Tag Archives: WCPO

Local TV’s Support For Flood Victims Growing

TV stations all across the country, either in conjunction with their broadcast group owners, or on their own, are conducting fundraisers to help victims in Texas and Louisiana deal with devastating flooding due to Hurricane Harvey.

At many of the Scripps-owned TV stations, some of which have already been mentioned in earlier columns, Scripps employees assembled phone banks at many stations while waters were still rising.

“As journalists, we often tell the stories of people involved in tragic events like this,” said Sean McLaughlin, Scripps vice president of news.

“Today, we have the opportunity to lead an effort to help those who have lost everything. We can use our company’s reach, spanning from coast to coast, to raise money to ease the burden on the storm’s victims. It is who we are at Scripps.”

KNXV in Phoenix raised $185,000 during its phone bank over two days. That included a $50,000 donation from the Healthy Sprouts Community Foundation.

WXYZ and WMYD in Detroit coordinated a two-day telethon and raised more than $138,000.

At WPTV in West Palm Beach, Fla., the station raised more than $66,000 with its two-day phone bank.

WCPO in Cincinnati raised $100,000 over two days of afternoon-into-evening phone banks.

And in Tulsa, Okla., KJRH raised $16,000 with its Monday phone bank.

In Baltimore at Hearst’s NBC affiliate, WBAL, American Red Cross volunteers have been staffing the phone banks since Monday evening. Donations have eclipsed $260,000, as the phones continue to ring.

“There’s no shortage of adjectives to describe the pictures we’re seeing out of Texas in the wake of Hurricane Harvey,” said Dan Joerres, WBAL’s general manager.

“As powerful as they are, those images don’t even begin to tell the story of the heartache felt by the tens of thousands of people who now have nowhere to live. The phones have been ringing off the hook, as the response from people throughout Maryland has been incredible.”

In Cedar Rapids, Iowa, KCRG, Gray’s ABC affiliate, held a two-hour telethon with the Greater Iowa chapter of the American Red Cross, collecting $46,015. The total includes a $10,000 match from University of Iowa Community Credit Union.

“We went through our own devastating flood here in Eastern Iowa back in 2008,” said Thom Spritz, KCRG’s general manager. “Harvey hits home for so many people in our area.”

Another Gray station, NBC affiliate WEAU Eau Claire, Wis., created a PSA Toolkit that was sent to all the Gray stations so they can quickly get localized announcements on air.

In Boston, WCVB, Hearst’s ABC affiliate, raised more than $500,000, and counting with its RELIEF FUND 5: Help for Houston telethon during yesterday’s day-long fundraising event.

“When our community rallies to support a worthy cause, the results are always amazing,” said Bill Fine, WCVB’s general manager.

“And this time to raise more than a half million dollars in just hours to provide help for Houston is simply awe inspiring.”

In Corpus Christi, Texas, where Hurricane Harvey made landfall, Cordillera Communications’ KRIS, the NBC affiliate, announced a fundraising with the Coastal Bend Disaster Recovery Group to leverage all donor contributions to benefit residents in the seven Texas counties surrounding Corpus Christi.

To speed donations and relief efforts, KRIS and Cordillera will match the first $50,000 donated.

Other Cordillera TV stations nationwide will assist in communicating and promoting this relief fund effort.

WCPO Promo Wins ABC Alpha Award

WCPO, the Scripps-owned ABC affiliate in Cincinnati won the best targeted special report promo award at the ABC Alpha Awards given last week during the PromaxBDA Station Summit in Las Vegas.

The Alpha Awards is a competition among all ABC affiliates across the country in the categories of news, weather, social media, sports, special reports and ABC brand.

The winning promo was produced by Paul Harper, promotions manager at WCPO.

WCPO’s Drone Gives News Birds-Eye View

wcpo_9_on_your_side_introduces_sky_9_0_48584066_ver1-0_640_480WCPO, Cincinnati’s ABC affiliate owned by Scripps, now has a drone to go along with its helicopter.

“Sometimes the chopper is the better picture,” said Jeff Brogan, WCPO’s general manager from a statement from the station’s website.

“Sometimes the ground crew is the better picture, and there’s going to be many times where Sky 9 has the best picture.”

Sky 9 debuts!

WATCH: Now this is cool. We've got a whole new way to bring you your news with Sky 9, a quadcopter that gives you a birds-eye view of the Tri-State.Learn more about it here: http://bit.ly/2f1V5Q1

Posted by WCPO – 9 On Your Side on Monday, October 24, 2016

TV News Vs. Newspapers: A 1986 Advertising Campaign

wcpo635778229777029317-NEW-TheEnquirer-Logo-CLRWCPO, the Scripps ABC affiliate in Cincinnati, is running an ad campaign extolling consumers to drop the city’s daily newspaper, Gannett’s Enquirer, in favor of WCPO Insider, a paid membership website.

Dave Peterson

Dave Peterson

“We’re not trying to destroy them. We do want to compete with them,” said Dave Peterson, WCPO’s digital general manager. “People have said it’s a strike against journalism. It’s friendly fire.”

While the campaign is generating controversy, the idea of pitting TV news against the newspapers, or newspapers against TV news, is not new.

In 1986, the San Francisco Examiner produced an advertising campaign with a similar bent, attacking local TV news as lightweight compared to the heavier merits of the newspaper.

Wayne Freedman

Wayne Freedman

At the time, Wayne Freedman was a  feature reporter for then-NBC affiliate KRON San Francisco.

He writes that his news director, Mike Ferring, told him to do a story about the campaign and added, “don’t hold back.”

He didn’t.

(NOTE: Freedman is the author of the book, It Tales More Than Good Looks To Succeed at Television News Reporting. Click here to link to stories from it. And here’s one of the stories from the book.




Scripps And WCPO Expose VA Hospital Wrongdoings

WCPO%209OYSsmall%201-2014This is an example of television journalism at its best.

scrippsListen to workers about irregularities within their work place.

Investigate their complaints.

Report the findings on television and digital media.

Watch the investigation result in changes to the status quo.

2016-02-14-va-sign-crop_1455619232821_31994508_ver1_0_640_480It’s a tale of how 34 good people came forward to blow the whistle on inappropriate conduct and conflicts of interest involving high-ranking officials at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Cincinnati.

Like Edmund Burke said, ‘”The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

The result became a four-month joint investigation by the Scripps Washington Bureau and Scripps’ ABC affiliate, WCPO Cincinnati.

Read On

WCPO Travels 10,000 Miles For Rhino Story

TV stations rarely spend the time and money to travel 10,000 miles for a story.

But WCPO photojournalist Emily Maxwell did, all the way to Indonesia, to chronicle the transfer of a 1,800 pound rhino named Harapan back to The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden.

WCPO, owned by Scripps, is the ABC affiliate in Cincinnati.

Emily Maxwell

Emily Maxwell

Maxwell was the only journalist given behind-the-scenes access to share the eight-year-old rhino’s incredible journey.

In a story exclusive for WCPO.com, Maxwell chronicles the emotional and courageous adventure of Harapan (also known as Harry).

The zoo transferred the 1,800-pound Sumatran rhino from its breeding program to the sanctuary in hopes of expanding the dwindling population. There are fewer than 100 Sumatran rhinos left in the world.

“From images to words to video, Emily captured what it was like to be along for the journey, and we think our readers will connect with this very human tale,” said Mike Canan, WCPO.com’s editor-in-chief.

The story is now available on WCPO.com

Free registration may be required.

Scripps’ ‘The Now’ Is News, But Not A Newscast

scrippsBroadcast groups and TV stations are increasingly experimenting with news and local programming.

Some are doing news in time periods usually reserved for syndicated programming.

Some are narrowing the focus, and the name, of newscasts in traditional time periods.

Others are launching newscasts that promise to be totally interactive.

One station even produced its own teen realty show that airs in primetime.

Now comes The Now, a new approach to news.

The Now, an hour-long program by E.W. Scripps Co., launched last week in Cincinnati (WCPO, ABC), Detroit (WXYZ, ABC), Cleveland (WEWS, ABC) and Tampa (WFTS, ABC) according to Jessica Rappaport, Scripps’ VP of Marketing.

The Now premiered in July and August on other Scripps stations in Denver (KMGH, ABC), Kansas City (KSHB, NBC), Phoenix (KNXV, ABC) and West Palm Beach (WPTV, NBC). The Now airs at 4 p.m. in every market.

“Research indicates there is a significant appetite for news at 4 o’clock,” says Rappaport. “The challenge is to execute it across eight markets in different time zones by sharing content and resources but yet keep it local.”

Scripps describes The Now as an original program that focuses on the issues of most interest to news consumers.

How can they possibly know that?

Rappaport says they use a “technology to help us identify what people are talking about the most”, but stopped short of identifying it.

According to Scripps, The Now features a mix of local, national and international news, as well as viral stories, videos, entertainment and lifestyle stories.

The Now is independently produced in each market,” Rappaport says, “what each station does day-to-day varies.” She adds that KMGH Denver acts as the national desk.

In a press release, Brian Lawlor, VP of Scripps, describes The Now as the “type of programming audiences on multiple platforms crave.”

Several of the station’s websites emphasize that The Now is “not a newscast.”

Rappaport says The Now programs do cover weather, “but not like they cover it in other newscasts” and will not routinely cover traffic “unless it’s a big story.”

If there’s a breaking news story in any of the markets where The Now airs, those stations “will cover it but stay with The Now format”, according to Rappaport.

Scripps provided the stations with fast-paced, graphics-oriented promos to launch the shows. Some stations use talent in their launch promos; some don’t. Some stations support The Now with daily, episodic topicals; some don’t.

Rappaport says social media is important to marketing the program. “Each city uses its social media person for Facebook and Twitter to help gauge what’s going on and to get contributions from users and viewers. it’s critical to the show’s success.”

And how is Scripps feeling about the success of The Now?

“It’s too early to know,” Rappaport says, “of course, we’re interested in ratings and revenue.”

But more importantly, she adds, is how well the shows are executed and how they contribute to the Scripps brand. “Good content trumps everything.”

In Cincinnati, WCPO’s New Set Enhances News Content

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While I think it’s true that news sets don’t win news ratings, it’s also true that local TV news is in the presentation business. And with many stations airing seven hours or more of local news a day, much of it emanating from inside the station’s studio, the overall appeal of the news set — the position of the talent, the desk, the lighting, the color scheme, the background, the camera angles and the technology — must figure in prominently in the viewing experience, even if it’s subtle and subconscious.

But can a TV station’s news set add to the story-telling process?

“Now, more than ever, set technology adds content,” says Jeff Brogan, VP-GM of WCPO, the ABC affiliate in Cincinnati.

“With touch screens and large TV monitors, we can tell the story in a better way,” Brogan adds. “And how you tell stories wins ratings.”

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WCPO unveiled its new set on Monday, April 21. Conceived and designed by Park Place Studios in Pittsburgh, the set features more than 20 different shooting positions from WCPO’s five fixed robotic cameras.

“When the news is breaking and unscripted,” Brogan says, “our anchors’ interaction with each other, the touch screens, their ability to bring in various sources like maps, websites, live reports from the field, makes for a dynamic presentation. Viewers feel as if they’re discovering the news just as we are.”

Don’t forget to send me your May sweeps spots. Here’s what I need — a YouTube or Vimeo link to any examples you want to share, along with a short explanation about it, if you want. I’ll post the examples each day in the afternoon.

For competitive reasons, it might be best to submit only those promos that are already on your air. Make sure you get the permission of station management.

E-mail and phone number are at the top of the column.

I’ll share one of mine everyday as well. Look for more examples today.