Graham Media Group honored with 6 prestigious Murrow awards


Three Graham Media Group television stations are proud recipients of a combined six Regional 2019 Edward R. Murrow Awards by the Radio Television Digital News Association.

Houston’s KPRC 2 received three awards, including the highly coveted Overall Excellence in Large Market Television, which recognizes the station’s commitment to quality journalism. KPRC’s entry in this category featured examples of breaking news, investigations and special event coverage, as well as community service initiatives and digital content.

Another of KPRC 2’s Regional Murrow Awards was presented for Best News Series in Large Market Television for “Inside MS-13,” Anchor/Reporter Jacob Rascon’s in-depth reports on the notoriously violent transnational gang, and the evolving fight against it from El Salvador to Houston.

KPRC 2 News at 6 p.m. was awarded Best Newscast in Large Market Television for “Tragedy in Santa Fe,” which featured team coverage of the May 2018 school shootings in Santa Fe, Texas. The KPRC team worked to provide complete and compassionate coverage to its community in the immediate wake of such a horrific event.

WDIV-Local 4/ClickOnDetroit received two awards, including Excellence in Sound in Large Market Television for “Criss-Cross Crash,” a beautifully crafted story that exemplifies the art of audio. WDIV-Local 4/ClickOnDetroit’s second Regional Murrow Award was presented for Social Media in Large Market Television, recognizing several examples including “Death of Aretha Franklin,” and “Meteor in Michigan,” to name a few. Their digital efforts offer unparalleled social media coverage to provide useful, concise information on topics important to the audience.

Roanoke’s WSLS 10 was recognized for Excellence in Innovation in Small Market Television for “In the Navy,” a series featuring what it’s like to be a sailor for a day with News Anchor John Carlin attempting the Navy’s water survival training course.

“We’re honored by our team’s recognition by our peers in the Radio Television Digital News Association,” Graham Media Group President and Chief Executive Officer Emily Barr said. “Our main mission is to inform and celebrate the communities we serve. We share these awards with our viewers and the communities we so proudly cover.”

Graham Media Group’s six regional winning entries will now go on to the national RTDNA Edward R. Murrow Awards judging round. Winners will be announced in June, and presented at the annual RTDNA Edward R. Murrow Awards Gala on Oct. 14 in New York City.

The Radio Television Digital News Association has honored outstanding achievements in electronic journalism with the Edward R. Murrow Awards since 1971. Award recipients demonstrate the spirit of excellence that Murrow set as a standard for the profession of electronic journalism.

Graham Media Group wins 5 Local Media Association Digital Innovation Awards


Graham Media Group took home five Digital Innovation Awards from the Local Media Association earlier this week.

The contest recognizes the best digital innovation in the industry.

Newspapers, TV stations, radio stations and digital news sites competed for top honors, making this the only contest of its kind.

Below are the award specifics:

Best Social Media Strategy

--Second Place: WDIV/Graham Media (Above 750,000 unique visitors)

Best New Digital Initiative

--Second Place: KPRC/Graham Media, Eyes of Texas (Above 750,000 unique visitors)

--Third Place: WKMG/Graham Media On the Go (Below 750,000 unique visitors)

Best Contest and/or Promotion

--First Place: WDIV/Graham Media (4Frenzy)

Judges’ comments: "The promotion earns rich engagement from the community; the revenue is one thing, but the community’s brand affinity will pay dividends for years."

--Third place: Third Place: WDIV/Graham Media (4theBest)

WDIV-Local 4 wins 2 prestigious 2019 Regional Murrow Awards

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WDIV-Local 4 is honored to receive two coveted Regional Murrow Awards for Excellence in Social Media and Excellence in Sound.

Regional winners were announced Tuesday by the Radio Television Digital News Association.

“The social media Murrow win is especially gratifying. It reinforces that we are leading the way in multi-platform content distribution. This newer medium is the wave of the future and Local 4 is leading the charge,” Local 4 news director Kim Voet said. “Winning the Murrow for sound three years in a row shows our photographers’ commitment to being the best storytellers possible.”

“Our amazing news team puts out this effort on a daily basis, so it’s very rewarding to be recognized with this prestigious award that celebrates the best in our industry,” Vice-President and General Manager Marla Drutz said.

Station awards:

Excellence in Social Media

Social media manager Ken Haddad’s strategy is a multi-platform approach to covering the big stories of the day, and frequently, the station’s posts land at the top of the social media charts compared to those from across the country. Highlights include: coverage of Aretha Franklin’s passing, the meteor in Michigan, 2018 election coverage, the digital Jason Carr Live show, the Boblo Boat fire and the Central Michigan University lockdown.

Excellence in Sound: Criss Cross Crash

Video Journalists Alex Atwell and Hans Ihlenfeldt enhance the viewers' experience of this story using multiple cameras, multiple microphones and sounds of the crowd’s reaction to car and school bus racing in Flat Rock, Michigan. This is the third year in a row the station has won this award.

WDIV-Local 4 is the only large-market TV station in Michigan to win in our region. Both entries will now 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.

This honor comes at the heels of WDIV-Local 4 winning the MAB Station of the Year award for the fifth year in a row.

WSLS takes home 4 first-place honors at Virginias Associated Press Awards


WSLS 10 has been honored with four first-places awards as well as two more second-place honors in the Associated Press Awards for the Virginias.

WSLS 10 took home more honors than any other television station in the Roanoke-Lynchburg, Virginia market.

“These wins are station wins and everyone should be proud of our accomplishments,” Vice President and General Manager Jaimie Leon said. "I couldn’t be more proud of our team, and that’s what it takes to do excellent journalism -- TEAMWORK.”

The 10 Sports team of John Appicello, Alyssa Rae and Eric Johnson won the Best Sports Operations of the Virginias for the second consecutive year.

First-place awards went to:

  • Continuing Coverage: “Abduction of Baby Emma” (WSLS staff)

  • Outstanding Sports Operation of the Virginias: (John Appicello, Alyssa Rae, Eric Johnson)

  • Multimedia/Online Journalism: “Aircraft Carrier Landing” (John Carlin and Lee Friesland)

  • Old Dominion Heritage: “Craig County Barn Quilts” (John Carlin and Carter Malpass)

And in second place, WSLS earned the following honors:

  • Website: (Jeff Williamson, Heather Butterworth, Samantha Smith)

  • Serious Feature: “Second Chance” (Jessica Jewell and Lee Friesland).

WSLS 10 competes in the large-market division, which includes Roanoke/Lynchburg, Richmond, and Norfolk, Virginia markets as well as Charleston, West Virginia.

David Arkin to lead Digital at KPRC 2, Click2Houston

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KPRC 2/Click2Houston is pleased to announce the appointment of David Arkin as its new Director of Digital and Enterprise Content. In this newly revamped role previously known as our Digital Executive Producer, Arkin will lead the digital team in the newsroom and be responsible for all other digital efforts and strategies including Houston Life, station promotions and sales.

“We are pleased to have landed David Arkin in this new role," said Jerry Martin, vice president and general manager of KPRC. "He is a proven leader in audience development and innovative digital strategies, bringing more than 20 years of experience leading newsrooms and developing high-quality digital journalism."

“Arkin has held senior leadership positions for a variety of news organizations and helped companies grow their audiences, integrate creative storytelling, and develop digital newsroom cultures,” said David Strickland, news director of KPRC.

Most recently, Arkin led the launch of Rover, a news start-up in Nashville. The product focused on providing content readers could use to navigate the growing metropolitan area by delivering both a daily online dose of local news while providing a deeper dive in a monthly print edition. Prior to that, Arkin developed a content consulting business for the Local Media Association and created content partnerships with the Texas Tribune and NextDoor as Chief Content Officer at Community Impact Newspaper.

Arkin spent nearly 10 years at GateHouse Media. As Senior Vice President for Content, he launched the company's design and product center in Austin, Texas, which employed more than 200 people and provided print and digital services for internal and external clients across the country.

In 2016, Arkin was named the Digital News Innovator of the Year by the Local Media Association before joining their organization. He has led newsrooms to national journalism awards and has served on boards for local media associations including the Associated Press Media Editors and Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas.

“I can’t wait to work with the incredibly talented team at KPRC," Arkin said. "Their journalism is top notch, and I’m thrilled to lend my experience to advance the work they’re doing for their growing digital audience. The opportunity to help take a respected brand’s digital product to the next level in a market like Houston is really an exciting opportunity."

Arkin will start in his role at KPRC later this month.

Gators Breakdown podcast reaches 1 million listens


When Dave Waters first began recording a University of Florida Gators-themed podcast in 2016, it was just a hobby. He never expected it to explode in popularity -- skyrocketing from 100 listens an episode to 6,000.

Now, nearly three years later, Gators Breakdown has become a top sports podcast on iTunes. This week, Waters reached yet another milestone on his journey by cracking the one-million listens mark.

“It’s still hard to believe that former players I grew up watching, ESPN and SEC Network personalities, reporters … trust what Gators Breakdown is doing and hop on to talk Gators football with me,” Waters said.

Waters, 35, got his start at WJXT in news production in 2006. Soon, he began volunteering to shoot football games. Still, it wasn’t until 10 years later that he parlayed his love of the Gators into a podcast. These days, he's a commercial production manager for WJXT.

Bob Ellis, vice president and general manager of WJXT/WCWJ, said he encourages all employees to pursue their passion, and in Waters' case, that's tracking the latest developments in Gators football.

"There's no substitute for someone who cares about the subject they're covering," Ellis said. "That's been one of the secret ingredients in our station's success over the years. Our team really cares."

As Ellis points out, podcasts like Gators Breakdown are just another way for the station to connect with its community ‑ and a reflection of viewers' and readers' appetite for high-quality sports content.

"Our commitment to local sports content -- high school and college sports especially -- on all of our content platforms is the best it's been in years," Ellis said. "Dave's been a big part of that."

Follow @GatorDave_SEC to stay plugged in, or click one of the following to tune in: Megaphone | iTunes | YouTube | Google Play

Graham Media Group’s podcast division partners with our broadcast television stations to create compelling, original audio content, bringing captivating stories to new audiences and giving listeners more stories to love. Headed by Zak Rosen, our podcasts have gained national attention with the popularity of the true-crime series Shattered, and the series Mismatch, featuring interesting stories about the incompatible, unsuitable and out of step. Learn more at

WJXT-TV4 wins big in morning, early and late news areas in March


THE Local Station is again Jacksonville’s No. 1 source for local news -- and swept all morning and late news areas with the Jacksonville viewers for the month of March.

Morning News leads the way with News4JAX at 4:30 a.m., more than doubling the nearest competitor’s HH ratings. News4JAX at 5 a.m. is No. 1 in the time period with a 4.4 HH rating, beating the competition combined.

At 5:30 a.m., News4JAX won with a 5.2. News4JAX at 6 a.m. is No. 1 with households in the 6 to 7 a.m. time period, garnering a 6.3 and an impressive 21 share. The Morning Show (7 to 9 a.m.), anchored by Jennifer Waugh, Bruce Hamilton and Richard Nunn, is No. 1 in the time period with a 6.4 HH rating and an 19 share, beating out all other newscasts, including the national broadcasts of NBC’s "Today Show" 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's" third hour with a 4.9 HH rating.

In Evening News, News4JAX at 5 p.m. is most-watched in the time period, with a 5.4 HH rating. News4JAX increases that to a 5.8 HH rating and, again, wins the time period. News4JAX at 6 p.m., anchored by Tom Wills, Mary Baer and John Gaughan, is No. 1 with a 7.2 HH rating and a 14 share.

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 5.6 HH rating and again at 10:30 with a 4.4 HH rating. News4JAX was No. 1 at 11 p.m. with a 4.2 HH rating.

WCWJ continues to see great growth in "Access with Mom" and "Blackish," increasing HH ratings year over year as well as month over month. "Dateline" at 10 p.m. has doubled the rating in the time period from March 2018, and increased its HH rating from the month prior.

“March was another terrific month with local events on our station that demonstrated our commitment to Jacksonville as the only true local TV station. In addition to our local news, our coverage of the only debate with all qualified mayoral candidates, election night itself, and our exclusive coverage of the Gate River Run were again indicators there’s no other station like Channel 4 in town,” said Bob Ellis, vice president and general manager of WJXT and CW17.

News4Jax team joins executive producer's fight, works to raise money for ALS cure


You never know when life is going to throw you a curve ball.

For Sharon Siegel-Cohen, one of the executive producers on The Morning Show at Channel 4, it started as something quite innocuous.

“I tripped when we were on a family vacation and had trouble with my ankle,” Siegel-Cohen said. "The problem persisted for months and neither I, nor my doctors, could figure out what was wrong."

It took doctors some time, but they eventually figured out what was going on. Siegel-Cohen has amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS -- sometimes known as Lou Gehrig's disease, a disorder that affects the function of nerves and muscles that tends to strike people between the ages of 40 and 70.

About 5,000 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with ALS each year -- that's more than 13 new cases a day. It's estimated there are more than 20,000 Americans living with it at any given time.

"I was in denial at first," Siegel-Cohen said. “But then I decided to use my voice and fight this disease and do what I can to help find a cure.”

Since her diagnosis, raising awareness about ALS has become Siegel-Cohen's mission, and her family on The Morning Show is dedicated to helping her. Now, WJXT-TV would like you to join in on that mission.

On Tuesday night, Bruce, Melanie, Crystal, Richard, Vic and Elizabeth from Channel 4 will be working as celebrity servers at Brucci's Pizza near Beach Boulevard and Hodges, and Siegel-Cohen will be there, too.

All the money the Channel 4 team raises through tips between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. will be donated to the local ALS Society.


The Florida Times-Union, also known as, also recently featured Siegel-Cohen in a column by Mike Clark.

Clark described how he got to know Siegel-Cohen in 1980, as he reviewed movies for Channel 4.

"Sharon was my producer and helped me adjust to the demands of reading a teleprompter," Clark said. "Saying something meaningful in 90 seconds was a good writing lesson. Trying to appear both authoritative and relaxed was quite a challenge. Sharon, a first-rate talent, took good care. We even did a few standups outside the studio."

Clark also drew attention to Jacksonville’s Walk for A Cure, which will take place Saturday, March 30, at Tinseltown. You can sign up and contribute here.

"Sharon’s Songbirds" is the name of her group. Siegel-Cohen also will be honored May 4, as she's set to receive a Courage Award at a gala to benefit Augie’s Quest, a reference to Augie Nieto, co-founder and CEO of Life Fitness. Augie’s Quest is a nonprofit dedicated to helping find a treatment and cure for ALS.

KSAT-TV recognized for innovation after building digital newscast from scratch


KSAT-TV in San Antonio is setting the standard for excellence when it comes to digital innovation.

The station realized it had a huge opportunity on its hands, and recently decided to create a brand-new newscast at 9 p.m. to be live-streamed on its OTT channel.

The Knight-Cronkite News Lab -- which is a joint effort between the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University -- works to discover and share experiments from local TV newsrooms around the country. And the news lab is now profiling KSAT and its digital newscast, which the team built from scratch.

The story addresses how the show got off the ground: there were several challenges. For starters, KSAT didn’t really have a space to produce this show. The 10 p.m. broadcast needed the studio and control room to get ready for air. So News@9, as the new program is called, moved out into the newsroom — new set, production area, cameras, prompter, lights and all.

“We are smack dab in the middle of the newsroom,” the show’s anchor, Myra Arthur, told the news lab. “The set is not even five feet behind my desk, so everyone is working and talking around me. And I think that just lends itself to a show that’s a little more conversational and a little more off-the-cuff.”

The story addresses other technical challenges, workflow challenges and the need to create "something completely different."

"It’s one thing to come up with grand ideas about innovation, but it’s an entirely different thing to actually execute on them," the article says.

Hats off to our colleages in San Antonio!

Check out the new lab's article in full.

Graham Media Group, WDIV-Local 4 announces new season of 'Shattered' podcast

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Graham Media Group and WDIV-Local 4 (Detroit) have announced the new, eight-episode season of “Shattered,” an original true-crime podcast series.

Season 3, hosted by Jeremy Allen, takes listeners through the heartbreaking and riveting story of Michigan’s Oakland County Child Killer case that remains unsolved 40 years later.

Between February 1976 and March 1977, four children were abducted and murdered with their bodies left in various locations within or just outside Oakland County, Michigan. The ensuing murder investigation was the largest of its kind in U.S. history at the time.

“WDIV-Local 4 has covered this case since 12-year-old Mark Stebbins first went missing in February of 1976,” Allen says. “When we opened our archives, there was raw footage of our original reporting, with interviews of the parents and key people in the investigation. We’re telling this story because we hope someone has information that can finally solve these cases.”

A five-part docuseries called “Child Killer” is also available to stream on and the WDIV-Local 4 app on Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire and most smart TVs.

“These murders put Oakland County and the whole metro Detroit region on high alert in the late 1970s and early 1980s," says Marla Drutz, WDIV’s vice president and general manager. "It was a defining moment for a whole generation of children who grew up with great fear of stranger danger. We hope that reopening the vault of video and investigating every angle will help investigators solve these cases.”

From a suspected cover-up by a local millionaire to a father’s undying love, ”Shattered: Child Killer” spotlights relatives of the murdered children, investigators who worked the case, and the journalists who covered, and are still covering, the story. In the search for truth and justice, egos and confusion take over in a seemingly endless pursuit for answers.

”Shattered: Child Killer” premieres on March 19, 2019. The eight-episode season will release a new episode every Tuesday. The entire series will be available for free on Apple Podcasts or your preferred podcast listening platform.

The first two seasons of “Shattered” have garnered 2.1 million downloads. Season 1 investigates the 2010 disappearance of three brothers in Morenci, Michigan. Their father said he gave the brothers to an underground organization. Seven years later, the boys’ whereabouts is not known. Season 2 takes listeners through the life of Richard Wershe Jr., also known as “White Boy Rick,” the youngest ever FBI informant turned drug dealer.

For more information, visit

For all press inquiries, email Donna Harper at

About WDIV-Local 4

Local 4 News is currently the No. 1 newscast at 4 p.m., 5 p.m., 6 p.m., and 11 p.m. in Nielsen ratings for the Detroit television market, and is honored to be named Station of the Year by the Michigan Association of Broadcasters for the fifth year in a row. WDIV is the No. 1 NBC affiliate in the top 20 LPM markets. In addition, Local 4's is a top breaking news and weather website in Michigan, as well as the No. 1 news website in Metro Detroit.

About Graham Media Group

Graham Media Group, a subsidiary of Graham Holdings Company (NYSE: GHC), owns seven local television stations - each in a top-70 market and all recognized as news leaders: KPRC–Houston, WDIV–Detroit and WSLS–Roanoke (NBC); KSAT–San Antonio (ABC); WKMG–Orlando(CBS); WJXT–Jacksonville (fully local), and WCWJ–Jacksonville (CW), as well as Social News Desk, a leading provider of social media management tools designed to connect newsrooms with their users.

The stations also broadcast digital channels that focus on classic television and lifestyle programming, in addition to operating market-leading websites, mobile sites and mobile apps delivering breaking news, weather and community news, reaching millions of users across each platform. All are deeply involved in local initiatives and public service projects designed to serve, inform and improve their respective communities.

WDIV-Local 4 named station of the year by MAB for 5th year in a row

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WDIV-TV Local 4, a Graham Media Group station, is honored to be recognized as station of the year for the fifth year in a row. The station won for broadcasting excellence in 14 categories from the Michigan Association of Broadcasters: 14 best and 11 merit awards for Market 1.

“It’s all about teamwork, and this reflects a station-wide effort to make sure our viewers get the best news and information possible,” said general manager and Vice President Manager Marla Drutz. “To win five years in a row tells us we’re on the right track, and we are all so grateful to be recognized with this prestigious award.”

First place/best In category:

  • Breaking news: (Larry Nassar: Judgment Day)
  • Community involvement: Your Soapbox; It’s OK Not To Be OK; Giving the Gift of Warmth
  • Investigative story: Help Me Hank investigation “Who Need a Dentist?” sparks state investigation into Detroit basement braces operation
  • Newscast: “Simon Steps Down”
  • News anchor: Devin Scillian
  • News special: “Black Friday”
  • News reporter: Nick Monacelli
  • Mini-documentary or series: “Defenders: Threats Among Us”
  • Special interest programming: Generation Under Fire
  • Marketing materials and promos: “Moments” campaign
  • Use of new media: “Shattered: Black Friday”
  • Sports: Bernie Smilovitz with Ice Cube

Merit awards:

  • Breaking news: Murderer Manhunt at CMU
  • Investigative story: “Defenders: Threats Among Us”
  • Newscast: Honoring the Life of Aretha Franklin
  • New anchor: Sandra Ali
  • New special – “Korea Rising”
  • Weathercast: Severe Weather Alert: Tornado Touches Down
  • News reporter: Koco McAboy
  • Photojournalist: Alex Atwell
  • Mini-documentary or series: “Black Friday: Morenci Boys and Skelton Case”
  • Special interest programming: R-E-S-P-E-C-T
  • Use of new media: Mixed Reality

MAB’s Broadcast Excellence Awards recognize outstanding achievements in broadcasting by Michigan radio and television stations each year.

WJXT-TV4 wins big in morning, early and late news areas in February

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THE Local Station is again Jacksonville’s No. 1 source for local news, and swept all morning and late news areas with the Jacksonville viewers for the month of February.

Morning News leads the way with News4JAX at 4:30 a.m. No. 1 nearly tripling the nearest competitor’s HH ratings. News4JAX at 5 a.m. is No. 1 in the time period with a 4.1 HH rating, more than doubling the nearest competitor. At 5:30 a.m., News4JAX won with a 4.9.

News4JAX at 6 a.m. is No. 1 with households in the 6 to 7 a.m. time period garnering a 6.1 and an impressive 21 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 5.9 HH rating and an 18 share, beating out all other newscasts including the national broadcasts of NBC’s "Today Show" 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 Show" third hour with a 4.1 HH rating.

In Evening News, News4JAX at 5 p.m. is the most watched in the time period with a 5.2 HH rating. News4JAX at 6 p.m., anchored by Mary Baer, Tom Wills and John Gaughan, is No. 1, with a 7.1 HH rating and a 13 share.

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 5.0 HH rating and again at 10:30 p.m. with a 3.6 HH rating. News4JAX was No. 1 at 11 pm with a 3.7 HH rating.

“It is extremely gratifying to see how the people of Jacksonville trust News4JAX above all others for their local news,” said Bob Ellis, vice president and general manager of WJXT and CW17. “The commitment of our staff to tell important stories from all areas of town and make Jacksonville a better place is real. To know month after month viewers count on us as their primary source of news makes us fiercely proud and reinforces our commitment as this city’s only true local television station.”

WDIV-Local 4 to premiere 'Child Killer' primetime special, plus 5-part digital docuseries on Feb. 13


WDIV-Local 4 (NBC, Detroit) is set to premiere a primetime special: “Child Killer” -- and a five-part digital docuseries of the same name -- that follows the heartbreaking and riveting true-crime story about Michigan’s Oakland County Child Killer case that is still unsolved 40 years later.

Both the “Child Killer” special and the digital docuseries chronicle the story from its very beginning when the first boy’s body was found and features never seen before video and interviews from the crime scenes.

From a suspected cover-up by a local millionaire to a father’s undying love, “Child Killer” also spotlights relatives of the murdered children, investigators who worked the case and the journalists who covered, and are still covering, the story. In the search for truth and justice, egos and confusion take over in a seemingly endless pursuit for answers.

WDIV-Local 4, a Graham Media Group station, has been working on this case since 1976, when 12-year-old Mark Stebbins of Ferndale was found dead, fully clothed in the outfit he was wearing when he was last seen alive.

During a 13-month period, four children -- two boys and two girls -- were abducted and murdered with their bodies left uncovered in the snow. The boys' bodies showed evidence of sexual assault. Their deaths triggered a murder investigation, which, at the time, was the largest in U.S. history.

“These murders put Oakland County and the whole region on high alert in the late 1970s and early 1980s. It was a defining moment for a whole generation of children who grew up with great fear of stranger danger,” said Marla Drutz, WDIV’s vice president and general manager. “We hope that reopening the vault of video and investigating every angle will help investigators solve these cases.”

Local 4 producers combed through hours and hours of raw station footage from 40 years ago through current times. is set to premiere the five-part digital docuseries "Child Killer” on February 13 at 11 p.m., following the primetime special at 10 p.m. on WDIV-Local 4, which will also streamed on, as well as via the station’s app on Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire and most smart TVs.

“Local TV stations are uniquely positioned to tell these stories, because we cover them until they are solved. We have reels and reels of footage, relationships with the community and a true desire to see justice,” Drutz said.

“Child Killer” is the latest project in WDIV-Local 4’s slate of original programming for a multi-platform audience. Both the special and docuseries are produced by Jeremy Allen and executive produced by Ro Coppola. To complement the special and docuseries, the third season of the “Shattered” podcast, also focusing on the Oakland County Child Killer, will debut in March.

Season one of “Shattered” followed the open case of three missing brothers from Morenci, Michigan, and season two covered the notorious case of White Boy Rick. Combined seasons of “Shattered” have garnered more than 1.7 million downloads.

For more information, click here.

First Coast Spelling Bee to crown regional champion


WJXT will host the 75th annual First Coast Spelling Bee driven by Jenkins Hyundai of Jacksonville on Tuesday, Feb. 19.

Spellers representing 14 area counties will take the stage at Jacksonville University’s Swisher Theatre to compete for the opportunity to represent the First Coast at the Scripps National Spelling Bee near Washington, DC.

News4JAX Anchor Melanie Lawson again will serve as pronouncer while News4JAX Anchor Bruce Hamilton hosts the broadcast with analysis provided by Jeff Hess, FSCJ Dean of Communication. The First Coast Spelling Bee is free and open to the public. Doors open at 6:45 p.m.

WHAT: First Coast Spelling Bee driven by Jenkins Hyundai of Jacksonville

WHEN: 8 p.m., Tuesday, February 19

WHERE: Jacksonville University’s Swisher Theatre 2800 University Blvd. North Jacksonville

The First Coast Spelling Bee will be broadcast live on WJXT Channel 4 and streamed on from 8 to 10 p.m.

Participating Spellers in Spelling Order:

  1. Ansley Cutshaw of Nassau County
  2. Cassie Clay of Suwannee County
  3. Jenna Hinson of Madison County
  4. Cyanne Carey of Baker County
  5. Sarah Welch of Hamilton County
  6. Graham Glasheen of Duval County
  7. Patrick Narcowich of Union County
  8. Armand KÜykendall of Putnam County
  9. Brandon Plum of Bradford County
  10. Erik Williams of Clay County
  11. Addison Davis of Flagler County
  12. Nicholas Chowdhury of Columbia County
  13. Francheska Melendez of Alachua County
  14. Manischa Wijayawardhana of St. Johns County

WJXT announces 'HaLeigh Cummings: Into Thin Air' podcast and News4Jax I-Team special reports


WJXT has announced a new four-episode podcast "HaLeigh Cummings: Into Thin Air," an original true-crime podcast.

Jennifer Waugh sets the scene of a little girl from Putnam County who vanished from bed. She was sleeping right next to her little brother. Hundreds of people searched for her, but she was never found.

“Ten years ago, this story captivated North Florida as details emerged after HaLeigh’s disappearance," WJXT VP and General Manager Bob Ellis said. "A decade later, there’s still more to learn about what happened. Jennifer Waugh was a major part of the coverage for the entire city when this happened ten years ago, and she’s spent the past several months investigating to provide fresh perspective with news stories for all platforms of News4Jax, including a riveting podcast.”

In addition, in the week leading up to the 10th year of HaLeigh’s disappearance, lead investigators broke their silence during a series of special reports. For the first time ever, they reveal their theories about who they believe is responsible for HaLeigh’s disappearance and where they think she is now.

WJXT hopes the "HaLeigh Cummings: Into Thin Air" stories and podcast series will generate new leads. Viewers and podcast listeners can call 888-277-TIPS and could be eligible for a $15,000 reward.

The "HaLeigh Cummings: Into Thin Air" podcast premieres Feb. 11. The entire series will be available for free on preferred podcast listening platforms. The series of special reports airs Feb. 4-8 on WJXT’s The Morning Show, Feb. 7 on News4JAX at 5 p.m., and Feb. 10 on The 10 O’Clock News.

KPRC 2 celebrates diversity during Black History Month

FBC Black History Month.jpg

During the month of February, KPRC 2 is honoring Black History Month by celebrating the multi-cultural diversity of Houston, the city the station calls home.

KPRC 2’s Black History Month on-air and social media campaigns will center around various renditions of, “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” commonly referred to as the Negro National Anthem, including a spoken-word version featuring KPRC 2 on-air talent, a vocal version sung by the Imani School’s “Young Voices of Praise” choir, and an original solo piano performance by our very own KPRC 2 employee.

As part of the digital campaign, KPRC 2 will spotlight many of Houston’s high-profile African American power players, including gospel vocalist Yolanda Adams, Harris County Commissioner Rodney Ellis, and gold medal-winning Olympians Simone Biles and Carl Lewis, interviewed by anchor and Houston Newsmakers host Khambrel Marshall.

KPRC 2 also will solicit viewer nominations to spotlight everyday citizens doing amazing things in the community. Nominations can be made here.

Another digital component will be the just-launched “Tell It 2 Us” platform, featuring man-on-the-street-style interviews with everyday Houstonians speaking out on issues facing the African American community. Viewers will be encouraged to make their voices heard by recording their own thoughts on these issues on camera and then emailing them to Submissions should be 30 seconds or less, and files no larger than 30MB.

“Our KPRC 2 family is as diverse as the communities that we cover and the city we call home,” KPRC 2 Vice President/General Manager Jerry Martin said. “What better time to celebrate not only the high-profile, but the everyday citizens, neighbors and co-workers who inspire and define us?”

Throughout the month, KPRC 2 will share stories of why African American culture is Houston culture, and how so much of what makes our city great is based in black heritage, honoring these cultural contributions.

WCWJ presents special programming in tribute to Black History Month


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Once again, WCWJ will honor the history, events and people during 2019 Black History Month.

CW17 presents programs and special stories that will begin in January and run until early March. The programs praise the achievements of black Americans today as well as those who fought for our country.

The events kick off at 10 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 20 on CW17 with the two-part documentary, "For Love of Liberty: The Story of America’s Black Patriots." Airing at 10 p.m. on Jan. 20 and Jan. 27, this two-part special salutes the contributions of African American men and women throughout our nation’s history. Hosted by Halle Barry, the documentary features the voices of Morgan Freeman, Lou Gossett Jr. and more.

Jacksonville has a rich history in African American culture. Each day in February, WCWJ will air a short vignette, profiling a moment or person from Jacksonville that played a significant role in African American history.

Special programming continues on CW17. On Sundays in February, CW17 pays homage to the journey for civil rights in the three-part series, "Trail of Hope." The first installment, "Trail of Hope: Journey to Equality" premieres at 10 p.m. Feb. 3 on CW17.

Then on Bounce TV, an all-star celebration of African American leaders at the 26th annual Trumpet Awards airs at 9 p.m. Feb. 17 on Bounce TV 17.2. Since 1993, these awards honor those who have achieved great things against huge odds.

At 4:30 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 17, the 50th Miss Black America Pageant airs on CW17. Celebrate 50 years with the Alvin Ailey dancers, African drummers and more as a new Miss Black America is crowned.

The month caps off Sunday, Feb. 24 and March 3 at 10 p.m. on CW17 with "Mentoring Kings." This two-part special celebrates the national mentoring programs of celebrities, business entrepreneurs, educators and community leaders. "Mentoring Kings" also will air on Bounce TV 17.2 on Feb. 9 and 16 at noon.

WDIV-Local 4’s specials double the North American International Auto Show excitement

Photo taken Jan. 15, 2019, by Scott Olson/Getty Images.

Photo taken Jan. 15, 2019, by Scott Olson/Getty Images.

DETROIT – Technology is taking center stage at the North American International Auto Show and WDIV-Local 4/ClickOnDetroit is covering the show from all angles. Viewers will get a trip to the show floor with two specials -- “Dateline Detroit: All About Autos,” airing Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. and “Charity Preview” airing Friday at 7 p.m.

Local 4 News anchors Devin Scillian and Kimberly Gill host “Dateline Detroit: All About Autos,” from Cobo Center covering auto reveals, the latest breaking auto news and more.

“All About Autos” highlights:

· The significance of this marking the last of the January auto shows

· Autonomous vehicles and the moral ethics of artificial intelligence

· Will your compass also act as a moral compass?

· Driving in a “hangover” suit with Ford Motor Company -- and why it’s sometimes just as dangerous as driving drunk

“Charity Preview” takes viewers live to one the most exclusive and high-profile events in the nation.

Scillian and Gill host this one-hour special, along with Rhonda Walker, Evrod Cassimy, Ben Bailey, Jon Jordan and Kim DeGiulio. The special showcases concept cars of the future, the latest reveals and high-fashion glamour at this black-tie affair, benefiting a wide range of children’s charities. Local 4 talks one-on-one to the local and international auto industry leaders who make this world-class event happen.

The Official App of the North American International Auto Show, powered by Local 4 and ClickOnDetroit, is the navigation link to it all. The NAIAS app is a must-have tool for car enthusiasts heading to the Auto Show. Users have the information they need right at their fingertips -- and it’s free to download on Apple or Android devices by searching “WDIV Auto Show” at the app stores.

The app provides:

· Map of the Auto Show floor at Cobo Center

· Livestream video of vehicle unveilings on your phone

· Official news updates from ClickOnDetroit and the NAIAS

· Information about the show, ticket sales and more

The Official NAIAS app is presented by the Detroit Auto Dealers Association, WDIV-TV Local 4 and and is sponsored by Oakland University.

Broadcasting & Cable promotes new season of 'Mismatch'

Season two, episode one is about the lives of Chang and Eng Bunker, the world’s first Siamese twins.

Season two, episode one is about the lives of Chang and Eng Bunker, the world’s first Siamese twins.

Just last week, Graham Media Group launched season two of the podcast series "Mismatch," hosted by longtime WDIV-TV reporter and anchor Roger Weber.

Broadcasting & Cable wrote about the exciting debut. Click or tap here to read the story in its entirety.

Mismatch features stories about the incompatible, the unsuitable and the out-of-step. There are eight episodes. Here's a breakdown of what each episode entails.

Go to, or download the podcast through Apple, Google, Stitcher, Pocket Casts or Overcast.

"Mismatch" is produced in partnership with WDIV-TV, one of Graham Media Group's seven TV stations. Joining forces with Weber is Zak Rosen, Graham Media Group’s Director of Podcasting, a Detroit-based audio producer who has worked with NPR, the BBC, Michigan Radio, WDET, Gimlet, Panoply and his own wife on their podcast, “Pregnant Pause with Zak and Shira.”

Graham Media Group releases second season of 'Mismatch' podcast series


Today, Graham Media Group dropped the second season of its popular “Mismatch” podcast series, hosted by longtime TV reporter and anchor Roger Weber.

The series features stories about the incompatible, the unsuitable, and the out of step. "More often than not, interesting stories feature a mismatch," Weber said.

Episode descriptions:

The Original Siamese Twins As conjoined twins, Chang and Eng Bunker’s lives were astonishing. Their adventure -- beginning in 1811 in what is now Thailand, and ending in America -- was completely out of line with what anybody could have expected.

The Artificial Heart That Led to a 40-Year Feud Dr. Michael DeBakey and Dr. Denton Cooley were two of the most prominent surgeons in the world. They were pioneers in the first open-heart operations. But Cooley triggered a 40-year feud when he took an artificial heart from DeBakey’s lab and implanted it in a patient.

The Religious Colony Promising Everlasting Life In 1903, Benjamin and Mary Purnell founded the House of David, a religious colony in Benton Harbor, Michigan. It grew to more than 1,000 members who vowed to give up meat, alcohol and sex in exchange for everlasting life. The colony would go on to make major contributions in the fields of technology, entertainment and sports before becoming embroiled in scandal.

I'm Never Using My Smartphone Again Let's face it. Most of us are addicted to our phones and the apps that populate them. This is a story of one former addict quitting her iPhone and social media cold turkey.

A Box Full of Letters and a Family's Tragic End Tim Mallad is the unlikely discoverer and steadfast keeper of a stranger’s story. One family’s tragedy grabbed him and wouldn't let go. For the story to finally emerge, 70 years later, strange things had to happen. This story is about Tim’s purchase of a piece of junk furniture in Detroit, his chance meeting with a Hollywood star and his unlikely decision when he was in his 20s to keep an old woman's fading letters.

Jose Feliciano's Anthem Encore It was 1968. The assassinations of Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy had already shaken Americans to the core. About 300 American soldiers were being killed each week in Vietnam and protesters were beaten near the Democratic National Convention. In that wrenching year, the nation needed a time-out. The 1968 World Series would provide that break. About 53,000 fans jammed Tiger Stadium, hoping their team could rally after trailing the Cardinals 3-1. Before the first pitch of Game 5, they removed their hats and rose from their seats to hear the most memorable and controversial performance of the national anthem in the history of American sports.

Teddy Roosevelt’s Gutsy, Crazy, Journey After having lost a presidential re-election bid, TR traveled to Brazil with his son to undertake an adventure in one of the most unexplored and intimidating tributaries of the Amazon.

Go to, or download the podcast through Apple, Google, Stitcher, Pocket Casts or Overcast.

"Mismatch" is produced in partnership with WDIV-TV, one of Graham Media Group's seven TV stations. Joining forces with Weber is Zak Rosen, Graham Media Group’s Director of Podcasting, a Detroit-based audio producer who has worked with NPR, the BBC, Michigan Radio, WDET, Gimlet, Panoply and his own wife on their podcast, “Pregnant Pause with Zak and Shira.”

“We have wonderful storytellers at all of our stations and the tremendous success from our first season of ‘Mismatch’ bears that out,” said Emily Barr, president and CEO of Graham Media Group. “With the ever-expanding interest in podcasts, we’re looking forward to sharing more real-life stories from our local communities that we know our listeners will find fascinating.”