It was a happy accident, and it made WBTV feature reporter Kristen Hampton a Facebook sensation.
Keeping a station on the air during a disaster means crafting and rehearsing a plan that’s often based on previous experiences. As Nexstar’s ABC affiliate in Panama City, Fla., learned from October’s Hurricane Michael, sometimes the unforeseen still happens. After the WMBB building lost power, the news team set up in the station’s parking lot for newscasts.
An Alabama meteorologist used Facebook Live and satellite imagery to pinpoint weather information for viewers affected by Hurricane Michael. Because of his creative efforts to serve the viewers during a difficult time, Josh Johnson of WSFA has won the Social Media Excellence Awards’ top distinction — the Innovator Award.
WDAF Kansas City wanted to thank its 500,000 Facebook fans with a special day of celebration. Problem was, as the day approached, it didn’t have a half million followers. The solution was a 24-hour Facebook Live marathon. “I don’t know that it’s been done before, but to go 24 hours straight on Facebook Live was quite the feat,” said Danielle Ray, WDAF’s creative services director.
The number of Facebook Live videos produced by paid partners more than halved by the end of 2017 — and in one case fell by as much as 94% — as once guaranteed payments ended and Facebook deprioritized the product.
The satellite operator is suing Univision in federal court, alleging that it distributed Mexican soccer games via Facebook in violation of their carriage agreement. Last month, Univision moved to dismiss the suit. Dish responded on Friday, contending that nothing in the agreement permits Univision to repackage programming and “then allowing that content to be given away for free.”
The effort of covering the historic storm fully tested Houston stations’ technological and logistical prowess and planning, while straining their human resources. With power and cable outages prevalent, the broadcasters also streamed their coverage continuously over Facebook Live so that folks with a charged smartphone could watch, too. Above, KHOU broadcast news temporarily from the facilities of noncommercial KUHT.