Tag Archives: Rochester

WHEC Wins 11 P.M. News With New Anchor Team

Imagine going into one of the TV ratings periods with an unknown news anchor team on the desk.

How unknown? Your new chief meteorologist’s first day on air is the first day of the sweep.

Even your creative services director is new, just a few months on the job.

Yet despite those obstacles, WHEC, Hubbard Broadcasting’s NBC affiliate in Rochester, N.Y., was the No. 1 newscast at 11 p.m. in adults 25-54 in the November 2017 sweeps.

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WROC Digital Dude Snaps Shots That Go Viral

John Kucko

If you don’t live in or near Rochester, N.Y., you may not have heard of John Kucko, but more than likely you’ve seen his pictures and drone photography.

Like his picture of a lake house encased in ice, a viral sensation last March.

John Kucko has covered more than 16 Super Bowls, providing live reports to many Nexstar stations around the country.

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Broadcasters Eye Irma While Fundraising For Harvey

As Harvey swoons, Irma looms. Hurricane Harvey’s flood waters are barely receding from some Gulf Coast states as a powerful Atlantic hurricane, Irma, threatens another part of the country.

Even as broadcast companies are continuing to raise donations to help victims and of Harvey in Texas and Louisiana, they’re keeping a wary eye on Irma, knowing that broadcast assets — reporters, photographers, producers, equipment — will be needed to move into place to cover what Irma brings ashore.

What plans does your company have in place to deploy to local TV stations that might be in the path of Irma?

If you or someone at your station is headed into any region where Irma is expected to make landfall, I’d like to write about it.

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Rochester’s WHEC No. 1 In Morning News

Being the new news director at a TV station is not unlike being named a new coach on a football or baseball team.

You inherit the team as is; some of its members have been there a long time and seen other coaches come and go. Some of the team may be less experienced and are hungry for leadership.

You don’t play on the field, but you’re expected to improve the results right away.

Casey Clark

Casey Clark was named the news director at Hubbard’s NBC affil WHEC Rochester, N.Y., in August. In the just-completed November ratings period, WHEC’s 5-7 a.m. morning news block was No. 1 in adults 25-54 in both rating and share, moving up from third place in November 2015.

When viewership grows for a local news program, explaining why or how it grew remains elusive. Is it a measurement anomaly? A change in talent, news coverage content, attitude or promotion?

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WROC’s 14-Hour Facebook Live Goes Global

img_1048A 110 year-old grave in a cemetery in Rochester, N.Y., became the unlikely setting for an internet sensation this past Election Day.

Before it was over, millions of people from all over the world would be watching, hundreds of news outlets would be writing about it, and a digital reporter for a Rochester TV station would have a career highlight.

“The telling moment in my career will be sitting in a cemetery for 14 hours talking to the world,” said John Kucko, digital reporter at Nexstar CBS affiliate WROC. “You couldn’t make that up in a million years.”

John Kucko

John Kucko

Kucko’s career is not without notable highlights. A sports anchor at WROC for 28 years, Kucko’s covered 18 Super Bowls, becoming the go-to guy for live shots from the Super Bowl for as many as 30 Nexstar stations around the country.

Recently, he became the news anchor for WROC’s 4 p.m. news and the station’s resident digital guru. Click here to read a story about Kucko using Google Glass to cover the Super Bowl in 2014.

But according to Kucko, this tops everything. “It was unlike anything I’ve ever covered in my life.”

The story begins in the dark, before dawn on Election Day. Kucko goes to Mount Hope Cemetery in Rochester hoping to get a good sunrise photo.

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UPDATE: WROC Rochester’s Rubber Room Story

wrocIn Rochester, N.Y., WROC revealed that teachers under investigation for misconduct are sent to the so-called “rubber room.” While there, teachers collected their salary but were given no work assignments.

I promised that I would keep you updated on any developments in this story from the Nexstar-owned CBS affiliate, and here are a few.

First, many viewers went to the station’s Facebook page to express their outrage. Here are just a few examples.

Talk about bullying!!!
This is crazy!
This is for real?
Truly shocking. The craziest thing I’ve heard in a long while. And these administrators deal with children.

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WROC February Sweeps Story Disturbing

wrocAs a parent with a degree in secondary education, I tried to imagine what must have been going through the minds of news viewers watching a special report called, The Rubber Room, last night on WROC’s 11p.m. news in Rochester.

Let’s start with disbelief. No, this can’t be happening. I’ve heard of disciplining students by isolating them to a special room, but teachers and administrators?

In this special report that aired last night on WROC, the Nexstar-owned CBS affiliate in Rochester, the story revealed how teachers under investigation for misconduct were sent to the Alternative Work Location, AKA, The Rubber Room. While there, teachers collected their salary but were given no work assignments.

The report uncovered that in the spring of 2014, there were 15 teachers, administrators and paraprofessionals sitting in the rubber room.

First off, I’m shocked and dismayed that a school district would think that 15 of its employees would be under investigation for misconduct in one semester. That alone is disturbing, but to relegate them to a special room in limbo for months on end is beyond belief.

This is the kind of report that distinguishes local TV news. Getting inside schools to reveal what happens there on a regular basis is not easy.

I will be following this story and reporting to you on any updates as they become available.

Cool Yule Promos From Days Of Yore

old xmaqsThese days, the major networks supply their affiliates with everything they need to create and customize holiday promos. The theme, the music, the graphics, shots of their favorite network entertainment and news personalities, the works.

All the station has to do is insert shots of its news personalities and voila, and it has a high-end, highly-produced holiday promo that ties in with its  network and includes its on-air news talent.

It’s easy, it makes sense, and in this era where creative services people are doing more with less, it’s done.

I get that. But some TV stations still do their own holiday promos now and certainly have in the past. I found some creative and unique holiday spots from yesteryear that I thought I’d share. These are fun to look at even if you never worked at these stations. But if you did work there, these will bring back great memories and familiar faces. Over the next few weeks, I’ll post more holiday promos from yesterday and yesteryear.

It’s the season of sharing so why not share your station’s holiday promos FROM ANY YEAR.
Send me your station holiday spots from any year to share by emailing me the online link or a small file version I can post online. Got a question or want to brainstorm? I’m at 817-578-6324 or [email protected].

WXIA Atlanta, 1986

WOKR (WHAM today) Rochester, 1988

WJZ Baltimore, 1994
Here is a compilation of several holiday promos featuring the station’s on-air personalities.

WKBD Detroit, 1986

WDIO Diluth, 1970s

KBAK Bakersfield, 1994

How Viewers Help Sales at WHEC Rochester

taxesThis is a follow up on a story we first reported in October. About how WHEC, the NBC affiliate in Rochester, N.Y., is continuing its New York State Exposed series that it started in October 2013. At the time, the station “wanted a direction and focus that supersedes slogans,” said WHEC Marketing Director Steven Patrick. “We wanted to be known for something; maybe we can make New York a little better place.”

In February, “the station took a chance”, Patrick said. “We decided to go seamless into our late news following the Olympic opening ceremony with a 10-minute piece on why we’re so committed to this series and why it’s so important. The response was fantastic.”

Patrick took some of the comments and turned them into a sales tool.

“Sales puts it in front of their clients, in addition to our ratings trends, which have all been going up. Business owners love this series because New York is clobbering them too!”

WHEC one sheet“If viewers are taking the time to comment on our news content,” said Lauren Burruto, WHEC’s director of sales, “we think businesses in our area need to know about that. After many months of doing this series, it’s become a strong differentiator for the station from our competitors.”

Another reason to believe that good journalism leads to good business.