Tag Archives: Scripps

Regional Murrow Awards Wrap-Up, 9 Markets

I’ve created a monster. Namely, writing about TV stations that won the various regional Edward R. Murrow Awards.

I have already shared dozens. But I can’t share all of them.

I do like to spotlight award-winning work, whether it’s news promotion or news coverage examples, as I believe looking at work deemed excellent by a jury of our peers helps everyone improve their craft.

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WMAR Rebrands To Focus On Maryland Roots

WMAR, Baltimore’s ABC affiliate owned by Scripps, is changing all of its branding to WMAR-2 News, Working For You.

A statement from the station says the move is “intended to underscore their long-standing focus on Maryland and its people,” harkening back to its early days as a pioneer in local television.

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Unique Content Puts WJBK First On Facebook

This week’s Social Scorecard stops at the Motor City to explore how WJBK is able to hold off its competition on Facebook with local news content that is mostly exclusive to the station.

Fox’s Detroit O&O led in social media actions in the market over the last six months according to data from audience insight firm Shareablee.

But it’s a highly competitive race as only about 5,000 actions separate WJBK from the second-place station, WXYZ, the market’s ABC affiliate owned by Scripps.

WJBK has more than 4.6 million actions on social, 23% of the total engagement generated by the DMA (No. 14), with more than 19.8 million social actions.

WJBK also led in actions per post with 500.

WDIV, the NBC affiliate owned by Graham Media Group led the market on Instagram with more than 123,000 actions.

The Detroit Free Press, a daily newspaper owned by Digital First Media, dominated on Twitter with more than 232,000 actions.

Jay Dillon

Jay Dillon, WJBK’s senior web producer, says the station has a big newsroom staff that produces a large amount of news per day, but not all of it works on Facebook.

“We look for the local news that our audience is interested in. We are very in tune with what our audience is engaged with; what stories will drive traffic. We just push our local content first and foremost.”

Dillon admits that what’s successful on Facebook is different every day, every week, especially since the changes Facebook made recently in its algorithms which downplays posts by publishers to emphasize content by friends and family.

What’s he’s finding in the last month or so that works “is unique content that only we are creating.”

Like the story that came to the station through a tip from one of its Facebook followers.

“There was a story we did first about a family who had an elderly member of their family that had been abused in a nursing home. They had video, they brought it to us, because they wanted us to do a story about it. That was our most popular story on our website. It was also one of the most popular stories on our Facebook page that month. So that’s what we’re looking for. Not just what our competition is reporting, because we’re all going to have that. But the more successful stuff is that unique content.”

That focus on unique content exclusive to WJBK also extends to how the station uses Facebook Live.

Kellie Rowe

“We have a program that’s called Fox 2 News Now,” says Dillon, “and we have a special setup where one of our web producers will go online. We want to have a way for people to find more about the content that they’re going to ask questions about. We’ll prepare stories for our website because every Facebook post that we do, we want to have a link back to our website.”

Dillon says that the segment, hosted by reporter Kellie Rowe, doesn’t go on Facebook Live at a designated time, but rather as news breaks.

“When there’s something live, we’re going. We’re going to be on live, and Kellie will be there to kind of moderate things. We have a lot of success, especially in February, with our Larry Nassar coverage.”

Nassar was the USA Gymnastics team doctor and an osteopathic physician at Michigan State University who was convicted of being a serial child molester.

Dillon says court cases in general get high engagement, comments, and shares because people pass judgement one way or the other.

WJBK’s morning team does a Facebook Live segment called The Doctor’s In, where they take questions on Facebook Live and then answer them on TV.

“It’s kind of a little bit of synergy of bringing our TV back to Facebook and vice versa,” says Dillon.

Another feature of the morning news is a two-hour show called The 9, which incorporates user comments.

“It’s on from 9 a.m. to 11. It’s an engaging show. Our talent are on their social media pages. They interact with their audience, also with our station page as well.”

Overall, Dillon views Facebook as an experiment.

“Every post, every day, every week is just like: OK, what’s working, what’s not working? In the end, it’s the same thing I’ve been saying since I started here four years ago: local news works.

“People rely on us to be their source. When we have a major event, like we had a meteor crash here in January, and our Facebook numbers, our web numbers, were through the roof for the story, because people wanted to know what was going on. People weren’t going for a national source. They were coming to us because we have developed and earned their trust that what we’re going to post is what we know, and what we know to be accurate. So above everything else, we want to be accurate, we want to be trustworthy, and that’s where we stand.”

WRTV Names Justin Welnack Creative Services Director

Justin Welnack

WRTV, the Scripps ABC affiliate in Indianapolis, has named Justin Welnack as its new creative services director. He starts in April.

Welnack comes to WRTV from WAPT, Hearst’s ABC affiliate in Jackson, Miss., where Melnack was CSD for four years and during which the station’s ratings reached an all-time high, according to Welnack.

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WITI Tops Milwaukee By 2 Million On Facebook

Social Scorecard this week reveals how WITI Milwaukee leads its next nearest competitor on Facebook by more than 2 million social media actions.

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

WITI has more than 4.4 million actions on social, 37% of the total engagement generated by the DMA (No. 35), with more than 12 million social actions.

WTMJ, the market’s NBC affiliate owned by Scripps, led the market in actions per post with 129.

WXSS-FM, a top 40 contemporary hits station owned by Entercom, led on Instagram during the same period with almost 80,000 actions.

Cary Docter

One reason WITI leads the market on Facebook by 2 million is a football team whose home is 120 miles outside the market, the Green Bay Packers.

“The Packers are big,” says Cary Docter, WITI’s digital content executive producer. “Anything Packers related gets a lot of engagement.”

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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 Phoenix’s KNXV Is 2.5 Million Ahead On Facebook

How is KNXV able to dominate the Phoenix market on Facebook by more than 2 and a half million actions?

KNXV tells Social Scorecard this week that its success is due to a focus on positive, local stories, a complete station effort to listen to what its users want, inventive use of Facebook Live and a marketing team that is digitally savvy.

KNXV, the Scripps-owned ABC affiliate, is ahead by more than 2.6 million in social media actions in the market over the last six months according to data from audience insight firm Shareablee.

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Brand New News Promos And Some Classics, Too

Before you watch this first spot, you need some history.

Its roots go all the way back to the 1980s when a concept promo called Home Movies was created for WPVI, ABC’s Philadelphia O&O.

The idea is that a family visits the Philadelphia area and shoots some home movies of their trip. Then they’re at home watching the movies when they notice that everywhere they went, a news van managed to work its way into the shot.

“It’s a great example of a simple, single idea that’s well-executed,” said Mike Davis, the man who originated the spot.

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Every Employee Helping Puts KGTV First On Facebook

Social Scorecard this week examines how complete station buy-in from all employees fuels KGTV’s performance to lead the San Diego market on Facebook.

KGTV, the Scripps ABC affiliate, is first in social media actions in the market over the last six months according to data from audience insight firm Shareablee.

KGTV has almost 4 million actions on social, 27% of the total engagement generated by the DMA (No. 29), with more than 14.7 million social actions. KGTV also lead in actions per post with 266.

NBC O&O KNSD led on both Twitter and Instagram with more than 142,000 and 358,000 actions, respectively.

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WXYZ-WMYD Donates $10K To Literacy Campaign

WXYZ and WMYD Detroit, Scripps-owned ABC and MyNetworkTV affiliates, respectively, celebrated National Reading Day by delivering a check for $10,000 to the St. Vincent and Sarah Fisher Center.

The money was donated by The Scripps Howard Foundation, as part of its national If You Give a Child a Book … literacy campaign.

Mike Murri, Diane Renaud, Exec. Director, St. Vincent and Sarah Fisher Center; Becky Brickner and Eli Scripps, Scripps Family members

The money will be used to purchase books for children at the Center, which provides educational programs for at-risk children through after school and summer programs.

The campaign is a partnership of the Foundation, the employees of the E.W. Scripps Co. and members of the Scripps family.

WXYZ anchor Carolyn Clifford at the St. Vincent and Sarah Fisher Center

“If You Give a Child a Book …” has distributed more than 100,000 books to children across the country.

“We are thrilled to to be able to advance the great work that is being done at St. Vincent and Sarah Fisher Center through the generosity of the Scripps family,” said Mike Murri, WXYZ-WMYD’s general manager.

Employees of WXYZ and WMYD generously pledged money to purchase books for the St. Vincent and Sarah Fisher Center as part of the campaign.

A member of the Scripps family matched the employee contributions and presented a donation of  $14,106 to the Center. In November, more than 5,600 books were purchased with those funds for children in the community.