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Amplifying Your Signal: Innovative Promotional Strategies for Local Television Stations

 by Lee Miller, ATBA Executive Director

In the dynamic world of broadcasting, local television stations occupy a unique niche, forging deep connections with their communities. However, in an age where content is king, and competition is just a click away, LPTV stations must continuously evolve their promotional strategies to captivate their audience. Here are some innovative promotional ideas designed to elevate your station's profile and engage your viewers like never before.

1. Community-Centric Programming: Your station thrives on local appeal, so why not deepen those roots? Create segments that spotlight local heroes, businesses, or landmark events. Interactive programs like 'Neighborhood Stories' or 'Local Legends' not only attract viewers but also foster community pride.

2. Engaging Social Media Campaigns: Harness the power of social media to create a buzz around your programs. From behind-the-scenes footage to viewer polls about upcoming topics, interactive content can drive engagement and viewership. Platforms like Instagram Live or Facebook Stories can be used for real-time interaction, bringing your audience closer to the action.

3. Strategic Partnerships and Sponsorships: Collaborate with local businesses for sponsored content or events. This not only provides a revenue stream but also integrates your station more deeply into the local business ecosystem. Whether it's a live broadcast from a community event or a feature on a local innovation, these partnerships can offer fresh content while promoting mutual growth.

4. Viewer Participation Contests: Engage your audience directly by inviting them to participate in contests or content creation. For instance, 'The Best Sunrise Photo' contest or 'Local Talent Showcase' can stimulate viewer interaction and provide appealing content for your station.

5. Educational Workshops and Tours: Offer workshops or behind-the-scenes tours to schools and community groups. This not only serves as an educational experience but also builds a loyal base of young viewers. Engaging with the community in this manner promotes your station as an accessible and integral part of the locality.

6. Embrace Cutting-Edge Technology: In an era of rapid technological change, staying ahead of the curve can set your station apart. Explore the use of drones for aerial footage of local events or implement AR (Augmented Reality) in your weather forecasts or historical segments, offering viewers an immersive experience. Don't forget to plan that move to ATSC 3.0 in the near future!

7. Regular Feedback Loops: Create a consistent feedback mechanism where viewers can voice their opinions about your programming. This can be achieved through online surveys, social media polls, or even a dedicated 'Viewer's Voice' segment in your broadcasts. Acknowledging and acting on feedback not only improves your content but also builds viewer trust and loyalty.

The essence of a successful local television station lies in its ability to resonate with its community-LOCAL SELLS! By implementing these and other innovative promotional strategies, your LPTV station can not only expand its reach but also strengthen the bonds with its most valuable asset – the viewers.

Remember, in the world of local broadcasting, your signal goes beyond the airwaves – it's a beacon for the community you serve.

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ATBA to be part of TV Industry Reception at NRB

The Advanced Television Broadcasting Alliance will be one of the host of the NextGen TV Industry Reception being planned for National Religious Broadcasters Convention at the Gaylord Opryland in Nashville tentatively scheduled for Wednesday evening February  21, 2024 at 9:00 pm immediately following the main evening event. Event is open to everyone interested in television, ATSC 3.0 and or OTT.

Next week, we will have a preview of some of the sessions being offered at NRB. To register, visit NRBConvention.org

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Chicago Television Stations Launch NEXTGEN TV Service in Nation’s Third-Largest TV Broadcast Market

Five Local Stations Bring Enhanced Video, Audio and Upgradeable Technology to their Free, Over-the-Air Services

CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Viewers in America’s third-largest television market can now experience the future of broadcast television as five stations join to launch NEXTGEN TV in Chicago. NEXTGEN TV is a revolutionary, free digital broadcast over-the-air technology that utilizes the internet and digital applications powered by the ATSC 3.0 broadcast standard to present viewers with more news and entertainment choices while providing broadcasters with a more compelling and interactive way to deliver their content.

Chicago viewers can now access five channels over-the-air for free with NEXTGEN TV, including:

  • CBS’ WBBM-TV (CBS, channel 2);
  • FOX’s WFLD-TV (FOX, channel 32);
  • NBC’s WMAQ-TV (NBC, channel 5);
  • WGN (WGN, channel 9); and
  • Univision’s WGBO-TV (Univision, channel 66).

Local viewers can easily tune to each station for information about accessing NEXTGEN TV locally, rescanning information and how to purchase the right television set to receive NEXTGEN TV. Viewers watching these five channels can look forward to enhanced television viewing provided by NEXTGEN TV as a complement to streaming platforms, since NEXTGEN TV is a free over-the-air service.

“America’s third-largest TV market is riding the NEXTGEN TV wave, with the addition of new capabilities for broadcasters and viewers. We’re especially appreciative of our partners, Heartland Video Systems and LTN and their commitment to getting broadcasters on-the-air. The momentum for NEXTGEN TV is building with TCL about to join the roster of TV manufacturers with consumer models, High Dynamic Range coming for key sports contests, and new upgrade accessory receivers for consumers in the wings,” said Anne Schelle, managing director of the Pearl TV group of TV broadcasters that coordinated the Chicago launch.

“Chicago will get the most out of live news and sports programming,” continued Schelle. “Live linear television has never been stronger in sports than it is now, and Chicago is home to a bold sports market with six professional teams spanning NBA, WNBA, NFL, MLB and NHL organizations. NEXTGEN TV will transform the fan experience with immersive features such as brilliant color and personalized, interactive bonus content.”

A feature built into select TV models manufactured by Hisense, Sony, LG Electronics and Samsung—and TCL later this year—NEXTGEN TV is widely available to consumers at retail across more than 100 models, starting at $599 and viewable at watchnextgentv.com.

While features may vary by device and broadcaster as commercial service expands in local markets, NEXTGEN TV is designed to be future proof, enabling a viewer’s television set to advance with technological improvements.

NEXTGEN TV also enables Chicago broadcasters to bolster their emergency alert information capabilities, helping to make area communities safer during natural disasters or severe weather events. The new broadcast TV standard enables improved location-targeting with future notifications sent to precise areas and viewers able to choose the language in which they want to receive the emergency information. Multimedia files can also be added, upgrading the alerts with detailed maps or images. In times of crisis, NEXTGEN TV’s sophisticated emergency alerting can enable viewers in that market to get all the information they need without affecting those not in the path of the emergency.

NEXTGEN TV, a free, over-the-air service, is the first major overhaul to the Advanced Television Systems Committee’s standard for receiving over-the-air signals in nearly 30 years.

NEXTGEN TV will make possible:

  • Stunning 4K and High Dynamic Range (HDR) video
  • Consistent volume across channels
  • Dialogue enhancement
  • Movie theater-quality sound
  • Enhanced internet content on demand
  • Advanced emergency alerts and information
  • Expanded and hyperlocal news
  • Dual language capabilities

The participating stations have worked together to ensure that current programming remains available to all viewers, regardless of whether their television service is provided over-the-air or by a cable or satellite company. Antenna viewers can simply rescan their TV sets to ensure full service. Rescan instructions are available at: fcc.gov/rescan. Cable and satellite subscribers do not need to take any action.

Chicago viewers can learn more about NEXTGEN TV by visiting www.WatchNextGenTV.com, which offers a guide to cities carrying the service, as well as links to available NEXTGEN TV models and upgrade accessory device options, features and retail pricing as they are certified and move into retail availability.

About Pearl TV:

Pearl TV is a business organization of U.S. broadcast companies with a shared interest in exploring forward-looking broadcasting opportunities, including innovative ways of promoting local broadcast TV content and developing digital media and wireless platforms for the broadcast industry. Pearl’s membership, comprising more than 820 TV stations, includes eight of the largest broadcast companies in America: Cox Media Group, Graham Media Group, Gray Television, Hearst Television Inc., Nexstar Media Group, Sinclair Broadcast Group, the E.W. Scripps Company, and TEGNA Inc.

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See You at NAB Join us for Low Power TV Day at NAB - The 39th Annual LPTV Industry Gathering

The Advanced Television Broadcasting Alliance will host LPTV Day during the 2024 National Association of Broadcasters Convention in Las Vegas on Monday, April 15, 2024. Roundtable Events are being planned for the day and a private members only reception beginning at 6pm opening to everyone at 6:30pm.

“Again back at the Westgate Las Vegas Resort for the LPTV and OTT industries events during NAB Show 2024, we will be celebrating our 39th year of meeting," says Lee Miller, ATBA Executive Director. “LPTVs and OTT platforms are critical pieces to the broadcast industry, and we will continue to champion a robust advocacy for the issues that matter most to our communities.”

The day long activities during the convention will include seminars and workshops specific to LPTV and OTT issues. The ATBA also will host the annual LPTV Industry Awards and Reception at the Westgate Las Vegas Resort that Monday evening.

Miller continues, “The Advanced Television Broadcast Alliance continues to promote the protection and advancement of both low-power stations and OTT Platforms as traditional distribution platforms diminish, and with the growth of ATSC 3.0. Our primary mission will continue to work in preserving and promoting the efficient and effective use of all television broadcast spectrum, especially that of the Low Power Television classification.”

The ATBA will be announcing soon its special guests for Monday's events.

Sponsorship opportunities are now available for ATBA events at NAB and membership renewal at https://www.broadcastingalliance.org/sponsorship-and-membership/ . Contact Lee Miller at [email protected] for more information.

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The Five Key Skills Every Leader Needs to Master

Leadership is a challenging task. Guiding teams and entire organizations to success requires a broad set of abilities that take time and dedication to develop fully. After decades of learning as a leader and now a coach, I've pinned down the five most critical skills that set genuinely great leaders apart from the rest. Mastering these five key areas is essential for any manager or executive seeking to maximize their impact.

1. Communication

Strong communication skills serve as the foundation for effective leadership. Leaders must convey their vision, goals, and strategic priorities to their teams. This ensures everyone is working towards the same objectives. Leaders must also listen actively, seeking to understand the needs and perspectives of their employees. Open and frequent communication builds trust and transparency. Poor communicators often need to rally their teams around a coherent strategy.

2. Self-Awareness

Truly influential leaders have a strong sense of self-awareness. This includes understanding their personal strengths, weaknesses, values and overall leadership vision. Self-aware leaders know when to rely on their abilities or delegate to others with different strengths. Leaders who lack self-awareness often lack self-confidence. Additionally, self-awareness enables leaders to identify areas requiring self-improvement - a lifelong learning process.

3. Strategic Thinking

Strong strategic thinking skills empower leaders to analyze their competitive landscape, identify threats, and recognize opportunities. Leaders must think beyond day-to-day operations to determine innovative ways of positioning their organization for long-term success. Poor strategic thinkers often get trapped fighting fires rather than envisioning their ideal future. Influential leaders develop a strategic plan and roadmap to guide decisions and resource allocation.

4. Execution

Generating innovative ideas means little without the ability to execute. Strong leaders surpass their peers by skillfully aligning people, processes, and resources to fulfill strategic objectives. This requires outstanding project management skills and the ability to motivate teams and resolve roadblocks. Leaders with poor execution skills often need help to actualize their vision.

5. Adaptability

The business world moves fast. New technologies emerge, competitors threaten your market share, and crises arise. In this dynamic environment, leaders must remain flexible and willing to evolve their strategies based on changing external and internal conditions. Adaptability also means tailoring your leadership style to fit the needs of different people and teams. The most successful leaders identify early warning signs that signal when a shift in direction is necessary. They see change as an opportunity, not a threat.

Developing strengths in communication, self-awareness, strategic thinking, execution, and adaptability can transform anyone into an empowered leader able to navigate complex challenges. Mastering these human-centered capabilities separates truly exceptional leaders from the rest. They fuel innovation, spark breakthroughs, and enable teams to achieve more than they ever thought possible. With dedication and practice, anyone can forge these skills and elevate their leadership capacity to new heights.


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