Assistant News Director and Multi-Platform Storytelling Lead, WUSA
Kathy Reynolds is Assistant News Director and Multi-Platform Storytelling Lead at WUSA, Channel 9, in Washington, D.C. Previously, she was News Director at WGME and WPFO in Maine.
We strive every day to do unique content for online. You need to get coverage of what is happening in your market on every station, in terms of like, ‘Oh, there was a fire here or a murder here, but what are we doing that’s a different angle? What kind of follow up are we doing?’ … The additional part of that is, we put a lot of effort into online promotion of that story. So we actually release the story first online, prior to putting it on air. Those are the things that we do to drive our digital product.
In terms of how we cover news, we are selling a lot more sponsorships. I mean, that’s the reality of what we have to do. Our sports segments are sponsored. Our weather segments have logos on them. Everyone is trying to find different ways to monetize what we’re doing because you have to have a source of revenue. So, take from my Sinclair days in Maine, you do a sports segment, so we did the OA Centers for Orthopaedics Sports Report, so there was the sponsorship of every sportscast. The logo was on the front. We said the names. They paid X amount of dollars to get it, and then they get a number of web ads, in addition to that, a number of commercials, of promos. That’s how you build out sources of revenue streams that are beyond just people buying commercials, and it becomes a multiplatform purchase. There’s very rarely a deal done in broadcast news today that doesn’t include a digital component. Most deals are a multiplatform deal.
You’re constantly fighting an industry where your cost of doing business is astronomical. I mean, you’re talking about equipment that is extraordinarily technical equipment, that is high-end, is getting used 24 hours a day. … So, there’s an extraordinary cost to doing business, and so you use your broadcast revenue in so many ways to help carry that weight.