Tag Archives: WDIV

WDIV Focused On More Informed Voter Turnout

Voter turnout in 2014 in key state elections in Michigan was less than 50% in many counties around Detroit.

“As a region, we can do better and should do better,” said Marla Drutz, general manager of WDIV, Graham Media’s NBC affiliate in Detroit.

To that end, WDIV/ClickOn Detroit launched Your Soapbox, a citizen engagement project, part of the station’s Decision 2018 coverage leading up to the midterm elections.

Through conversations with the people of metro Detroit, Your Soapbox will identify local issues of priority for voters and work to inform and engage diverse viewpoints.

Through the Your Soapbox roadshow, WDIV/ClickOnDetroit will travel across the region to connect with voters and citizens of all ages to encourage voter participation and hear what is important to their lives.

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Graham Media Stations Win 5 Regional Murrow Awards

Graham Media Group TV stations in Detroit, Orlando and Jacksonville earned a total of five Regional Edward R. Murrow Awards.

“It is especially gratifying to see the hard work and dedication of our local newsrooms recognized with such a prestigious award,” said Emily Barr, Graham’s president.

Region 7, Large Market Television (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio)
WDIV Breaking News Coverage
Severe Weather Alert: Record Wind Damage

WDIV Excellence in Writing:
Failure in Flint (show open), Kim Adams Cancer Fight, and Elliot Carter

WDIV Excellence in Sound
What’s Old is New Again

Region 13, Large Market Television, (Florida, Georgia, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands)
WJXT Breaking News Coverage
Hurricane Irma

WKMG Best Website
https://www.clickorlando.com/

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.”

WDIV Airing Special On School Safety

WDIV, Graham Media’s Detroit NBC affiliate, is airing a special that tackles issues from school safety in Michigan, to gun legislation and the impact of the violence.

Generation Under Fire airs tonight at 8 on WDIV and will be streamed on ClickOnDetroit.com.

These topics and more will be covered in the hour-long special:

• A discussion with local education students who are about to become teachers

• The importance of the march to local students heading to D.C.

• The number of teachers who have signed up for classes to get a Concealed Pistol License.

• Dads who invented a “gun vault” for schools.

• Parents raising money for door and window security devices for their children’s schools.

• A psychologist’s view on mental health issues and why so many young children plan attacks in schools.

WDIV Named ‘Station Of The Year’ Again

For the fourth year in a row, the Michigan Association of Broadcasters has named WDIV its Station of the Year.

WDIV is Detroit’s NBC affiliate owned by Graham Media Group.

The station also won honors for broadcasting excellence in 14 categories — 11 best and 13 merit awards for Market 1.

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WDIV Connects With Nextdoor Neighborhoods

WDIV, Graham Media’s Detroit NBC affiliate, is partnering with Nextdoor, the free and private social network for neighborhoods, to boost conversations around local news in communities across the Detroit area.

Mike Katona

“It gives us an opportunity to connect with our viewers on a very specific, geo-targeted neighborhood level,” says Mike Katona, Graham’s digital product manager.

WDIV can not only post relevant and interesting news stories to specific Nextdoor neighborhoods in Metro Detroit, but also engage residents in the stories it works on.

Through open-ended questions and Nextdoor polls, WDIV can hear directly from residents about the various issues affecting them.

Dustin Block

“Discussing local news with neighbors is an essential way to build a strong community and an informed civic dialogue,” says Dustin Block, WDIV’s digital executive producer.

“We hope that the stories we share lead to further community discussions about the topics that matter most to you.

There are more than 140 Detroit neighborhoods on Nextdoor.

“It really allows us to be a member of that community and target our news coverage and events that are of interest to them,” Katona says.

“We had a water outage a few days ago in a certain area, and in addition to doing our normal broadcast about that, we also targeted that section, that neighborhood, that community, posted some information and shared the news about it.”

If there is an article/story that WDIV does not share that residents would like to discuss with neighbors, participants can use the “Share on Nextdoor” icon that will be accessible on all of WDIV’s news stories.

Since Facebook change its algorithms earlier this year to favor posts from friends and family over local news, does this give WDIV an advantage?

“When we are targeting that news message to specific communities that have a built in interest in it, they for sure are going look at the story, share their comments, and participate in a poll,” Katona says.

He adds that right now Graham is working with Nextdoor exclusively in the Detroit and San Antonio markets, and is looking to roll out the agreement in other Graham markets.

“We can reach out to those communities and find out what the pulse of what’s going on there, and build stories off of that, we can throw questions out to those communities and just ask for feedback. It’s us being members of those communities.”

Nextdoor verifies people’s addresses who want to join their network neighborhood on NextDoor to establish that they are members of that neighborhood.

Instead of the “like” icon on Facebook, Nextdoor uses a “thank” button to signal the content they care about.

“It’s a rewarding word to hear,” Katona says.

Enter Your Station For Service To America Awards

Did your TV station provide exemplary service to your community through a campaign, project or program that served the public good?

It’s time to be recognized nationally for those outstanding efforts by entering the National Association of Broadcasters Education Foundation (NABEF) 2018 Celebration of Service to America Awards.

Winners will be recognized at the 20th annual Celebration of Service to America Awards gala held Tuesday, June 12, at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium in Washington.

The awards program, now in its 20th year, has established new categories based on market size.

• Broadcast Ownership Group
• Large/Major Market (TV DMAs 1-50, Radio Markets 1-50)
• Medium Market (TV DMAs 51-100, Radio Markets 51-150)
• Small Market (TV DMAs 101-210, Radio Markets 151-300)

Entries must be submitted by March 9. Additional information on awards criteria and entry rules are available here.

Here’s a video compiled from the 2017 Celebration of Service to America Award.

Here are some of the 2017 winners:

2017, President’s Special Award
WXIA (NBC, Tegna), Atlanta

The NABEF President’s Special Award was presented to Tegna’s WXIA Atlanta. “Charlie Foxtrot” began as an investigation of military policy that stripped service members with certain mental health conditions of their benefits and veteran status. These reports were ultimately aired in 46 cities across the U.S. and culminated with a screening with members of Congress just three days before the Fairness for Veterans Act was passed.

2017, Service to America Award
WDIV (NBC, Graham), Detroit

The 2017 Service to America Award for Television was presented to WDIV in Detroit in recognition of the station’s year-round commitment to excellence in serving its local community. Through news coverage, philanthropy and community service, WDIV puts the needs of viewers first.

2017, Children’s Award for Television
WMUR (ABC, Hearst), Manchester, N.H.

The need for foster and permanent homes for New Hampshire children is greater than ever, attributed in large part to the opioid crisis. Since 2014, WMUR’s New Hampshire Chronicle has featured “Home at Last,” a recurring series of segments with the goal of finding permanent adoptive homes for the more than 700 children in New Hampshire living in out-of-home placement.

2017, Service to Community Award for Television
WRAL (NBC, Capitol Broadcasting), Raleigh, N.C.

The rising tensions in the relationship between police departments and African American communities in Raleigh, Durham and Fayetteville, N.C., inspired WRAL’s Black and Blue documentary. The program became part of an unprecedented two-hour community conversation on air, online and on social media.

WDIV First To Launch Graham Media Podcasts

WDIV, Detroit’s NBC affiliate owned by Graham Media, is beginning a series of podcasts called Mismatch, stories about the incompatible, the unsuitable and the out-of-step.

Mismatch explores things in life that just don’t fit. Square pegs in the round holes of relationships, culture and history.

Roger Webber

The series is hosted and written by veteran TV journalist Roger Weber and produced and edited by Zak Rosen, a Detroit-based audio producer who has worked with NPR, the BBC and Michigan Radio, among others.

Weber described Mismatch episodes as compelling, comical and, at times, inspiring.

“More often than not, interesting stories feature a mismatch,” Weber said.

It’s part of a company-wide podcast division by Graham Media Group to provide compelling, original audio content.

Catherine Badalamente

“We are excited to partner with our seven TV stations and other producers to bring captivating stories to new audiences,” said Catherine Badalamente, Graham Media Group’s vice president of digital media.

“This allows us to use our community connections to give listeners more of the stories we know they love.”

The first two episodes have been released.

Click here to hear a podcast featuring President Richard Nixon and Baseball Hall of Fame manager Sparky Anderson coming together for a Detroit television program.

All will be available for download on mismatchpodcast.com, Apple Podcasts, Google Play and wherever podcasts can be downloaded.

“Our stations are the voices of our communities and full of smart and engaging storytellers,” said Emily Barr, Graham Media’s president. “Podcasts are a natural extension of what we are really good at doing. Graham Media Group has some great podcasts in the hopper. We are excited to share them.”

Tributes Pour In Honoring Lee Minard

Lee Minard

Lee Minard, former creative services director at KLAS in Las Vegas, died last week at his home in Fountain Hills, Arizonia.

The local TV marketing community is a tight-knit group, especially among long-time veterans.

Many of us are thankful to the mentorship of others in the business who helped us along the way, and so it is for many who crossed paths with Lee Minard.

Lee had an especially long and varied career in television, starting as an art director in 1962 at KEPR Pasco, Wash. Over the years he worked at WREX Rockford, Ill.; KIMA Yakima, Wash.; WFAA Dallas; KCNC and KUSA in Denver; WDIV Detroit; WCBS New York; and WMAR Baltimore. In addition to his work in local TV, Lee also had top marketing roles at PAX-TV and the Food Network.

Last week, I wrote a short piece announcing Lee’s death and asked for anyone to write a comment. Family and friends sent me emails while others posted their comments at the end of that column.

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WDIV Streams Thanksgiving Parade To The World

U.S. News & World Report Travel recognizes Detroit’s America’s Thanksgiving Parade presented by Art Van as one of the best Thanksgiving parades in the country.

And people from around the world can watch the live stream on WDIV’s website, ClickOnDetroit.com. WDIV is Graham Media’s NBC affiliate in the Motor City.

“Nothing kicks off the holiday season better than starting with a hometown parade right in the heart of our city,” said Marla Drutz, WDIV’s general manager.

“And for those who can’t be there in person, metro Detroiters know they can count on us to bring it to them wherever they are and however they want to view it, on-air or online.”

The annual live broadcast begins on WDIV at 9 a.m. on Thanksgiving morning.

The national broadcast, from 10 to 11 a.m., reaches more than 190 major cities across the country.

Throughout the parade broadcast on WDIV and livestreamed on ClickOnDetroit.com, viewers can win special prizes while watching at home.

NOTE: I like to imagine some Michigan soldiers in some far off corner of the world sitting down for Thanksgiving dinner and watching the parade on their laptops.