Crisis Brings Collaboration That Should Be A Media Model

Every once in while, we get to work on something that’s truly exemplary. This is one of those projects.

Some of the fiercest competitors in media are laying down their arms, so to speak, for the greater good. It has been a privilege to help communicate this first-of-its-kind effort and it’s worth sharing throughout our network as a model of what could be done elsewhere.

In this current crisis, news consumers are craving timely and accurate information. Detroit’s TV stations are working together, like never before, to deliver.

On Thursday evening, from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. local time, Detroit’s commercial TV stations and public TV station (full disclosure: our client) will all broadcast a live virtual Town Hall with Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer. It’s the brainchild of the general managers of the public TV station, the Fox owned & operated station, the Graham Media-owned station, the Scripps-owned duopoly and the CBS-owned duopoly. The GMs got on a call, ironed out their vision and let their teams execute. The Governor’s office said “yes” quickly. We got involved via our longtime work with Detroit Public TV. Just hours after the first call, teams from the different stations produced graphics, promos and a press release were created.

For the three stations that do daily news, each is providing an anchor to the broadcast, who will be broadcasting from their respective stations’ studios. Viewer questions are being submitted through social media.  The Governor will be broadcasting from the state capital, Lansing. Technology makes it all possible.

When we announced the concept this morning, the response from other broadcasters was off the charts. As of this writing, nearly every broadcast TV station in the state, in every market, will be carrying the live show. Stations are also streaming on their websites and making it available via streaming apps. One way or another, every household in Michigan will have access to this TV event.

The media business is tougher now than it has been in a long time, maybe ever. But instead of retreating to corners, these adversaries are coming together. Take notes, other media markets because this sure looks like how it should be done.