Join us on Tuesday, October 20, 2009 as we meet the WBAL-TV news team and tour the station. Station staff expected to participate:
- Michelle Butt, news director
- Jessica Rahn, assignment manager
- Jordan Wertlieb, president and general manager
WHERE: WBAL-TV, 3800 Hooper Ave., Baltimore, MD
WHEN: Tuesday, October 20, 2009 – Registration and light breakfast begins at 8:30 a.m.; program and Q&A runs from 9:00 to 10:30 a.m.
FEES: Only $15 for BPRC members; $25 for non-members; $10 for students. Members may bring one guest free.
TO REGISTER: Call the BPRC registration line at (410) 532-7221 or e-mail your reservation to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your name, company name and daytime phone number. Reservations of non-members will only be accepted when a phone number is given.
Checks made payable to “BPRC” should be mailed in advance to BPRC, 2331 Emory Road, Reisterstown, Maryland 21136. Reservation confirmation will be given for e-mail reservations only. Payments not made in advance must be made at the door. Cash, checks, and credit cards accepted.
NOTE: If you cancel after the reservation deadline, you will be responsible for the cost of the reservation. No-shows will be billed.
WBAL-TV staffers provided insight and feedback into their newsroom and general station management for more than one hour at the October program hosted by the Baltimore Public Relations Council. Jordan Wertlieb, president and general manager, along with Michelle Butt, news director; Jessica Rahn, assignment editor; and, Wanda Draper, director of programming and public affairs, spoke to more than 30 event attendees about the station’s programming, advertising trends, social media use, and newsroom workings.
“Television viewership is up. The average person watches television four hours and 15 minutes each day, up two minutes from last year,” said Wertlieb. “When television is relevant to the local community, viewership is up. Broadcasts of weather, football and local news keep our viewers watching.”
As Wertlieb spoke to the group, he acknowledged the Internet’s power.
“The [world wide] web is discussed all the time. We can’t hold stories anymore. Stories must get on the web all the time to keep up,” said Wertlieb.
The discussion continued as Butt and Rahn shared their perspectives on news stories, pitches from public relations staff, and the realities of a shrinking workforce.
Butt described an ideal news story as one that has “good stuff, great characters, an interesting story, and a call to action.” “If I find a good story and put it on television, the web, a podcast, people will watch it,” said Butt. “That will never change.”
Rahn agreed, and she shared insight into grabbing her attention at the newsdesk. “Some stories may be great on paper, but not on television,” she said. “Send me interesting visual stories.”