Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Who Are the Top 10 Charlottesville News Media Personalities on Twitter?

Taking a cue from FishbowlDC, which this week ranked the top ten Washington, D.C.-based anchors for national news shows based on their number of Twitter followers, I became curious about how Twitter is used by broadcast personalities in the Charlottesville media market.

Looking at the on-air talent listed on the web sites for WVIR-TV NBC29, the Charlottesville Newsplex (CBS19, WAHU-TV27, WVAW-TV16), WINA-AM, and WCHV-AM&FM, and then looking for Twitter handles for each of those listed, I made a few surprising discoveries.

First, the vast majority of broadcast media reporters and anchors have very few Twitter followers. Only a relative handful have more than 300 and most have fewer than 200 followers -- and some are in the single digits.

Second, the Newsplex seems to be making the greatest effort to leverage social media -- or at least Twitter -- by making it easy for someone looking at the Newsplex web site to locate and follow talent on Twitter. Every nember of the Newsplex's on-air maintains a personal Twitter account, although Bradley Ussery's is designated as @CBS19Weather. With 2,418 followers, this is the top Twitter account among those I found, but since it is not a personal account, I do not include it in the top ten.

Third, WINA-AM seems to make virtually no effort at promoting itself and its programs on Twitter. I could not find accounts for WINA Morning News hosts Jane Foy and Rick Daniels, and noontime host Rob Schilling and afternoon host Les Sinclair have only 173 and 243 followers, respectively.

Fourth, although NBC29 seems not to be making as concerted an effort at Twitter engagement as its rival the Newsplex, its individual talent are not doing so badly under the circumstances. Reporter Henry Graff is ranked second while his colleague Matt Talhelm just missed the cut, coming in 12th according to my research.

Only one radio personality, Coy Barefoot of WCHV-FM, made the top ten list, but he also has a Sunday morning TV program on CBS19, which could possibly boost his following.

I did not include print media in this study, which now would include just The Daily Progress and C-VILLE, so the available sample of Twitter accounts may not be satisfying.

Here is the list of Charlottesville's top ten broadcast media personalities on Twitter:

1) Travis Koshko (Newsplex) / @TravisKoshko / 2,186 followers

2) Henry Graff (NBC29) / @HenryGraff / 1,529

3) Dan Schutte (Newsplex) / @schuttedan / 1,410

4) Coy Barefoot (WCHV-FM/CBS19) / @coybarefoot  / 1,289

5) Chris Stover (Newsplex) / @ChrisStover / 1,198

6) Michelle Rupp (Newsplex) /@MichelleRupp /1,000

7) Bo Sykes (Newsplex) / @bosykes / 972

8) Ed Sykes (NBC29) / @EdSykes29 / 963

9) Mary Dunleavy (NBC29) / @MaryDunleavy29 / 809

10) Evanne Armour (Newsplex) / @EvanneArmour / 802 

 I don't make any judgments about the quality of these broadcast journalists' work, other than to suggest that these ten are making a greater effort -- some with corporate support, some without -- to engage their audience through one social media platform, Twitter.

I would welcome any comments from the people listed about how they use Twitter, whether they are satisfied with the results of their experience, and whether they prefer Twitter over other social media platforms (such as Facebook, LinkedIn, or Instagram, for example) or vice versa.  What are your goals in using Twitter?

I would also be interested in hearing from those who follow these ten (or any other local media personalities).  What do you gain from following them on Twitter?  What suggestions do you have for improving their engagement with you as an audience member?  How can Twitter be better integrated with the broadcast experience? 

Leave your comments below, or Tweet them to me at @rick_sincere.


David said...


I have to take issue with the statement that NBC29 is not making as much an effort at social media engagement as others. That's simply not true. We post more stories and faster than anyone else in the market.

The focus at NBC29 on both Twitter and Facebook is the main news feed rather than on scattered individual feeds.

We believe it's important to have one primary source for social media users to get information on news, weather and sports, especially in quickly developing situations.

At last check (Dec 31st) NBC29's Twitter feed had 18,414 followers, the Newsplex had 6,874 and the Daily Progress had 8,462.

That same period shows NBC29 with 30,283 Facebook followers as compared to the Newsplex's 14,559 and the DP's 2,757.

By looking at individual reporter accounts only you miss seeing big picture and true user paterns.

David Foky
News Director
NBC29 News

Rick Sincere said...

That's a fair point, but I was looking specifically at personal Twitter accounts of on-air talent, not corporate accounts. (That's why I discounted Brantley Ussery's designated Twitter handle, since it represents itself as a CBS19 account.)

I appreciate your adding some more metrics to the mix. No form of social media holds a monopoly on social engagement. Facebook and Twitter have different and complementary purposes.

Michael Guthrie said...

I don't know if it counts but I host #realestatematters on @newsradio1070 every Saturday AM at 10am. I currently have 878 followers.