ABA Blog

ABA Blog

2014 Convention UPDATE!

We've posted all of the information on the 2014 ABA Convention in the "Upcoming Events" section of this website!

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Important Political Dates

May 20 is Primary Election day in Arkansas.  That means the Lowest Unit Charge window opens April 5.  The General Election is November 4.  The LUC window for THAT election opens September 5.  The Legal Calendar has been updated to reflect these dates, as well as other important dates for Broadcasters.

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2014 ABA Convention Information

The 2014 ABA Convention will be held July 17-19 at the Doubletree Hotel in downtown Little Rock!  Mark your calendars now and stay tuned for details on speakers, exhibitors, and entertainment!

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Convention Coverage

We've posted photos from the 2013 ABA Convention on our Facebook page. CLICK HERE to visit the site.

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Convention Information

We've updated the website to allow access to all of the information and forms for the 2013 ABA Convention.  Just click on "upcoming events" at the top of the page!

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2013 Legal Calendar

The Legal Calendar has been updated for the last half of 2013. 

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2013 ABA Convention

The 2013 ABA Convention will be held July 18-20 at the DoubleTree Hotel in downtown Little Rock.  We're finalizing speakers and will post a more detailed schedule as soon as we nail everything down.  

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View Tweets by@broadcastsales - Each month, Local Broadcast Sales is providing an updated training video that will be available here on the ABA website. This month's topic focuses on Political Ad Rules for 2012, with a Q & A with attorney David Exenford.





Social Media Newscast?

Ok, folks. I think this is an interesting experiment, one that takes the "social media newscast" concept to a new level. I know that some stations have tried involving viewers, but this really elevates the interaction. Use the comments to let us know what you think.

Air Check by Diana Marszalek
How Social Should A Newscast Be?
By Diana Marszalek
TVNewsCheck, September 20, 2011 6:25 AM EDT
While many stations are still tinkering with ways to use Facebook and Twitter, KOMU Columbia, Mo. (DMA 138), is making social media a star of one of its shows.

U_News@4, which debuted last week on the University of Missouri-owned NBC affiliate to fill its Oprah void at 4 p.m., pushes viewer participation to new heights. In fact, the show is so interactive that anchor Sarah Hill refers to participating viewers as her “co-hosts.”

The hour-long show includes news and weather, but that’s about as traditional as it gets. On the high-tech set, Hill commands the newscast from a laptop with a second large screen behind her for all to see.

Thanks to tools like “hangouts,” multi-person video chats that are part of Google+, as well as other social media that already seem old hat — Tweets, email and texting — viewers are integral parts of the newscast, providing everything from viewpoints to videos, says Executive News Director Stacey Woelfel.

At any given moment, up to 10 individuals may "appear" on air with Hill through the various media, Woelfel says. Last night, Hill reported on Obama’s proposed tax plan, after which the people in her hangout chimed in on the issue.

Hill also checks in regularly with the “social media desk,” which includes two reporters tracking bloggers, Tweets and online conversations about topics making the news. On Monday, they reported on the decision to cast transgender Chaz Bono on Dancing With the Stars and a conservative group’s call to boycott the show.

Although KOMU had been exploring options for the 4 p.m. slot for some time, it settled on trying a fully interactive newscast in February after viewers helped cover a blizzard via social media, Woelfel says. “These are regular people. We were amazed how capable and willing viewers were to contribute."

Industry watchers applaud KOMU for pushing the envelope in its use of social media at a time when many stations are still trying to figure them out.

“Web culture is about experimenting and trying new things,” says Robert Hernandez, a USC Annenberg assistant professor who follows technology and journalism. “That’s what the new journalism is about."

Only time will tell, however, whether the experiment will ultimately work.

Just last month, WSLS, Media General’s NBC affiliate in Roanoke, Va., (DMA 66), replaced its two-year-old 7 p.m. newscast that relied heavily on social media with the more traditional one viewers said they wanted, says News Director Melissa Preas.

When the show was first launched, incorporating viewer input into newscasts via social media was still a novelty, and seemed to be a big enough deal to draw audiences, she says.

The novelty, however, soon wore off, as other stations around the country gradually started adding interactive components to their newscasts, Preas says. WSLS went back to basics, emphasizing content over fancy new tools and using social media to supplement conventional broadcast journalism.

“Even though I am delighted to see places trying all of these things, it doesn’t mean that they work,” says Bob Papper, a Hofstra University journalism professor. “You need to be very cautious. Most people don’t ‘friend’ TV stations.”

As few as 5% of TV viewers actually engage with TV news via social media, he says. “Part of the success of TV news is that it’s the ultimate passive medium,” Papper says. “If you’re going to respond to the activities in what is generally a passive situation, you need to recognize that you are taking some risks.”

Steve Safran, editor of LostRemote.com, which bills itself as “All About Social TV,” favors TV stations incorporating social media into conventional newscasts. TV stations that use them to supplement rather than supplant their newscasts are the most successful, he says. And although social media can enhance broadcast journalism, the two should not be treated as one and the same, he says. “I think it gets too artificial when you slap one on top of the other.”

Stations are employing social media in a variety of ways.

In Phoenix (DMA 13), Belo's independent KTVK last month launched a 10 p.m. newscast that also incorporates a lot of social media because, as Executive News Director Brad Remington says, "it’s how people consume news.”

In a market with five news-producing stations, the newscast is designed to stand out, Remington says. But that’s not at risk of being gimmicky. “Our view is that it needs to be authentic,” Remington says.

What that means is that the newscast incorporates features of social media that have been growing in use anyway — reporter and anchor Tweets and viewer-generated content and comment, for example.

Anchors broadcast the news standing up and are equipped to pull content from iPads while on air. The community engagement occurs long before — and after — the newscast.

“It’s an all-day-long conversation,” Remington says. “We don’t think we’re reinventing local news, but it’s fresh. If you want to be involved in the social media side while you’re watching it, we are providing some opportunities. But it’s still a good 10 p.m. newscast.”

Amy Wood, an anchor at WSPA, Media General’s CBS affiliate in Spartanburg (DMA 37), was one of the early champions of social media — she started with email commenting 16 years ago — and is considered by industry watchers to be one of the more successful users of them.

Having evolved through blogging, Twitter and Facebook, Wood launched a live chat room in 2008 and today has up to 20 visitors live at a time. “It was amazing — like a focus group during your show,” she says.

Wood solo anchors a 10 p.m. interactive news show on WYCW, Media General’s CW affiliate in the market, single-handedly running a chat room and her own teleprompter and selecting viewer comments for the show producer to put on air.

“Once those relationships develop over time, the tips roll in one after another,” she says. “I have viewers who have my text line number saved in their phones who text in tips to me 24/7.”

Having an ongoing exchange is not always easy, Wood says. “I’ve learned to take any negative exchange as a challenge and my goal is to always turn them around. It’s incredible to see how often that is possible. Listening: that is the key. Hearing viewers: that’s what matters.”

That is the environment KOMU is trying to foster as well. Hill already has hundreds of individuals hoping for a coveted spot in her hangout, showing there is no shortage of desire to be involved with the news, Woelfel says.

Adds Hill, “We are essentially bringing a cyber couch onto the news set and letting our viewers co-host.”

Diana Marszalek writes about local TV news every other week in her Air Check column. You can reach her for comment on this column or with ideas for upcoming ones at diana.marszalek@verizon.net. For other Air Check stories, click here.

Copyright 2011 NewsCheckMedia LLC. All rights reserved. This article can be found online at: http://www.tvnewscheck.com/article/2011/09/20/54102/how-social-should-a-newscast-be.

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ABA on Facebook!

Yes, indeed! We've fired up a Facebook page for the ABA and populated it with some photos from this year's Annual Convention! Click Here and "Like" us!

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Starting Over

We're starting over here on the ABA Blog.  It's been a year since we started this and it's high time that we got back into the routine of posting fresh, informative, information here. Let's begin with something that caught my eye as a former radio DJ (via Radio Ink) -

IS THE ROCK FORMAT DEAD?

Yesterday we posted a story about how John Gehron was quoted in the Chicago Tribune saying Rock "is not the dominant sound that it was in the '60s and '70s, when rock really was the sound of a generation." That prompted quite a few e-mails to our inbox from both sides of the aisle. Those who believe alternative rock has eclipsed Bob Seger and Bruce Springsteen believe a fork should be stuck in "the old fart format." And, those who believe The Moody Blues and The Doobies will live on forever. So, is it time to put the Led Zeppelin, Ted Nugent format to sleep for good? We went to the music expert himself, Lee Abrams to give us the definitive answer on the future of the rock format. As always Lee leaves it all out on the field.
by Lee Abrams
Is the Rock format dead? Well, maybe. But who cares? It'll never [...]

CLICK HERE to read the entire article.

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