In-Depth Success Story #4

In-Depth Success Story


Situation: CBS12’s former parent company, Freedom Communications, went into bankruptcy and was forced to shrink staffing by about 25%.

Hindrance: Due to the bankruptcy there were no clear long term strategies and no budget to beef up staffing, conduct market research or outside marketing campaigns. We were faced with the challenge of maintaining or even growing ratings during an uncertain economic future.

Actions: I was asked to take over extra responsibilities which included producing and anchoring the fledgling, but potentially profitable CBS 12 News at 7. With no budget, I created and implemented a cutting edge strategy to turn the 7PM newscast into a dual screen experience by focusing on social media use during a broadcast. This allowed us to use social media such as facebook and twitter as a free source of content for the newscast, while marketing CBS12 News at 7 to a desirable key demographic audience.

Results: The creative plan caused explosive audience growth by 50% in the first month and created a higher than expected revenue stream during a difficult business cycle. It was so successful that parts of the plan are still being used today for different newscasts with much success.

Evaluations: My creative solution to leverage social media may sound intuitive today, but at the time it was a bold idea since most broadcasters were competing with social media and the second screen trend rather than embracing it. Also, my ability to demonstrate leadership during a difficult economic environment kept moral high for my team and allowed our newscast to surpass all expectations.