Professionals like Kristina Koppeser play a key role in leading traditional media outlets into the digital age in today’s rapidly changing media and journalism industry. With a unique background that includes working at Twitter, now known as X, Koppeser brings a fresh perspective to her job as Brand Manager at KYW Newsradio.
Koppeser is passionate about the future of the journalism business, and she talked about KYW Newsradio’s Newstudies program, which has been running for over 60 years. The program allows local and regional high school students to gain hands-on experience at the station.
Kristina Koppeser stressed the importance of adapting to the multimedia landscape, recognizing that aspiring journalists need to have a versatile skill set in the age of social media and constant connectivity.
Having previously worked at a tech company, Koppeser understands the significance of branding in journalism. She emphasizes that journalists, like on-air personalities, must establish a solid online presence and recognize that audiences seek information across various platforms. This viewpoint aligns with her belief that being present on platforms like Instagram Reels and staying on top of breaking news is essential in today’s media landscape.
Reflecting on her journey as a young brand manager at a heritage station like KYW Newsradio, Kristina Koppeser acknowledges the challenge of learning the intricacies of radio after a background in tech, digital news, and television. However, she sees this as an opportunity to blend forward-thinking, pioneering knowledge with the institution’s wisdom, ensuring a holistic approach to managing the brand.
Koppeser’s leadership philosophy is based on trust and learning. She values trusting her team to excel in their roles while actively seeking knowledge in areas where she may be less experienced. Her openness to learning from the experienced team at KYW Newsradio reflects her commitment to continuous growth and improvement.
Regarding the potential use of artificial intelligence (AI) in reporting or writing, Kristina Koppeser views AI as an intriguing efficiency tool. While acknowledging the need for caution and thorough vetting, she sees AI’s potential to save time in tasks like event coverage, provided it is used with proper parameters and awareness of its strengths and weaknesses.
The interview also discussed the dynamics of KYW Newsradio within Audacy’s larger corporate structure. Koppeser expressed her desire for the corporate office to recognize and appreciate the station’s excellence, emphasizing the benefit of being in the same city as Audacy’s corporate offices.
Ryan Hedrick: What is KYW Newsradio doing to attract young journalists to the industry?
Kristina Koppeser: I am very passionate about the future of the business and getting young minds interested in broadcast media. We are just wrapping up our Newstudies program. We’ve been doing this program for over 60 years, with local and regional high school students, sophomores, juniors, and seniors interested in broadcast. They come into the station and use our recording equipment if they want to. They learn from our award-winning journalists who are instructors and volunteer their time to do this. These students write and record a piece for air that airs on KYW Newsradio throughout November and December.
RH: What excites you as a brand manager about the positive trends you see from young, aspiring journalists?
KK: I see many people interested in multimedia production, which is smart because it’s 2023, and everybody has a device that they look at hundreds of times a day. Young people are coming out of college knowing full well that you can’t just be one thing. You have to learn how to create a presence on whatever the app of the month is.
When you are trying to become a journalist in this multimedia landscape, they are conscious of your Instagram Reels and broadcast content and making sure that they are on top of breaking news.
I used to work at Twitter, now called X, and working at a platform, I see that branding is important for everyone, not just on-air personalities but journalists. People look to you for information, and they will get it wherever they can find you. Being in those spaces is important.
RH: What challenges have you faced as a young brand manager rising through the ranks of a heritage station like KYW Newsradio?
KK: I have only been here for two years, so one of the challenges was learning the space. I came up through tech, digital news, and then television, so I worked at Hearst Television for five years. Before this, one of the biggest challenges was learning radio because that was the one thing I had not had experience with on a professional level, but I also think that that’s a benefit.
Our Assistant Brand Manager, Tom Rickert, has been here for a long time and has all the institutional knowledge. I can think more about the big picture and toward the future and lean on him when I don’t know something or want to learn how the board works. I have learned a lot in the last two years, especially the last year since I was promoted. And I am learning the broadcast side, taking my forward-thinking, pioneering knowledge, and marrying those two things.
RH: As the Brand Manager at KYW Newsradio, what is the most important thing you’ve learned?
KK: To trust people to do the job that they know how to do well. That’s important. We have an amazing group here. They are so smart and dedicated. One of my biggest superpowers is knowing what I don’t know, so when I don’t know something, I want to learn it actively, seek it out, and understand. I have 60 people in the newsroom that I can go to and find an expert.
RH: As a radio station, are you open to using Artificial Intelligence (AI) for reporting or writing?
KK: AI is a really interesting efficiency tool. It can cut corners in a way. I have played around with it myself, both personally and professionally. One interesting thing about it is that it will do the searching for you, and of course, with anything unvetted, like AI, you have to be careful. You have to treat it like you would with any source, fact-check it, and do all of those things. It saves time is one of the biggest places I find useful.
If you’re looking at doing things like events coverage, you can ask it to spit out a list, and of course, you will have to check that list, but it’s doing some of that work for you. Whether or not I give it an OK, like anything else, I would put parameters on it and ensure everybody knew its strengths, weaknesses, and the best way to use it. The jury is still out. I would have to do more investigative work to ensure I am comfortable with it, but it could be a helpful tool.
RH: Do Audacy’s corporate offices in the same city as KYW Newsradio make executives pay closer attention to the radio station?
KK: I don’t know about that. I want our corporate office to have us on in the morning when they are driving into the office as I am. It is also a benefit. When I was at Hearst, we had 26 stations there, and if one were in New York I would have felt very lucky. I want to be recognized, and I want our station to be recognized for its excellence.
RH: Where do you look to for inspiration outside of your building?
KK: I look to digital audiences. I look to friends and family. Because I come from a curation background, I am always thinking about whether this makes sense to everyone. At the end of the day, we as journalists, our job is to inform and educate, and I want to make sure we are doing that on any given day. I do look to people and I also look to other stations because I think of some of the work that other Audacy stations do. I lean on my colleagues. And I look to some of the other brand managers, like at WINS and KRLD.
Ryan Hedrick works for WIBC in Indianapolis as a Morning News Anchor/Digital Content Producer. Prior to moving to Indy, he served as Assistant Program Director and Co-Host of the Morning News Express at WFMD. His career also includes stints at News Talk 103.7 FM in Chambersburg, PA, Sirius XM in Washington D.C., WBEN in Buffalo, NY, and WIBW-AM in Topeka KS where he earned the Kansas Association of Broadcasters (KAB) award for Major Market enterprise reporting in 2016. To connect with Ryan, find him on Twitter @SureToCover.
What to Do When Your Fear Your Media Career is Headed to the Graveyard
If you think about career death so much that it detracts from being in the moment, maybe it really is time to move on.
“Do you guys ever think about dying?”
If you saw the Barbie movie, you know the line. Barbie is living the perfect and perfectly plastic life, perfectly choreographed and full of perfect smiles.
But the movie turns on that one line, basically shattering Barbie’s world with a concept no one there would ever have considered.
Why would you consider it when everything seemed in perfect order?
Well, when it comes to broadcasting and media, a lot of you think about dying … a lot. I do, too.
Of course, it’s not the stop breathing and get buried type of death but rather, the death of a career in media.
The truth is, when it comes to our business, very few people get to choose when it ends. Take a minute and consider a major media personality who truly “retired” after a multi-decade career.
It happens, but percentage-wise, it’s rare.
Take a minute and think. Name some. Name one. It’s not easy.
More often than not, you will get laid off or fired before you want to leave, and after a certain age, getting that next opportunity may be a bridge too far.
Then, you are done done.
That’s as much a music stopper as Barbie admitting she has considered her own mortality in the middle of the dance floor. Here on planet Earth, at least from the people in my orbit, the death of a media career often leads to even better professional options and more balanced lifestyle choices.
I have friends doing a million different things: Public relations, crisis management, content creation for large companies, political communications, fundraising, and teaching. Almost all of them tell me that it was such a stress relief to have a “normal” life, to not be worried about every pending contract or new boss.
Their work is appreciated. Their job is stable. And their schedule? Normal. Never has “normal” sounded so lovely than when they talk about watching shows with spouses, going out for a drink on a Tuesday, or having a regular pickleball game (or insert any middle-aged recreational sport).
I believe them.
The “sort of” comes from me not being able to actually envision that for myself. As enticing as it would be to see people on a more accessible schedule or play a weekly game with buddies, nothing beats talking and writing for a living. Nothing. And I am going to hang on until the lights are out, and we can’t pay to get them turned back on.
For me, I’m in too deep. I’m an indoor cat, incapable of survival outside.
Meetings. Deadlines. Reliant on other people. Meetings.
I’d be dead in a week. It’s beyond no, thank you. It’s, “I can’t”.
Sure, I have three teenagers and three college tuitions to pay. And two dogs. Two cars. And a mortgage.
Here’s where I am supposed to tell you that you should not only have thoughts about (career) death but also have a survival plan – a professional media-career living will if you would.
I should tell you that because you should.
But I don’t have one. And I don’t want one.
Because I don’t want to think about death anymore. I mean, I’ve already died twice. It wasn’t fun, and the third time most likely would be the charm in terms of getting me out of the business for good.
Why so stubborn? I don’t know.
Several times, I’ve said to myself, I need to make sure I have a backup plan … just in case. Each time, I find a reason not to get one.
Ultimately, what’s my point? Get a backup plan. Think about death. But it can’t take away from the essential joy of having the privilege of talking for a living. In that vein, don’t take it for granted. Ever. Even if the pay stinks and the schedule stinks. If you think about career death so much that it detracts from being in the moment, maybe it really is time to move on.
Brian Shactman is a weekly columnist for Barrett News Radio. In addition to writing for BNM, Brian can be heard weekday mornings in Hartford, CT on 1080 WTIC hosting the popular morning program ‘Brian & Company’. During his career, Brian has worked for ESPN, CNBC, MSNBC, and local TV channels in Connecticut and Massachusetts. You can find him on Twitter @bshactman.
Is the Fairness Doctrine Even Possible in Today’s Media Landscape?
Is it right for media consumers to judge what is “fair” and what is “unfair” news?
As many media outlets shutter their doors, some have clamored for the return of the Fairness Doctrine. Newsweek released the results of their new way to connect with readers, by asking if its reporting is “fair.” Since September 2023, readers were asked to judge stories on the site, 78% said the outlet is “fair.” Another 22% found at least one story they read to be “unfair.”
AllSides Media has judged Newsweek to be center. However, let’s not forget they are the same outlet that wrongly claimed President Donald Trump was golfing on Thanksgiving in 2019. As Sheryl Attkisson noted on Full Measure this week, on Thanksgiving in 2019 President Trump was visiting troops in Iraq and the Newsweek story was fabricated.
While the reader assessment of Newsweek’s content is on par with AllSides Media, is it right for readers to judge what is “fair” and what is “unfair” news? If outlets like The Daily Caller (Right) or Vox (Left) would ask the same of their readers, would their echo chamber subscribers find them “fair?” While historically print (and later digital) outlets could (and still can) embrace the political leanings of their owner(s), from 1949 till 1987 TV news had guidelines they must adhere to: The Fairness Doctrine.
Long before Americans argued about bias in news, every TV outlet (there were only three major ones at the time) would follow “The Fairness Doctrine.” The Reagan Library notes the doctrine was “enforced by the Federal Communications Council, [and] was rooted in the media world of 1949. Lawmakers became concerned that the monopoly audience control of the three main networks, NBC, ABC, and CBS, could misuse their broadcast licenses to set a biased public agenda.”
To put it simply, the Fairness Doctrine made it so all sides of any story were presented. In 1985, under the Reagan Administration, the FCC found “the doctrine hurt the public interest and violated free speech rights guaranteed by the First Amendment.” Two years later, a panel under FCC Chairman Dennis Patrick repealed the Fairness Doctrine unanimously.
Keep in mind, at this point in time, CNN was the first and only 24-hour news network in the United States (it launched on June 1, 1980). Fox News wouldn’t be launched until almost 10 years after the Fairness Doctrine was repealed, on October 7, 1996.
Also happening at this time, large corporations (with lobbying power) were buying media outlets. General Electric purchased NBC in 1986. Westinghouse acquired CBS in 1995. One year later, ABC was bought by Disney. These purchases did not go unnoticed. Saturday Night Live even mocked the acquisitions in a now-banned short called “Conspiracy Theory Rock!: Media-opoly.”
The unwillingness of news organizations to cover both sides of a story has led to the creation of biased outlets including: CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, OAN, Newsmax, and others. None of these would be able to exist in their current form if the Fairness Doctrine wasn’t repealed.
News outlets that aren’t overtly biased use another trick to manipulate their viewers/readers, using emotionally charged verbiage. AllSides Media defines sensationalist words as presenting information in a way that gives a shock or makes a deep impression. This includes words like “shocking”, “heart-breaking”, “explosive”, “scathing”, “chaotic”, “desperate”, and “remarkable”… this list goes on but you’ve seen and heard these words from the news outlets daily. This is the media telling you how to react to a story instead of letting you determine how you actually feel after they present the facts of the story.
Today, what’s most concerning are outlets saying ‘fair and balanced’ news is a disservice to the public. An August 2023 NPR article explored just this, saying “Objectivity actually comes from an accurate examination of facts (actions, documentation, and even educated opinions) presented in transparent reports. Often, that coverage should also encourage audiences to examine supporting evidence for themselves.”
The problem with this is three-fold:
- Selective fact presentation develops a one-sided narrative
- An “educated opinion” is not a fact. It’s an opinion that is neither right nor wrong.
- It is impossible for human beings to be completely unbiased (see January 31st column)
While it’s great Newsweek is asking readers if their reporting is ‘fair’ is the reader’s judgment neutral, or just as biased as the outlet they prefer to read? Sometimes when we are clicking to satisfy our own confirmation bias it’s hard to tell.
What the media and all Americans need to start recognizing is their own echo chamber. Knowing we all have some sort of bias is not a flaw but what makes us human. Our flaw is the inability to recognize our bias yet call out others for being biased just because they are on the other side of an issue.
Krystina Alarcon Carroll is a columnist and features writer for Barrett News Media.She currently freelances at WPIX in New York, and has previously worked on live, streamed, and syndicated TV programs. Her prior employers have included NY1, Fox News Digital, Law & Crime Network, and Newsmax. You can find Krystina on X (formerly twitter) @KrystinaAlaCarr.
CNN Sees Biggest Viewership Jump During Super Bowl Parade Shooting Coverage
All news outlets spiked upon live breaking news coverage with Fox News — already the weekday afternoon leader in cable news — leading in total viewers.
The cable news outlets got increased viewership from two different news events during the week of Feb. 12, namely the shooting at the Super Bowl parade in Kansas City.
On Wednesday, Feb. 14, of the mass shooting at the Super Bowl celebration parade in Kansas City for the Chiefs football team. One person died and roughly two dozen others were injured.
All news outlets spiked upon live breaking news coverage with Fox News — already the weekday afternoon leader in cable news — leading in total viewers.
The following are what each network drew as the story unfolded on that Feb. 14 afternoon from Kansas City and how it grew from the same Wednesday time slots from Jan. 3 thru Feb. 7:
Fox News Channel
- 3-4 p.m.: 1.656 million viewers (+18 percent)
- 4-5 p.m.: 1.873 million viewers (+34 percent)
- 5-6 p.m.: 3.175 million viewers (+7 percent)
- 6-7 p.m.: 2.441 million viewers (+12 percent)
- 7-8 p.m.: 2.250 million viewers (+4 percent)
- 3-4 p.m.: 1.008 million viewers (+10 percent)
- 4-6 p.m.: 1.504 million viewers (+7 percent)
- 6-7 p.m.: 1.763 million viewers (+17 percent)
- 7-8 p.m.: 1.474 million viewers (+13 percent)
- 3-4 p.m.: 0.762 million viewers (+27 percent)
- 4-5 p.m.: 0.913 million viewers (+35 percent)
- 5-6 p.m.: 1.007 million viewers (+28 percent)
- 6-7 p.m.: 0.985 million viewers (+43 percent)
- 7-8 p.m.: 0.960 million viewers (+29 percent)
- 4-5 p.m.: 0.343 million viewers (+23 percent)
- 5-6 p.m.: 0.354 million viewers (+16 percent)
- 7-8 p.m.: 0.547 million viewers (+13 percent)
Earlier in the week, on Tuesday, Feb. 13, the results were announced for the special election race for New York’s third congressional district between its former representative Democrat Tom Suozzi and Republican challenger Mazi Pilip. Suozzi left office in 2022 to run in the New York gubernatorial election but lost out to incumbent Kathy Hochul. Suozzi’s successor in Congress was the infamous George Santos who was officially expelled from office on Dec. 1, 2023 over charges of federal criminal laws including campaign finance fraud.
MSNBC and CNN were the only major national news outlets that provided live coverage of the special election results, stressing the significance of Suozzi’s eight-point win over Pilip as it reduced the GOP’s advantage in the House of Representatives by one.
From when the voting polls closed in New York at 9 p.m. ET, MSNBC easily topped CNN in total viewers at 9 p.m. (1.616 million viewers vs. CNN’s 0.847 million), 10 p.m. (1.903 million vs. CNN’s 0.879 million), 11 p.m. (1.112 million vs. CNN’s 0.541 million), and at midnight (774,000 viewers vs. CNN’s 299,000).
From 9-11 p.m. ET, though, both MSNBC and CNN scored the same performance among the key 25-54 demographic: a 0.15 rating at 9 p.m. and a 0.18 rating at 10 p.m. (Note: a 1.0 rating in 25-54 equates to 1.21 million viewers within the aforementioned age range.)
For the 10-11 p.m. hour, when the New York candidate speeches had aired, CNN grew by 68 percent (in viewers) and by 80 percent (in 25-54) from its Tuesday 10-11 p.m. hour output from Jan. 2 thru Feb. 6 — a time period that included a Ron DeSantis town hall and New Hampshire primary results.
MSNBC was up as well at 10 p.m. hour — +16 percent in viewers, +33 percent in the 25-54 demo — using the same reference parameters.
Even though Fox News did not offer live coverage of New York’s special election results, Hannity at 9 p.m. (2.528 million viewers; 0.21 A25-54 demo rating) and Gutfeld! at 10 p. m. (2.357 million viewers; 0.31 A25-54 demo rating) still held the top spots in their respective hours on all of cable news.
Source: Nielsen Media Research
Douglas Pucci is a Bronx native and NYU graduate analyzing news television ratings for Barrett News Media. He did an internship at VH1’s “Pop Up Video” in 1997. After college, Pucci went on to design, build and maintain websites for various non-profit organizations in his hometown of New York City. He has worked alongside media industry observer Marc Berman for over a decade reporting on all things television, first at Cross MediaWorks from 2011-15 then at Programming Insider since 2016. Pucci also contributed to the sports website Awful Announcing. Read more: https://programminginsider.com/author/douglas/