Success Story: Weather Kindles Kids’ Link to News

Feb 2, 2004  •  Post A Comment

Getting children interested in the news just may start with the weather. That’s the attitude at KXMB-TV in Bismarck, N.D., and sister station KXMA-TV in Dickinson, N.D., both owned by Reiten Television.
The CBS affiliates’ “Weather Kids” ad sales promotion puts one of four participating kids on the 6 o’clock news every Thursday to do the weather alongside the meteorologists.
“Financially it is a huge opportunity,” said local sales manager Cathy Vix. “It brought us new business.”
Dakota Community Bank signed for three years as sponsor. A pizza restaurant sponsors the promotion for the sister station.
There is also “Calling All Weather Kids,” for which children do a mock forecast at the local mall and meet the meteorologists. They receive a videotape of the experience and prizes from various sponsors.
CBS affiliate WAGM-TV in Presque Isle, Maine, is considering a condensed version of the program this summer, sales manager Kelly Landeen said. She cited the prohibitive cost of a full program.
Ms. Vix’s advice: “Make sure your meteorologists are onboard. The success lies with the meteorologists being able to take the kids in and mentor them … and teaming with sales.”
Tallahassee, Fla., CBS affiliate WCTV-TV has sold a “10 Point Weather” promotion for multiple years.
“We had weather stations throughout the [designated market area], mostly placed in schools,” said local sales manager Heather Pryor. “Teachers could use these in their curriculum.”
Though the station ended its program in November, Ms. Pryor said it was a good run. “In every single newscast we would look at various pinpoint weather sites in the coverage area. The kids and their parents enjoyed seeing their school on the screen.”