics news. And across all of its newscasts, WVTM’s viewership increased.

What a concept.

WPTV’s November Sweeps Elevator Pitch

wptvWPTV, the Scripps NBC affiliate in West Palm Beach, Fla., says it was No. 1 in households in all morning and evening newscasts during November.

But it was particularly tight at 11 p.m., according to Christine Baron, WPTV’s creative services director.

“WPTV’s 11p.m. news was just hundredths of a difference from first, second and third.”

Christine Baron

Christine Baron

Baron believes a new direction in the station’s topical promotion may have played a role.

“It came down to who has the most compelling writing. During sweeps, we launched a whole new style of topical writing and we enhanced what was there for newscast writing.”

Baron says there wasn’t much of a change in the number or placement of the topicals for the 11 p.m., but there was a more focused effort to include reporter stand-up teases.

“Getting reporter stand up teases can be really hard because reporters are expected to do so much these days. But we brainstormed ideas before reporters even get out the door. And the topical team was constantly in contact with them, whether it’s emails, texting or calling, just trying to fine tune what they plan to cut out in the field.”

“The results were awesome, everything seemed fresh, new.”

Read On

Detroit’s WDIV November Sweeps Elevator Pitch

Local-4-COD-shadedWDIV, the NBC affiliate in Detroit owned by Graham Media, is touting first-place finishes in the November 2015 ratings at 4, 5, 6 p.m. and in late news in TV households and total adults.

An article on the website, Mlive Media Group, a group of 8 Michigan newspapers, details the ratings race in Detroit.

The article says that both WDIV and another station can make claims about being No. 1 in certain newscasts.

It all depends on whether you’re talking households or demographics of adults 18-49 and 25-54.

Either way, both stations can sell those powerful numbers to their advertisers.

I got a press release about WDIV’s ratings performance, and asked the station to share what it believes is the reason for its ratings performance in November.

Marla Drutz

Marla Drutz

Marla Drutz is WDIV’s general manager and she emailed me some of her thoughts:

Read On

Your November Sweeps Elevator Speech

LocalPeopleMeterLocal TV news viewership is still the main currency for measuring broadcasting success, in my opinion.

rentrak vs nielsenIr you create a strong news brand on television, all of your digital and mobile platforms benefit. If you have a weak TV news brand, your digital and mobile performances follow.

Many TV stations are airing 40, 50 or more hours of news a week. Local news represents about 50% of a station’s income. Experts I’ve talked to say digital and mobile are growing fast, but only represent about 10% of a station’s revenue.

So TV news ratings matter tremendously to me.

TVNewsCheck shares sweeps performance stories from newspapers and other media. topical-newsBut I’d like to try and give your station’s ratings success some context and hopefully, other stations can learn from it.

So when a TV station performs well in a ratings period, I think that’s news, but only if we can try to answer why that is.

I have a saying, “news ratings aren’t won during ratings periods; they’re only measured then.”

In my experience, the heavy lifting for ratings performance is cumulative of the work being done in news and marketing all year long, year after year.

breaking-news-lloyd-irvin-keenan-jordon-atosSome stations continue dominating the ratings month in, month out.

Understood, but why do the managers at those stations think that’s so? I want to ask them, I want to see examples of any marketing or news coverage that management thinks is contributing to ratings performance, image topical, special report, etc.

investigativeIf your station grew ratings in a news time period or newscast, and there was a plan you executed to accomplish that, I want to hear about it, I want to see examples, I want you to tell me as if we were in an elevator and you had two minutes of my time.

I can’t respond to every presser I’ve gotten so far for the November ratings. I have talked to some stations about their performances and you’ll see those columns shortly.

The stations that I have talked to about their ratings got this same pitch, and I’ve received notes back from GMs, news directors and CSDs, of course, along with examples.

neilsenSo, the November 2015 sweeps are over, where did ratings change at your station? If you’re a station that is continuing to dominate a newscast or many newscasts ratings, tell me about it.

I want to know why you think the station is succeeding. I want to know why your management thinks this is the case.

tv 5What do you and your management think is the reason viewers are choosing to watch your news?

What’s different, better, unique?

Is it your on-air personalities? Content, news quality, weather man, talent?

At the very least, please send me links/embed codes to any news image promos and news coverage that you think captures the overall message of your TV news brand.




KNBC Exposes Radioactive Waste Cover-Up

nuclear-waste-warning-sign-rotten-grungy-29917617Thousands of kids who went to a popular camp in Los Angeles may have been exposed to radioactive waste and toxic chemicals, according to an investigation by KNBC, the NBC O&O there.

And for the past 65 years, families claim camp staff and board members covered up evidence of the risk and continue to hide important information.

KNBC_Web_iTeam-722x406+jsWorkers told KNBC’s I-Team that they were ordered to secretly release radioactive gases into the wind which blew toward the camp.

“It’s criminal not to disclose this,” said a counselor at the camp. “There are people’s lives at risk.”

KNTV Finds Answers To California’s Drought In Israel

I know I have pointed this out before, but it’s worth repeating.

The opening visuals and music to all of KNTV’s investigative promos are always the same, except for a font change to title the story.

It’s not that the creatives at NBC’s San Francisco O&O are lazy or unimaginative; it’s that they understand consistent branding.

Read On

KCRA Investigates Slow Response At Hospital

GTY_crosswalk_button_jtm_140731_12x5_1600Have 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.

Emergency-Room-signNow 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.

Posted by KCRA 3 on Thursday, October 29, 2015