KARK’s new morning news anchor took an RV tour of 36 counties covering 1,600 miles. I’ve seen many promos, and marketing and advertising campaigns that introduce a news personality to a newscast, many of them clever and memorable, but I’ve never seen one quite like this. It flat out works.
KARK, Nexstar’s NBC affiliate in Little Rock, Ark., has a new morning news anchor, Susanne Brunner. So the first thing the station’s news director, Austin Kellerman, does is hire an RV and hit the road.
Kellerman writes, “We have a new anchor on the KARK morning show (Susanne), and we were looking for a unique way to introduce her to the audience. So, we packed up a crew in an RV with a goal of visiting all 36 counties in our viewing area in just five days.”
In addition to Susanne Brunner, the crew included D.J. Williams (Brunner’s co-host), Martin Couch, a KARK photographer and Kellerman, who drove the RV. The morning show mascot, Shade, also tagged along, usually sitting in the passenger seat.
I have to give Susanne Brunner credit. It’s not every lady who can jump in an RV with three men for a week and be one of the boys. I mean she won me over when she held that alligator.
Brunner said they all got along well, partly because they were so busy.
“No one complained. That showed me a lot about our team.”
I’ve seen many promos and marketing and advertising campaigns that introduce a news personality to a newscast, many of them clever and memorable, but I’ve never seen one quite like this. It works on Facebook, it works as content on TV, it works as a way to genuinely showcase your new talent’s personality, it just flat out works.
This Facebook post got 25,000 views and generated 500 comments.
“When my news director, Austin Kellerman, first told me that I would be hopping on an RV with my co-host, D.J. Williams and the popular morning show dog Shade Bartholomew (I learned he has a middle name) to visit 36 counties, I was surprised,” wrote Brunner on the station’s website.
“The idea to introduce me as a new member of the KARK 4 TODAY team was a unique approach. I was so excited about the opportunity to get to know our viewers and see where they wake up with us each and every morning in their hometowns. I’ve never seen or heard of a news team doing something like this, and to me, it shows how much our station cares about the people we serve. As much as we connect with you online, it’s important to put a face with the name. I was on board from the beginning.”
“We made all the stops,” said Kellerman, “and did 33 live shots — all with a unique piece of content highlighting one of the communities we visited. We traveled 1,600 miles which equaled some 24 hours of drive time.”
Here’s another Facebook post that got 18,000 views and another 500 comments.
“The people were my favorite part,” said Brunner.
“They were so welcoming, the feeling I got was a sense of family. They were so thrilled that we made the effort to go to their town and say, hi.”
Click here to see more content including some digital-only videos.
Click here to see a rundown of the tour.
Click here to read Susanne Brunner’s blog on the experience.
NOTE: Brunner is not new to the Little Rock airwaves. She had been the morning news anchor on KLRT, the Fox affiliate in the market owned by Mission Broadcasting but operated by Nexstar as part of a shared services agreement.