Meredith Conte, Tegna’s VP of marketing, shares how some of the Tegna stations are celebrating Black History Month this year. See the examples and hear from the content creators themselves about their approaches.
February has been recognized as Black History Month since President Gerald Ford first declared it in 1976.
Since then, TV stations have been celebrating it with news coverage and marketing promos by profiling the Black voices who have made or who are making a difference in their community.
Meredith Conte, Tegna’s VP of marketing, has shared how some of the Tegna stations are celebrating Black History Month this year.
Not only did she share the examples, but also provided the rationale from the content creators themselves, giving us personal insight into the reasoning behind their approach.
NOTE: If your station has examples of how it is celebrating Black History Month this year, email them to me: email@example.com.
“Our purpose at TEGNA is to serve the greater good in our communities,” Conte says. “That means a daily commitment to ensuring we reflect all the people we serve, including our audience and employees. We are proud of our journalists, marketing teams and stations for their continued work in shining a spotlight on Black history this month and throughout the year.”
KVUE: Austin, Texas
Project Overview: KVUE Profiles is a series that introduces audiences to business owners, changemakers and leaders who are dedicated to changing the narrative often associated with communities of color. These long-form stories highlight the people of Central Texas who have overcome adversity and are now making a difference. Profiles is designed to educate and inspire through the people it introduces.
“KVUE Profiles has grown from an idea to a personal passion,” says Ysenia Carrizales, KVUE marketing executive producer and KVUE Profiles leader. “As a Latina, it gives me pride to give a platform to the voices I grew up with, the voices who have too often been silenced. It’s an honor for me to tell the stories of the communities who truly make Austin, Austin. And although the feedback shared with me is something I like to keep close, I will say their thanks have made every single shoot and long hours of editing beyond worth it. If KVUE Profiles inspires one person, then that’s enough.”
“KVUE Profiles puts the mic in our communities’ hands, and we serve as the conduit to amplify their story and message,” says Enrico Meyer, KVUE’s director of marketing. “DEI storytelling is year-round for the KVUE marketing team and flows throughout our work, with Profiles serving as the backbone. Ysenia Carrizales has done a wonderful job of leading, defining and growing these stories. This is a series that began before her or I started at KVUE, and Ysenia has breathed life and passion into it, transforming it and giving it clarify and focus.”
Black in Denver
Project Overview: KUSA’s approach came from a newsroom and marketing discussion and collaboration for Black History Month designed to show the work that’s being done on behalf of the Black community in Denver while also talking honestly about some of the struggles BIPOC employees face in Colorado.
KIII: Corpus Christi, Texas
Black is Beautiful
Project Overview: For Black History Month, KIII invited six community leaders to participate in a panel discussion for a 3NEWS+, the station’s dedicated streaming app. The special focused on issues impacting the Black community in South Texas. The panel discussion ended with each panelist completing the statement “Black is…” which served as inspiration for our image campaign. Marketing Producer Rex Hollingsworth embraced the idea and recognized the impact the statements would have in the station’s Black History Month promos. Hollingsworth asked each panelist to complete the statement while they looked directly into the camera with the intent of letting each individual respond simply and authentically. The effort resulted in thought-provoking and uplifting messaging for our community.
“It means everything to me that I am able to have had a hand in a project like this one,” says Simoné Simpson, KIII journalist and co-host of the panel discussion. “The meaning behind ‘Black is,’ comes from just years of my people being told that we are less than. And so when we finished the statement — when we say for example, ‘Black is beautiful’ — it’s supposed to uplift others who look like us.”
“What was important was to show our guests’ thoughtfulness,” Hollingsworth says. “We kept the visual approach simple and clean so their thought process and words could take center stage. My hope was it would represent our brand well and that our community – including my own children – might gain insight and inspiration.”
WTHR 13News, Indianapolis
Leaders and Trailblazers
Project Overview: All month long, 13News is celebrating Black leaders and trailblazers who are making a cultural impact in Central Indiana. They are honoring the legacies of leaders who’ve paved the way, while celebrating today’s local Black Hoosiers who are empowering the community in positive ways. From faith to fashion and sports to arts, 13News is proud to share these beautiful stories of local Black cultural leaders.
“Celebrating Black History Month is more than celebrating the past,” says Lauren Morgan, WTHR executive producer. “It’s embracing how far we’ve come and acknowledging the work that still needs to be done. Black history is happening every day.”
WVEC, Hampton Roads, Va.
“Our approach to Black History Month included showcasing Black individuals instrumental in building our community through compelling vignettes inside our newscasts,” says Elise Cohen, WVEC’s marketing director. “Some of this country’s greatest achievements happened right here in our DMA and are not often recognized. We strived to showcase incredible stories of the Black community’s courage, innovation, and passion here in Hampton Roads with inclusivity and authenticity.”
“The biggest challenge for this piece in particular was how to visually represent Henry Brown’s struggle,” says Alan Fox, WVEC’s marketing director. “This happened in 1849, so there’s almost no historical pictures I could use paint his story. I knew I needed to include the quote to set the tone. The rest came down to creating unique visuals to help sell the ordeal Henry went through to achieve something many people take for granted.”
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