WJXT-TV4 wins every major local news area in November

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Once again, THE Local Station is Jacksonville’s No. 1 source for local news, and WJXT has swept all major news areas with the adult 25-54 viewers -- the most coveted demographic for television advertisers.

Morning news leads the way with News4JAX at 4:30 a.m., beating the combined competition’s A25-54 ratings. News4JAX at 5 a.m. is No. 1 in the time period with a 2.5 A25-54 rating, again beating the combined competition of WTLV, WJXX, WJAX and WFOX.

At 5:30 a.m., News4JAX won with a 3.1, more than doubling the nearest competitors' A25-54 rating. News4JAX at 6 a.m. is No. 1 with adults in the 6-7 a.m. time period, garnering a 3.1 A25-54 rating and an impressive 19 share. The Morning Show (7-9 a.m.), anchored by Jennifer Waugh, Bruce Hamilton and Richard Nunn, is No. 1 in the time period with a 2.6 A25-54 rating and a 16 share, beating out all other newscasts, including the national broadcasts of NBC’s "Today" on WTLV, CBS "This Morning" on WJAX and ABC’s "Good Morning America" on WJXX. At 9 a.m., "The Morning Show" beats "Today" with and without Megyn Kelly, with a 1.4 A25-54.

News4JAX at 4 p.m. and "Inside Edition" take the time period with a 1.4 A25-54, beating "Dr. Phil," "Judge Judy" and "Ellen."

In evening news, News4JAX at 5 p.m. is most watched in the time period, with a 2.1 A25-54 rating. News4JAX at 5:30 p.m. is No. 1 in the time period with a 2.1 A25-54 rating. News4JAX at 6 p.m., anchored by Mary Baer, Tom Wills and John Gaughan, is No. 1 with a 2.1 A25-54 rating and an 8 share.

The story continues in late news, with wins in The Ten O’Clock News at 10 and 10:30. WJXT is No. 1 at 10 p.m. with a 2.4 A25-54 rating and again at 10:30 p.m. with a 2.1 rating. News4JAX was No. 1 at 11 p.m. with a 1.8 A25-54, beating both the WJAX and WFOX Action News newscasts, even when added together.

“It is incredibly gratifying to our entire staff to see month after month, year after year, the viewers of Jacksonville choose News4JAX as their number one choice for local news,” Vice President and General Manager Bob Ellis said. “We are so proud to be Jacksonville’s only truly local television station, serving this community and seeing how they respond to our commitment makes us work even harder to make Jacksonville a better place to live.”

Social News Desk president, founder set to moderate social media panel

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Kim Wilson, president and founder of Social News Desk, is set to moderate a social media panel discussion next month.

Wilson will do so following the Social Media Excellence Awards, presented Dec. 10 at TVNewsCheck’s NewsTECHForum.

The event is intended to honor the innovative, creative and effective use of social media.

"Winners were selected by a panel of judges from an initial pool of nominees culled from Social News Desk’s live database of 12,000 local news Facebook pages," TVNewsCheck said on its website. "Social News Desk calculated 15 million posts by those pages and identified those with the highest engagement per post as nominees in the awards’ four categories."

The sixth annual NewsTECHForum will be held at the New York Hilton. It brings together engineering, news, production and digital leaders to discuss excellence in news storytelling and workflow.

Wilson founded Social News Desk in 2010 after having started her career in local TV news. She created the SND platform with the needs of a newsroom in mind. Graham Media Group acquired the company in 2014, and Wilson remains at the helm of Social News Desk as president and founder.

Today, more than 2,500 newsrooms across five continents use Social News Desk to post, manage, display and monetize social media. Wilson regularly speaks to news organizations and industry groups about social media strategy and routinely contributes to several popular social media publications.

Wilson is a graduate of the University of Florida with a BS in Telecommunications. She has served as a member of the University of Florida’s Advisory Council to the College of Journalism since 2004. And, Social News Desk has been named one of the Top 15 Fastest Growing Companies led by a University of Florida graduate.

KSAT, KPRC take home Lone Star Emmy awards

 Multimedia Journalist Erica Hernandez from KSAT-12.

Multimedia Journalist Erica Hernandez from KSAT-12.

Journalists from KSAT-12 and KPRC-2 were honored with Regional Emmy Awards at an event held in mid-November.

KSAT was recognized for its coverage of the Sutherland Springs church shooting and the aftermath that followed. Multimedia journalist Erica Hernandez was on the front lines as the story unfolded at the peaceful church in South Texas. She won the Regional Emmy for producing a special called “Sutherland Springs: One Month Later."

The KPRC-2 team took home nine big wins.

Below are the specifics. Congratulations, everyone!

KPRC2: Making Houston Stronger Through Service Jerry Martin, General Manager

KPRC2 In-Depth Reporting For Houston Dave Strickland, News Director Aaron Wische, Senior Executive Producer Dawn Campbell, Senior Executive Producer Mario Diaz, Investigative Reporter Bill Spencer, Investigative Reporter Jacob Rascon, Reporter/Anchor Amy Davis, Consumer Reporter

Hurricane Harvey's Unsung Heroes Sofia Ojeda, Reporter

Houston Film Commission: Sharon Sells Houston ... In Hollywood Mario Diaz, Producer Aaron Wische, Executive Producer William Carruthers, Producer Jon Hill, Photographer John Barone, Photographer

Inside MS 13 William Carruthers, Producer Jacob Rascon, Reporter Jeovany Luna, Photographer

Jim Murphy: At Over $312,000 A Year, Who Does He Represent? Mario Diaz, Producer William Carruthers, Producer Aaron Wische, Executive Producer Jon Hill, Photographer

Focus H1 Dash Cam: Changing Amber Alerts & Law Enforcement Mario Diaz, Reporter

On The Trail: Harvey And Irma Brandon Walker, Reporter

Mario Diaz: Channel 2 Investigates Mario Diaz, Reporter

WSLS 10 News dominates midterm election coverage

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WSLS 10 News dominated the midterm election coverage.

The station was the only in the market with live crews at all candidates' victory parties in their three Congressional races. WSLS 10 News also had crews live from across Virginia, including in Charlottesville, Afton, Waynesboro, Roanoke, Abingdon and Bristol.

When it came to live updates, they delivered news seemlessly and quickly both on-air and online. WSLS 10 News was the first to project that Sen. Tim Kaine would be re-elected to a second term, as they broke the news at 7 p.m.

Online, the team was first with push alerts as well, providing them consistently throughout the night as winners were determined.

Additionally, the station livestreamed all the candidate speeches.

In anticipation of the midterm elections, all of Graham Media Group's stations remained committed to delivering more in-depth political coverage than their competitors. With journalists covering gubernatorial and U.S. Senate and House races across the country, among other local races, our stations brought viewers all the latest on the races with both close-to-home and national impacts.

“There’s so much focus on the White House, but governors and state legislators do much of the important public policy work in this country. It is our responsibility at the local level to cover local, state and federal elections actively and comprehensively across all platforms,” said Emily Barr, president and CEO.

Leading up to Tuesday night's election results, WSLS 10 News livestreamed the highly contested U.S. Senate race between Kaine, who was the incumbent, and his Republican challenger, Corey Steward. WSLS also aired and streamed the Chuck Todd-moderated debate between the two candidates.

WSLS.com even produced a special 2018 election page for the occasion. This page contained information on all races, candidate bios, and voter information to assist viewers with getting to the polls.

For nearly three decades, Graham Media Group has given candidates in high-interest races free airtime to speak directly and uninterrupted to candidates -- and that tradition will continue.

ClickOnDetroit.com sets record for unique visitors to website

 Jason Carr anchors for Local 4.

Jason Carr anchors for Local 4.

WDIV-Local 4 had more viewers than any other Metro Detroit TV station on Election Day. Starting in the morning and going throughout the night (6 a.m. on Nov. 6 to 12:30 a.m. on Nov. 7) the station averaged 100,000 people (adults ages 18 and older), and peaked as high as 200,000 (in the same demographic) during the evening coverage.

WDIV-Local 4’s website, ClickOnDetroit.com, set a record with the highest number of unique visitors for the year, with nearly 1.1 million users.

More than 800,000 Facebook users engaged with Local 4’s election videos and stories, and nearly 50,000 people viewed WDIV’s livestream coverage online.

“The number of people looking for election information on all of our platforms, whether it was watching it on TV, online or through social media was phenomenal,” said Marla Drutz, Local 4’s vice president and general manager. “The night was a culmination of two things -- our commitment to encouraging voter participation prior to the elections and on being a station that provides news on any device people want.”

“It’s a massive effort, and everyone’s dedication is what makes it all come together,” news director Kim Voet said. “From our reporters out on the streets to our newsroom team compiling results throughout the night, this is the good, honest journalism that our community craves.”

Added digital executive producer Dustin Block, “Months of planning led to a record night on ClickOnDetroit. Every department at WDIV and our Graham Media Group digital team came together to deliver accurate, timely results.”

ClickOnDetroit.com is also the No. 1 TV website in Metro Detroit, according to the most recent comScore delivery (September 2018).

 Mara MacDonald reports for Local 4.

Mara MacDonald reports for Local 4.

KPRC 2 launches 'The Eyes of Texas' podcast

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HOUSTON – Almost 50 years after it first launched, KPRC 2 is proud to announce the return of its iconic brand, "The Eyes of Texas" as a digital podcast.

Hosted by KPRC 2 news reporter Brandon Walker, "The Eyes of Texas" will once again be traveling Texas in search of the stories that define state pride and meeting up with a variety of Texans doing big things along the way.

“For many Houstonians, 'The Eyes of Texas' is synonymous with KPRC 2,” said Vice President/General Manager Jerry Martin. “We think this is the perfect vehicle to spotlight as a podcast on our digital platforms.”

Originally hosted by former KPRC-TV news director Ray Miller, and then KPRC anchor Ron Stone, "The Eyes of Texas" aired original episodes on Channel 2 from 1969 to 1999. A series of “best of” episodes aired in 2007, followed by new episodes hosted by KPRC anchors Bill Balleza and Dominique Sachse in 2009.

Subscribe to "The Eyes of Texas" podcast on: Google Play Music, Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Stitcher. Follow the podcast on Twitter: @eyesoftxpodcast and online here. You can enjoy a new episode every Tuesday.

WJXT-TV4 wins every major news area in October

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Jacksonville, FL -- THE Local Station is again Jacksonville’s No. 1 source for local news and swept all major news areas with viewers between the ages of 25-54.

Morning News leads the way. News4JAX at 4:30 a.m. is No. 1, beating the combined competition’s A25-54 ratings. News4JAX at 5 a.m. is No. 1 in the time period with a 2.6 A25-54 rating, again beating the combined competition of WTLV, WJXX, WJAX and WFOX. At 5:30 a.m., News4JAX won with a 3.0, doubling the nearest competitors' A25‑54 rating. News4JAX at 6 a.m. is No. 1 with adults in the 6-7 a.m. time period, garnering a 3.2 A25-54 rating and a 19 share.

The Morning Show (7-9 a.m.), anchored by Jennifer Waugh, Bruce Hamilton and Richard Nunn, is No. 1 in the time period with a 2.9 A25-54 rating and a 17 share, beating out all other newscasts, including the national broadcasts of NBC’s "Today" on WTLV, CBS "This Morning" on WJAX and ABC’s "Good Morning America" on WJXX. At 9 a.m., The Morning Show 2 beats "Today" with a 1.8 A25-54.

News4JAX at 4 p.m. and "Inside Edition" take the time period with a 1.5 A25-54, topping Dr. Phil, Wendy Williams, Judge Judy and Ellen.

In Evening News, News4JAX at 5 p.m. is most watched in the time period with a 2.3 A25‑54 rating. News4JAX at 5:30 p.m. is No. 1 in the time period with a 2.7 A25-54 rating. News4JAX at 6 p.m. anchored by Mary Baer, Tom Wills and John Gaughan is No. 1 with a 3.0 A25-54 rating and an 11 share. At 6:30 p.m., News4JAX beat out all network news with a 2.6 A25-54.

The story continues in late news, with wins in The Ten O’Clock News at 10 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. WJXT is No. 1 at 10 p.m. with a 3.0 A25-54 rating and again at 10:30 p.m. with a 2.4 rating. News4JAX was No. 1 at 11 p.m. with a 2.0 A25-54, nearly beating both the WJAX and WFOX Action Newscasts added together.

WKMG-TV executive producer helps homeless teen land full college scholarship

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At the start of Savohn Thomas' senior year of high school, the Orange County, Florida teen found himself homeless and moving from one place to another. At times, he even spent nights at a bus stop.

"Honestly, I didn't want to feel like anybody's burden," Thomas said. "It was a lot of times I wanted to give up. It was a lot of times I wanted to drop out."

But he didn't. Thomas used his passion for poetry, acting and being on stage as an outlet. And he's talented: his craft earned him some pretty big honors.

WKMG-TV learned about Thomas and his story, and wanted to help. Specifically, executive producer Tara Evans wanted to help. But it's safe to say, she had no idea just how much she could lend a hand.

For a station that works hard every day to "get results," Evans certainly delivered.

"Savohn is pretty extraordinary," Evans said. "I attended AMDA -- the American Musical and Dramatic Academy. And I knew that a girl that I graduated with still worked there. So I got in touch with her and I was like, 'Hey, you know, I've got this kid. He's going there, he's been accepted. So is it possible that maybe you could consider him for a work-study program? I think that would be really great. ... A few weeks later, his scholarship had been upped to what's called a director scholarship."

And the scholarship had increased from $40,000 to nearly $150,000.

Thomas came on News 6's morning show to do a live interview with the anchors and talk about his future, based on the life-changing news he had just received.

"So, we were super excited, and I didn't really realize at the time, like, exactly why they decided to do that," Evans said of the massive scholarship increase. "And I was like, 'Oh, by the way, why'd you decide to give him the extra money?' And they were like, 'Oh, because of you. Because you sent us the story.'"

At first, Evans said, she didn't want any of the spotlight or attention for what had transpired.

"I was just doing something nice as a human," she said with a laugh. She had no idea the school would step up and cover four years of Thomas' schooling.

Added Thomas, "This is everything to me -- literally everything. And I'm not going to let this slip away."

"Not every day is always fun," Evans said of the job. "(But) this day -- those days, are what make what we do here worth it."

Now, Thomas will go from walking nearly 20 miles to high school, to New York City.

The musical "In the Heights" brought out his talent. It was on June 2 when Thomas' theater class performed at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts -- a night Thomas said he'll never forget.

"It was a total surprise," he said. "I did not know anything that was going on that night that I got it."

Thomas is referring to becoming the first Applause Awards student recipient of the Pursuit of the Arts OCPS scholarship. Although Evans helped with the scholarship, Thomas got into AMDA on his own.

"Even though I am scared, even though I am afraid -- because I've never been out of where I grew up, this means more to me because it gives me those dreams that I had as a kid," he said.

WKMG-TV news director elected to board of Radio Television Digital News Association

Congratulations are in order for Graham Media Group WKMG News 6 News Director Allison McGinley after running a successful campaign to hold a coveted seat on the Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) Board of Directors.

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The election results were officially announced at the closing business session of the RTDNA's Excellence in Journalism conference in Baltimore, MD Saturday, September 29, 2018. As a regional board member, the Orlando, Florida based News Director will now be representing the RTDNA's Region 13 which serves Florida, Georgia, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

The RTDNA is the world's largest professional organization of radio, television, and online news directors, producers, executives, reporters, students and educators. Among its functions are the maintenance of journalistic ethics and the preservation of the free speech rights of broadcast journalists. Founded in 1946, the RTDNA is a legacy organization designed to set standards for the field of broadcast journalism, and to defend the First Amendment in instances where broadcast media may be threatened.

"Simply put I love this business. I believe in what we do and why we do it," Allison commented when asked why she decided to run for Regional Board Member. "Our industry is undergoing a transformational shift and we must keep pace or risk being left behind. But keeping pace should never mean forsaking our foundation."

As stated by the RTDNA, "The Board of Directors shapes RTDNA's and the industry's future by setting priorities, guiding training initiatives and responding to threats to press freedom."

"Journalists need to be able to stick together. We need to mentor new journalists and we need to be able to empower each other in whatever positions we are in," Allison stated. "It is important to guide each other, check each other and continue to make sure we are making the right ethical decisions as we continue to tackle tough topics now more than ever before. Journalism is under attack and as there is a level of safety in numbers we need to stick together. If we don't stick together and fight for our first amendment rights, then we are failing our communities. This position on the RTDNA will allow me to mentor new journalists, empower current journalists and help to defend our communities."

Allison is a native of Central Florida and has served WKMG News 6 and the members of the community for over 20 years. As such, her campaign was run on giving a voice to the members of the broadcast media and the people of the communities they represent.

WDIV-Local 4/ClickOnDetroit to host Gubernatorial Debate between Bill Schuette, Gretchen Whitmer

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WDIV-Local 4 will host “Decision 2018: Gubernatorial Debate” between candidates Bill Schuette and Gretchen Whitmer at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, October 24.

Devin Scillian and Kimberly Gill will moderate the hour-long debate at the WDIV-Local 4 studios in downtown Detroit. Questions will be determined by the moderators and include opening and closing statements.

The live event will air on WDIV-Local 4 and stream live on ClickOnDetroit.com.

The debate is expected to be simulcast in most parts of the state on other television stations.

New season of 'Shattered' podcast reveals real-life story of White Boy Rick

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It's back: Graham Media Group is announcing a new, eight-episode season of “Shattered,” an original true-crime podcast series. Season two, hosted by Kevin Dietz, takes listeners through the life of Richard Wershe Jr., aka “White Boy Rick,” the youngest-ever FBI informant-turned-drug dealer.

Season two of the eight-part series, "Shattered: White Boy Rick," chronicles the series of circumstances that led the 14-year-old to become a valuable drug informant during the apex of the War on Drugs. Once the FBI and Detroit Police Department no longer needed Wershe’s information, he transformed into a drug dealer in his own right, only to be sentenced to life without parole when he was 17.

Dietz, an Investigative Reporter with WDIV-Local 4 who has covered news in Detroit for almost three decades, takes listeners through the life of Wershe Jr.

“When Dietz decided to take on the story of White Boy Rick, he didn’t (just) report the facts. He lived and breathed the story, doggedly finding every angle possible and every interview available, by spending days, nights and many weekends with those close to this story," said Ro Coppola, Executive Producer of Special Projects at WDIV. "He single-handedly kept Wershe’s parole story alive in the public and with the authorities.”

“The story of Richard Wershe Jr. is unique on many levels,” Dietz said. “From behind bars, Wershe helped the FBI catch more criminals but also became involved in an illegal car theft ring. While some in law enforcement say his informing should have led to his release from prison decades ago, others say his willingness to help steal cars shows he has not been reformed and should stay locked up. Wershe holds the dubious honor of being the longest serving nonviolent juvenile offender in Michigan history and remains behind bars today, more than 30 years after his arrest.”

The series features extensive interviews with Wershe, law enforcement officials, former drug bosses, legal professionals who worked on the case, as well as family and friends of Wershe’s. The podcast is released in advance of the forthcoming Hollywood feature film, also titled “White Boy Rick,” starring Matthew McConaughey (who appears in the podcast, as well).

Shattered: White Boy Rick premieres Sept. 6, 2018. The entire series will be available for free on Apple Podcasts, or your preferred podcast listening platform.

For more information, visit whiteboyrickpodcast.com

'High Rise – The Flood and Fury of Hurricane Irma' presented by GMG's WJXT Films

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We're proud to announce that High Rise – The Flood and Fury of Hurricane Irma premieres at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 29 on WJXT. The First Coast is no stranger to hurricanes, however, during Hurricane Irma, Jacksonville experienced record-shattering inland flooding.

Narrated by News4JAX anchor Mary Baer, the hour-long documentary artfully weaves together stories from those who withstood Irma’s devastating effects. The compelling and raw recounting of events features never-before-seen footage, including the heartstopping moments as people react to the sheer magnitude of Irma’s force.

With $50 billion in damage, Irma was coined one of the costliest and most damaging storms. It made landfall seven times, four of which were as a Category 5 hurricane. Despite such staggering numbers, almost everyone survived.

“The storm surge was nothing like we’d seen before. We watched as water surrounded the station, knowing our reporters and photographers were out there relentlessly covering viewers’ resiliency,” WJXT Vice President and General Manager Bob Ellis said. “Our coverage and even life-saving actions were a true testament to the amount of pride we take in being The Local Station.”

In combination with The Weather Authority’s Chief Meteorologist John Gaughan and Richard Nunn, as well as News4JAX anchors, reporters and photographers, the gripping documentary reveals the jaw-dropping moments that changed the community.

High Rise explores the cost of economic progression in a city prone to rising waters. As the natural disaster unfolds before viewers’ eyes, they are left with a powerful call-to-action about the necessity of preparedness.

Equally riveting as it is emotional, High Rise – The Flood and Fury of Hurricane Irma, is not to be missed.

Graham Media Group’s Catherine Badalamente featured by Local Media Association ahead of summit

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One of the headliners of the upcoming Women in Local Media Summit, Catherine Badalamente, has been featured on the LMA website, discussing Graham Media Group’s commitment to gender diversity.

Badalamente, GMG’s VP of Digital Media, is scheduled to speak at the inaugural event, aimed at tackling diversity and gender issues in the media industry in an honest, transparent and proactive way, LMA said online.

Her session will be a part of the Media Transformation Conference, set for September.

LMA is leading up to the conference by featuring some of the biggest names and most relevant sessions, so that people know what to expect. Below is the interview from the story:

Graham Media has a great reputation for its commitment to gender diversity. Why has it been so important for the company?

Graham Media and Graham Holdings (the former Washington Post Company) have a long history of believing in “the diversity of voices.” From Katharine Graham, former chief executive and board chair of The Washington Post Company: “It is long-standing policy of the Post Company to enlist in each of its enterprises the best professional journalists we can find and give them a maximum of freedom in which to work. Each branch is operated autonomously. They compete vigorously with one another. They disagree on many issues. We think that the result is journalism of a high caliber that is notable for a diversity of voices on a wide range of public issues.”

This culture has long existed in our company and leadership believes it is imperative to have a diverse group of people that allow for a diverse set of ideas, opinions and experiences. We need a diverse contribution from our employees in order to effectively serve our audiences. We must reflect the communities we serve.

What does it say about the company that 60% of the senior management executives are women?

This gender equality stat is something I am proud to be a part of. Unfortunately, this is rare in our industry.

Tell us a little about the company’s mentorship program:

It starts at the top. Our President and CEO, Emily Barr, is known in the industry and beyond as being the ultimate mentor. She is always willing to spend time with anyone and everyone–giving advice, looking at career development and training opportunities and providing valuable connections.

She sets the bar high. She also sets the tone for our company leadership to create and participate in programs that support the values of the company.

Graham has an unique internal leadership program called, “Boss School,” where, according to Julie Dreixler, our VP and CHRO, it “helps to develop newly minted managers in a secure environment. Our company’s culture, philosophies and values are explained.” Graham Media also participates in and strongly supports programs like the Emma Bowen Foundation.

Is there a tip or two you could share that you think could help other companies have more of a commitment to gender diversity?

Hire great people that have diverse voices, ideas, skills and backgrounds. Don’t hire everyone to look and think like you do.

Graham Media Group's Emily Barr to be featured speaker at TV2020 event at NAB Show New York

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Graham Media Group president and chief executive officer Emily Barr will speak at the NAB Show in New York this coming October.

Barr will be featured at TVNewsCheck’s third annual TV2020: Monetizing the Future conference, along with three others: Jack Abernethy, the CEO of Fox Television Stations; Hilton Howell, the chairman, CEO and president of Gray Television; and Perry Sook, the chairman, CEO and president of Nexstar Media Group.

Top executives of the four TV station groups will survey the state of the TV broadcast business and its major growth opportunities.

The event will take place Oct. 17-18 at the Javits Convention Center.

The NAB Show New York is where go-getters in media, entertainment, finance and advertising connect and champion new content strategies.

Barr has sat at the helm of the broadcast TV division of Graham Holdings since 2012. Graham's seven stations are known as news leaders in Top-70 markets, including Houston, Detroit, San Antonio, Orlando, Jacksonville and Roanoke.

Earlier this year, Barr was presented with the Broadcasters Foundation of America's 2018 Golden Mike Award.

Graham Media Group expands political coverage ahead of high-stakes midterm election

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CHICAGO (July 23, 2018) — In anticipation of the midterm elections, Graham Media Group is committed to deliver more in-depth political coverage. With journalists covering gubernatorial and U.S. Senate and House races in Michigan, Florida, Texas and Virginia, Graham Media Group’s stations are positioned to report on local races that have national impact.

“There’s so much focus on the White House but governors and state legislators do much of the important public policy work in this country. It is our responsibility at the local level to cover local, state and federal elections actively and comprehensively across all platforms,” said Emily Barr, president and CEO.

Each station has committed to reporting the issues and the candidates expansively in the months leading up to the midterm elections.

KPRC (Houston, TX)

· KPRC will once again partner with the League of Women Voters on Election Day for an all-day voter phone bank to field calls in English and Spanish from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.

· Click2Houston has created an Election Day Voting Guide, Special Coverage section on the home page and AP Interactive Delegate Tracker & Election Maps.

· Supersized in-depth reporting and analysis in newscasts and webcasts.

WDIV (Detroit, MI):

· Hosted the Republican Gubernatorial Debate with Michigan Republican Party on June 28 and the Democratic Gubernatorial Debate with the Michigan Democratic Party on July 19. Will also host a debate of the six Democratic candidates running to fill former U.S. Rep. John Conyers’ seat in Congress. The Democratic nominee will not face a Republican challenger in November’s general election.

· WDIV launched Your Soapbox, a citizen engagement project that delves into the policy, election and civility issues facing our community.

· 4 Minute Debates: Short head-to-head debates about ballot issues and policy.

· The station’s Sunday morning political talker “Flashpoint” will go into the primary election having hosted in-depth interviews with all three Democratic candidates and the four Republican candidates for governor, as well as the two Republicans vying to unseat Democrat Sen. Debbie Stabenow in November.

WKMG (Orlando, FL)

· The station dedicated 10 episodes of their Sunday “The Weekly” program to a variety of races and candidates including Florida governor, U.S. congressional seats and local mayoral, sheriff and school chair races.

· WKMG will host two voter registration event days from 6 a.m. until 7:30 p.m. to help viewers register to vote. There will be volunteers from the local election boards on hand to answer questions and sign people up on the spot. WKMG will also do a digital Q&A throughout Election Day to help our viewers better understand the process.

· On ClickOrlando.com, an online voter’s guide was created and regularly updated with new sample ballots, registration information for voters.

KSAT (San Antonio, TX):

· San Antonio is a hot spot for the border immigration battle and KSAT is tracking the political ramifications of the border story and how it plays into the election.

· Even before the primary, the U.S. Senate race between incumbent Ted Cruz (R) and U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D) is the most expensive in the nation and KSAT is covering the race with diligence as well as the U.S. congressional district 23 race between U.S. Rep Will Hurd (R) and Gina Ortiz Jones (D).

· The station is utilizing CNN RunningMate for additional coverage of races and political hot topics.

WJXT (Jacksonville, FL):

· In partnership with Jacksonville University, WJXT is hosting a Republican debate on August 8 and Democratic forum for the gubernatorial primary races on August 9.

· On “This Week in Jacksonville,” WJXT has been interviewing candidates in the statewide races for governor and attorney general.

· News4Jax.com is compiling a special voter’s guide section complete with a candidates’ questionnaire on virtually every state and local office in the DMA.

· WJXT is producing a one-hour election special the night before the general election in November.

WSLS (Roanoke, VA)

· Live streamed the highly contested U.S. Senate race between the incumbent and former V.P. candidate Tim Kaine and Republican challenger Corey Steward. On September 26, WSLS will air and stream the Chuck Todd moderated debate between the two candidates.

· WSLS.com is producing a special 2018 election page. This page will contain information on all races, candidate bios, and voter information to assist viewers with getting to the polls.

For nearly three decades, Graham Media Group has given candidates in high-interest races free airtime to speak directly and uninterrupted to candidates and that tradition will continue this fall after the primaries.

“Voting is important but educated voting is key and that’s where local media plays a huge role,” Barr added.

Graham Media Group Wins 9 Digital Innovation Awards From Local Media Association

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Seventy different companies from newspapers, TV stations, radio stations and digital news sites competed for the awards celebrating creative and business advancements in the digital realm.
Graham Media Group received nine awards, the highest number out of all the competing companies. The faculty at the Medill School/Northwestern University judged the categories.

ClickOnDetroit, WDIV-Local 4's website and a Graham Media Group property, once again took home top honors at the Local Media Association's Digital Innovation Awards ceremony.

"Our main goal is to create a website users want to engage with. From news to entertainment and everything in between, we're constantly trying to provide what our ClickOnDetroit community is looking for," said Local 4 Vice President and General Manager Marla Drutz.


Best Local Website (1st place):  ClickOnDetroit.com
This award recognizes the best all-around local media websites. Judges considered all aspects including: design, content (local and relevant), use of photos and videos, user interaction/load speed, presentation of advertising, mobile adaptability and more.

Judges' comments"ClickOnDetroit.com is a superior local website that builds audience through news coverage as well as creative initiatives such as the 4Frenzy voting platform.  Their entry provides evidence that the site has grown its audience substantially."


Best Contest and/or Promotion (1st place):  4Frenzy
The goal of this award is for a contest or promotion that stands out above the rest in regards to creativity of the promotion, digital engagement for the station and results for the sponsor.

Judges' comments: "The strategy behind 4Frenzy is smart on a variety of levels. Positioning yourselves with TV, digital, social media and real-world shows the power of leveraging different channels to build your brand. A really great message behind the campaign."


Best Use of Data (2nd place):  AllAboutAnnArbor.com
(Judges' comments) "WDIV discovered a new market opportunity in Ann Arbor by analyzing audience metrics."

Best Redesign/Relaunch (2nd & 3rd place respectively): 4Frenzy relaunch
(Judges' comments) "This relaunch was successful in expanding the scope of the site, building audience and generating revenue. The design is good and matches the sports theme."

(Judges' comments) "The 4Frenzy site is an interesting way to cover high school sports, since it puts a lot of focus on the friends and families who drive that coverage to vote for things."

Best New Digital Initiative (3rd place): GroundSource text message campaign during America's Thanksgiving Parade
(Judges' comments) "A good way to retain broadcast audiences while growing digital audiences at the same time."
"All of these winning projects were built on cross-department collaboration," said Dustin Block, digital executive producer for WDIV. "Our news, sales, creative services, and digital teams get together regularly to meet user and client needs, and to reach our business goals."

In addition, the Local Media Association honored WSLS 10 in Roanoke with a first place in the Best Digital News Project category for its coverage of Friday high school football on wsls.com.  KSAT 12 in San Antonio earned a 3rd place award for ksat.com in the Best Digital News Project category, while WJXT News4Jax.com was awarded the Best Native Content Campaign for their work with the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville.

 

Graham Media Stations Honored With Six Prestigious Regional Edward R. Murrow Awards

Graham Media Stations WDIV, WKMG, WJXT and WSLS are honored with six prestigious regional Edward R. Murrow awards.

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WDIV Detroit is honored to receive three coveted regional Edward R. Murrow awards for Breaking News, Excellence in Writing and Excellence in Sound.  ClickOrlando.com, WKMG's website, received its first regional Edward R. Murrow Award for best large market TV website.  WJXT Jacksonville has been honored with a regional Edward R. Murrow Award for Breaking News coverage of Hurricane Irma.  And WSLS is honored with the regional award for Hard News.  The awards recognize the best electronic journalism produced by radio, television and online news organizations around the world.  

“It is especially gratifying to see the hard work and dedication of our local newsrooms recognized with such a prestigious award,” said President & CEO of Graham Media Group Emily L. Barr.

Station awards with links:

WDIV Breaking News Coverage:  Severe Weather Alert: Record Wind Damage
Local 4’s coverage of the damaging winds across metro Detroit spanned across multiple newscasts and the station’s digital platforms.  In-depth reports, continually advancing the story and keeping the community informed made this breaking news coverage a true team effort.   

 

WJXT Breaking News Coverage
News4Jax coverage of Hurricane Irma tracked the storm and stayed on all platforms until the life threatening danger passed.  Coverage of the devastating flooding continued as viewers started to assess the damage and pick up the pieces.

WKMG Best Website
ClickOrlando.com features stories and digital content covering breaking news, politics, features, sports, space and entertainment in the greater Orlando area.

WSLS Hard News

10News Reporter Angela Hatcher and Video Journalists Lee Friesland and Jeff Perzan told the dramatic story of a woman, desperate to escape from an abusive relationship.  During an attempt to leave, she was stabbed and dragged through a wooded area.  What the abuser didn’t know was that a deputy sheriff was on his way.  WSLS captured the story via the deputy’s body camera.  This was the first in a series of stories told by 10News.

WDIV Excellence in Writing:  Failure in Flint, Kim Adams Cancer Fight, and Elliot Carter
Two of the stories were from News Anchor Devin Scillian.  One for the open to Local 4’s “Failure in Flint” special, the other was the report on Kim Adams’ battle with breast cancer.  The third was Reporter Nick Monacelli’s story on Elliot Carter, the toddler with a rare condition that prevents him from eating food.  

 

WDIV Excellence in Sound:  What’s Old is New Again
Video Journalist Alex Atwell tells the story of Carl Nielbock, the man responsible for restoring parts of Detroit’s Fisher Building.  Alex is known for his fabulous eye, but this time his ear won him the award.


Now these entries go head-to-head with the other regional winners for the National Murrow Award.   

The RTDNA has been honoring outstanding achievements in electronic journalism with the Edward R. Murrow Awards since 1971.  Murrow's pursuit of excellence in journalism embodies the spirit of the awards that carry his name.

 

Graham Media Stations Win Associated Press Awards, WKMG Named Station Of The Year

The Associated Press honored Graham Media Stations with several first place awards for WMKG, KRPC and WSLS.

For the second year in a row, WKMG News 6 (CBS Orlando) won more AP awards than any other TV station in Central Florida, including the coveted Station of the Year award.

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WMKG News 6 won first place in the following categories:

    Station of the year
    Best morning newscast
    Best evening newscast
    Non-breaking news newscast
    Feature light news for Getting Results award
    Series/Franchise Reporting for Getting Results awards
    Nadeen Yanes for breaking news -- individual
    Erik Sandoval for breaking news -- long format
    James Sparvero for multimedia journalist

The station also took second place for the following:

    ClickOrlando.com -- Best news website
    Continuing coverage for Driving Change initiative

"I am very pleased to see our team being recognized for their hard work and dedication to investigative journalism, compelling storytelling and commitment to highlighting people of Central Florida who are getting results for our community," WKMG News 6 news director Allison McGinley said.

KPRC 2 (NBC Houston) was honored with the Associated Press award of best digital news website in the state of Texas for Click2Houston.com. 

 It's the second time in the last four years that Click2Houston has won the Best Digital category in Texas.  The judges comments about Click2Houston included, "Excellent digital presence on all social media platforms. Easy to navigate website. Nice interactive elements within stories."

WSLS 10 News (NBC Roanoke, VA) is a winner of three first-place awards in the 2017 Virginia’s Associated Press Broadcasters contest.  WSLS 10 News took home first place awards for outstanding sports operation, best website and community service.

 

 

Graham Media Group president, CEO Emily Barr receives 2018 Golden Mike Award

Graham Media Group president and chief executive officer Emily Barr has received the Broadcasters Foundation of America's 2018 Golden Mike Award.

Barr was presented with the award at a gala event on March 5 in New York City.

 Jim Thompson, President, Broadcasters Foundation of America; Deborah Norville, Anchor, Inside Edition; Emily Barr, President/CEO Graham Media Group; Dan Mason, Chairman, Broadcasters Foundation of America

Jim Thompson, President, Broadcasters Foundation of America; Deborah Norville, Anchor, Inside Edition; Emily Barr, President/CEO Graham Media Group; Dan Mason, Chairman, Broadcasters Foundation of America

"It is an honor to receive this award from the Broadcasters Foundation of America, and I am grateful to the board for their commitment to our colleagues in need," Barr said earlier when the award was initially announced by the foundation in November. "This year, the Broadcasters Foundation rose to the challenge of helping so many of our colleagues who were impacted by hurricanes, floods and wildfires. With the generous support of broadcasters across the country, the foundation can continue to make a difference in the lives of those who find themselves in devastating circumstances."

Barr has sat at the helm of the broadcast TV division of Graham Holdings since 2012. Graham's seven stations are known as news leaders in Top-70 markets, including Houston, Detroit, San Antonio, Orlando, Jacksonville and Roanoke.

Graham Media Group was named 2016 Station Group of the Year by Broadcasting and Cable Magazine, under Barr's leadership.

The gala event, held at the Plaza Hotel in New York City, was hosted by Deborah Norville of "Inside Edition." Presenters included Don Graham, the chairman of Graham Media Group's parent company, Graham Holdings Co.

Organizers said $250,000 was also raised at the event to help broadcasters in need.

Organizers said previous Golden Mike Award recipients include former Post-Newsweek Stations president and CEO Alan Frank, Bob Pittman, Gordon Smith, David Barrett and Jeff Smulyan.

Photo credit: Wendy Moger-Bross