How WFAA Uses Chartbeat for On-Air and Online Collaboration

As an Account Manager here at Chartbeat, I love sharing the cool things our clients are doing – and occasionally throwing in a Chartbeat humblebrag too. I hope you’ll enjoy this quick use case about the WFAA news site in Texas that uses real-time data to inform not just its website, but its on-air newscast as well. Share your thoughts in the Comments section

The Issue: Ready for real-time data

WFAA-Dallas, a Belo news network affiliate, was taking on a huge challenge. For the first time, WFAA was integrating its digital and on-air teams for more cohesive coverage, with the two teams increasing their collaboration on content. This team reconfigurement included making online content data available to all on-air producers –  no easy task.

Back then, WFAA’s original analytics programs required creating reports that only sometimes made it to the TV team in time for the midday news show. That data was often several hours old – meaning the window of opportunity to promote a spiking story was lost, nor were the TV producers always aware of sudden high-traffic stories. WFAA needed data that matched the pace of their newly aligned TV and online teams. (Bet you see where this is going, right?)

wfaa belo-2

Data-driven integration

In 2011, Belo brought Chartbeat to their network of stations, including WFAA. Chartbeat’s real-time data was soon an integral part of the newsroom’s workflow. To bridge the teams and facilitate the constant dialogue between them they physically combined the newsrooms and put up two easy-to-see Chartbeat monitors that display WFAA’s data.

The two large Chartbeat monitors – one complete with keyboard and mouse for real-time interaction – provide an ambient way for the team to stay informed up-to-the-minute about WFAA’s audience. Through these the both teams know what digital content could benefit from on-air follow up. Douglass Boehner, Digital Operations Manager describes the staff using Chartbeat as a source for discovering content that has great online or on-air potential.

Stronger content from screen to screen

These days a typical online-TV integrated workflow might start off with a story that spikes on Chartbeat. The digital team then promotes the story through social media. The on-air team adds it to the next broadcast and incorporates online or social comments.

WFAA’s efforts are an example of collaboration at its finest, in part due to both teams digging in to Chartbeat’s real-time data. TV producers are informed about story ideas that might otherwise stay beneath their radar. They know what their audience is reading and talking about every second of the day.

“Chartbeat starts the conversation.
It’s there telling you things you need to know right now.
Chartbeat doesn’t dictate the news, but it can create a strategy for what needs to be done.”
– Douglass Boehner, Operations Manager, WFAA.COM

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