KPRC Morning Anchor Taniya Wright Leaves

Pandemic Offers New Role For Local TV News

SmithGeiger research finds that TV consumption trend lines are reversing, with more adults 25-54 now watching linear TV than SVOD streaming services. It also shows local TV news has become the primary destination for trusted and relevant news and information, a trend on which Dr. Seth Geiger says local stations can capitalize.

OPEN MIKE FROM JIM WILLI

Local TV News Learns How To Be Relevant Again

In these pandemic times, local newscasts are developing creative stories that offer real answers to viewers’ main concerns. They are finally opening two-way communication channels with the viewers’ and answering their questions in meaningful ways. In short, local TV newscasts have finally found their way out of their self-created rut by becoming relevant to their audience once again. And ratings have followed.

OPEN MIKE BY RODNEY THOMPSON

Has COVID-19 Forever Changed The Weathercast?

Reliable work-from-home options may find a more lasting place in local weathercasts even after we’ve reached the other side of the pandemic. These are some possible scenarios for weekday and weekend forecasts, along with severe weather and traffic.

DMA 6: SAN FRANCISCO

COVID-19 Triggers Conversation About Race

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought out the best in many people — and the worst in a few. It has also given local TV newsrooms the opportunity to connect with their communities in innovative ways and to re-think the roles of their most prominent personalities.

WCVB Adds Sports Reporter Christopher Gasper

DMA 7: WASHINGTON

WRC Lets Kids Ask Coronavirus Questions

Washington’s WRC has launched a weekly half-hour show aimed at taking local kids’ wide-ranging questions on the pandemic and its impact on their lives. The show’s creator, Scott MacFarlane (above with his son Jonathan), says the questions are so good, he and his colleagues should’ve been asking them weeks ago.

OPEN MIKE BY RODNEY THOMPSON

Has COVID-19 Forever Changed The Weathercast?

Reliable work-from-home options may find a more lasting place in local weathercasts even after we’ve reached the other side of the pandemic. These are some possible scenarios for weekday and weekend forecasts, along with severe weather and traffic.

DMA 138: ROCKFORD, IL

Audrey Moon Upped To WREX News Director

Quincy Media’s NBC-CW affiliate in Rockford, Ill., chooses its assistant news director to succeed Josh Morgan after he’s promoted to station manager.

Dean Pantazi Shifting Into New Role At WPTA

Quincy Media’s ABC affiliate WPTA Fort Wayne, Ind. (DMA 110), sports anchor Dean Pantazi will assume a new role this summer as he marks 50 years in broadcasting and 46 years at the station. Pantazi will continue to cover a range of athletics while focusing his attention on an area he is passionate about — […]

Google Sets Relief Fund For Local Newsrooms

Google  is offering financial support to local newsrooms hit by the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic, as part of its Google News Initiative. The company isn’t disclosing the size of what it’s calling its Journalism Emergency Relief Fund, but in a blog post, Google VP of News Richard Gingras said the goal is to fund “thousands of small, medium and local news publishers globally,” through awards ranging from “low thousands of dollars for small hyper-local newsrooms to low tens of thousands for larger newsrooms, with variations per region.”

DMA 154: ALBANY, GA

WALB Grapples With Pandemic And Poverty

Gray-owned WALB Albany, Ga., found itself at the center of one of the coronavirus’ earliest and unlikeliest hotspots in rural Georgia. Its news coverage is tackling the virus’ ravages on both the community’s health and its fragile, poverty-laden economy. (Photo: Phoebe Putney Health System)

Heather Cherone Joins WTTW As City Hall Reporter

WABC Anchor Bill Ritter Back At Work After Recovering From COVID-19

MARKET SHARE

Houston TV Stations Join Together In Inspirational Campaign

Chuck Goudie Marks 40th Year At WLS Chicago

DMA 56: PROVIDENCE, RI

WLNE Providence Launches 4 P.M. News

Today, Standard Media Group’s ABC affiliate WLNE Providence, R.I. (DMA 56), is debuting what it calls “Southern New England’s only local 4 p.m. news program,” First at Four with Alana Cerrone. “We are delighted to add First at Four with Alana Cerrone to our news programming, said Tina Castano, general manager. “With the COVID-19 pandemic […]

KSNV Anchor Recovering From Cancer, Steps Down Amid Pandemic

Use Data To Drive Better COVID-19 Coverage

What does your local audience need to know about COVID-19, and when does it need to know it? Questions of editorial priority are always important. Right now, lives likely depend on making those decisions well. Editorial judgment is crucial. But we should also use data: data on what people search; what people click; and, what people say they want. Here are three powerful tools to help make data-driven decisions about how to allocate finite newsroom reporting resources to be sure you’re providing the information your community needs most.

WALA Partners With Schools To Broadcast Classes

Strapped Local News Outlets On Brink

A tsunami of layoffs, cutbacks, furloughs and closures has washed over newsrooms across the United States over the past month — a time, ironically, when readership and viewership is surging with consumers in search of reliable information about the virus.

DMA 50: NEW ORLEANS

Coronavirus Raises Old And New Lessons For Katrina Vets At WVUE

Many of the staff at Gray’s New Orleans Fox affiliate faced the reporting challenge of a lifetime 15 years ago when Hurricane Katrina struck. The coronavirus pandemic has compelled them to write a new playbook and yet lean on old comforts like local music. Above, WVUE and Katrina veteran Lee Zurik working from home.

KSAW Twin Falls Launching Weeknight Newscasts

Television viewers in the Twin Falls, Idaho (DMA 191), area will be able to watch weeknight local newscasts on Scripps-owned ABC affiliate KSAW beginning April 13. Sister station KIVI Boise, Idaho, is expanding its commitment to local audiences within the Magic Valley region of south-central Idaho by launching original local news at 5:30-6 p.m. and […]

MARKET SHARE

Throughout The Coronavirus Crisis, TV Stations Are Inspiring As Well As Informing

One doesn’t normally think of local TV news and its marketing as a source of inspiration. But lately, it’s had its moments.

Media Groups To Congress: Support Local News

The News Media Alliance, National Association of Broadcasters, National Newspaper Association and America’s Newspapers ask the government to provide critical support to local news media in its next stimulus bill designed to provide relief to businesses impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

MARKET SHARE

Nexstar Hosting Live Coronavirus Special Across 9 Stations

For WNYW, ‘Every Day Seems Like A Week’

Fox-owned WNYW in New York has been on the front lines of the coronavirus epicenter for weeks, weathering sick employees, virus vulnerabilities and the gauntlet of covering a metastasizing story with endless moving parts. “It’s the most challenging environment I’ve ever had to manage through,” says VP-GM Lew Leone. Above, Rosanna Scotto interviewing Dr. Anthony Fauci.

WZZM Adds Meteorologist Michael Behrens

Meteorologist Michael Behrens joins Tegna-owned ABC affiliate WZZM Grand Rapids, Mich. (DMA 45), debuting Saturday evening, April 11. Behrens worked in both Fort Wayne, Ind., and Saginaw, Mich., prior to his most recent post at Tegna’s KYTX Tyler, Texas. In college, Behrens was a member of the Ball State Storm Chase Team.

DMA 124: MONTEREY-SALINAS, CA

Jillian O’Brien Named KSBW News Director

The veteran Hearst Television journalist is tapped to lead news operations at the group’s NBC affiliate in Monterey-Salinas, Calif.

DMA 5: SAN FRANCISCO

KNTV: Communication Is The Path Through Crisis

Stacy Owen, president and GM of NBCU’s Bay Area stations, says amid the thousands of new complexities of broadcasting in the pandemic, keeping connected daily with staffers — especially those working from home — remains her top priority.

Scripps Taps Monica Dias To Support Local TV Newsrooms’ Public Access Efforts

Building on its commitment to advance public records access for TV stations, E.W. Scripps appointed Monica Dias as senior counsel of content and intellectual property, effective Monday, April 6. In this role, Dias will manage Scripps’ copyright and trademark portfolio and will work directly with Scripps journalists on newsgathering issues related to public records access. She […]

WRC Washington To Debut Pandemic-Focused ‘News 4 Kids’

NBC O&O WRC Washington (DMA 7) is launching News 4 Kids, a 30-minute weekly newscast aimed at helping children through the coronavirus pandemic. News 4 Kids will debut Saturday, April 11, at 12:30 p.m. and Sunday at 5:30 a.m. and will run through April and most likely beyond. The series, which will tell stories and providing […]

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Remotely, WEAU Celebrates Judy Clark’s 30th Anniversary

How TV Newsers Are Upgrading Home Studios

Television news professionals were asked last week about upgrades they’ve made to their respective home studios since they started broadcasting from home last month. What equipment have you received that you didn’t have at the outset? Is broadcasting from home getting easier? Harder? Here are their responses.

FCC’s Pai Thanks America’s Broadcasters

The FCC Chairman praises their response to the coronavirus pandemic, including providing social distancing PSAs, educational programming, and community fundraisers.

KPRC Adds Anavid Reyes To News Today Team

Graham Media’s NBC affiliate KPRC Houston (DAM 8) has hired Houston-native Anavid Reyes to the KPRC 2 News Today team as traffic reporter/investigator. She will also be spearheading KPRC’s What’s Driving Houston mobility initiative. Reyes comes to KPRC from KVUE Austin, Texas, where she helped launch the traffic department and served as the station’s Daybreak morning […]

WJW Cleveland Reminds Viewers What Day It Is During Lockdown

DMA 57: MOBILE, AL-PENSACOLA, FL

Two WEAR Employees Test Positive For Virus

According to the Sinclair ABC affiliate in Pensacora, Fla., on Sunday: “Out of an abundance of caution, we have suspended production in our newsroom starting Sunday for the next several days. We will be working with our sister station WPMI in Mobile to bring you coverage all along the Gulf Coast.”

Former Dallas Anchors Join KDAF To Host Digital Coronavirus Show

TVN EXECUTIVE SESSION WITH JED WILLIAMS

TVN Executive Session | LMA: COVID-19 Opens A Window For Membership Prospects

The Local Media Association’s Jed Williams was working with a trio of TV stations on a pilot membership model when the coronavirus struck. He says the moment made clear TV broadcasters’ importance to their communities. It may also be an ideal moment to deepen the relationship with viewers with an endgame of new revenue streams when normalcy returns.