AI in weather forecasting, prediction and communication
Upon arriving at WKRN-TV Nashville, Tennessee, meteorologist Danielle Breezy’s biggest concern was ensuring she could get on air quickly and concentrate on TV without simultaneously worrying about covering the station’s digital platforms.
At times, distractions were unavoidable. It was difficult to juggle the needs of WKRN’s broadcast, web, mobile, and social media properties, especially during bouts of extended coverage.
But the station and its meteorologists also recognized that if they didn’t engage audiences with innovative on-air segments and speedy digital content, they risked getting left behind.
As a result, WKRN needed a more efficient way to get content onto its social media feeds, mobile apps and websites without pulling its meteorologists’ focus away from the on-air broadcast. The station’s outdated mobile weather app also needed to be revamped to garner more app downloads and engagements.
increase in mobile traffic
growth in unique visitors across platforms
more app downloads
Increase engagement, not workloads
Max Engage constantly searches for weather and traffic information that broadcasters decide is most important to their market. When these predetermined thresholds are met, alerts and videos can be automatically sent to impacted users. This helps the station get on air and social media first with important weather news that is tailored for its audience.
Similarly, Max Social allows broadcasters to manage their social media channels through a single interface. This solution also enables automated weather watches and warnings to keep audiences informed on Facebook and X, formerly Twitter, while a station’s talent covers the full story on air.
With these tools in place, WKRN can now rapidly produce, distribute and monetize compelling, relevant weather content across its platforms throughout the day while easing the meteorologists’ workflows and allowing them to concentrate on television.
Max Engage’s features are also designed to create new revenue opportunities for broadcasters. The WKRN sales team used the tool to create 5-second client-sponsored weather billboards that roll seamlessly into videos featuring the station’s trusted local meteorologists.
This promo-styled content branded the client’s name with the news and improved the viewer experience by avoiding endless and unrelatable ads.
The power of being first, fast, and relevant
On the morning of March 3, 2020, a tornado warning was issued as a funnel quickly descended into the Nashville area. Breezy and her team were on television for almost 24 hours straight. With the help of Max Engage’s automated cross-platform messaging solution, the station was able to quickly send new warnings to both its weather app and its social media pages.
The Max solution also kept Breezy alert while on television, letting her know when a new warning was issued and helping WKRN deliver potentially life-saving data to her audience quickly and accurately.
Since implementation, Max Engage and Max Social have helped yield substantial growth for the station’s website, social platforms and mobile app.
The station’s overall web page views across desktop, mobile and all its apps have more than doubled, and unique visitors have quadrupled. Mobile app traffic has increased 80%, downloads have increased by 550%, and video views have increased by 170%. Further, the WKRN Facebook page has accumulated 6,000 new fans. The station has also seen a significant jump in sales by embedding ads within the content.
In addition to this impressive growth in engagement, Breezy believes that features such as geo-targeting have empowered WKRN to be the first in their market when news breaks.
Nexstar Media Group’s WKRN is an ABC affiliate and is heavily invested in local news, producing 38 hours a week of local programming. WKRN has served the residents of middle Tennessee and southern Kentucky for over 60 years. The station has been recognized for its news coverage with numerous awards and honors, including Midsouth Emmys, Peabody Awards, Edward R. Murrow Awards and many more.