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TV Station Manager Discusses Newscast Amid Coronavirus

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Jamey Schmitz, President and CEO at WLMB, joined the ATBA’s webinar to discuss how WLMB has dealt with the difficulties of the ongoing pandemic and how the station took on a newscast format to keep their community informed on Wednesday June 10, 2020.

Schmitz knew that people were scared and struggling with the major, unpredictable change in people’s lives. With that thought in mind, he wanted to create an informational news show that would provide information on COVID-19, as well as comfort through the Word of God. 

“To serve our local broadcasting community, we (WLMB) launched a show. We built an anchor desk and launched a show,” said Schmitz. “We were changing stories right up to air time and sometimes, actually, during air time because this was something we were getting fresh, new information on hour by hour.” 

With all the uncertainty surrounding the virus and this drastic life change that it brought upon the world, Schmitz decided to air information about the virus, invite a local pastor to provide comfort in such a fearful time, and then Schmitz would read prayer requests live on-air. 

“We built a very good audience,” said Schmitz. “We did cancel the show after about 8 weeks because we felt that we had met the need of the people who were in really dire crisis, scared, terrified, and the news cycle was just full of information.”

The ATBA webinars are on Wednesdays at 3pm CT. To access this meeting join the ATBA email list or check the Advanced Television Broadcasting Alliance site for updates.