WSYR-9, ABC (TV Station)
|Fake TV News: A CMD Special Report|
|This article is part of the Center for Media and Democracy's special report, Fake TV News: Widespread and Undisclosed.
Click here to read the report summary.
WSYR-9 is a Syracuse, New York television station and an affiliate of the ABC television network.
Use of Video News Releases and/or Satellite Media Tours
In the 5.30pm news bulletin on December 26, 2005 the station broadcast a re-edited and re-voiced video news release produced by D S Simon Productions for the Bioibérica on supplements available for the treatment of arthritis. The station failed to do even basic research as the VNR portrayed a joint pain treatment as being far more effective than a major study had found. 
In the 5.30pm news bulletin on December 12, 2005 the station broadcast an edited and re-voiced video news release (VNR) produced by MultiVu for Stiefel Laboratories promoting a new eczema treatment, MimyX cream.  The station edited out the contra-indication information included in the original VNR which stated that it should not be used by people with "hypersensitivity to any of the components of the formulation." 
Response to Report
The Syracuse Post-Standard reported that, following, the Center for Media and Democracy's report, "Channel 9 news director Jim Tortora issued a written statement Monday that the station's 'policy has been and continues to be that we do not run VNRs (video news releases) and a mistake was made here.' However, he said he couldn't confirm whether the station aired the skin cream VNR." 
Following the FCC's launching an investigation into unsourced VNRs in August 2006, the Syracuse Post-Standard reported, "The Syracuse ABC affiliate confirmed Wednesday that it's one of the 77 stations mailed a letter of inquiry last week by the FCC, requesting information." The news article continued: 
- Theresa Underwood, general manager at Channel 9, said station management was reviewing the FCC letter "and working on a response."
- In the meantime, she said, the station has emphasized to employees Channel 9's long-standing policy not to use VNRs in news programming.
- "Our policy was not followed. We have taken steps to ensure it doesn't happen again," Underwood said.
NewsChannel 9 WSYR
5904 Bridge Street
East Syracuse, NY 13057
Phone: (315) 446-9999
Phone (News): (315) 446-3333
Fax (News): (315) 446-9283
- Audio news releases
- Brand Hype
- Branded Entertainment
- Media releases
- Satellite Media Tours
- Radio Media Tours
- Public Service Announcements
- Video news releases: PR for California's Schwarzenegger administration
- Diane Farsetta and Daniel Price, "Fake TV News: Widespread and Undisclosed: A multimedia report on television newsrooms' use of material provided by PR firms on behalf of paying clients", Center for Media and Democracy, April 6, 2006.
- William LaRue, "Watchdog group growls at WSYR-TV: Health report on pain remedy used info from one of product's suppliers," The Post-Standard (Syracuse, NY), April 11, 2006.
- William LaRue, "FCC probes video use at WSYR-TV," The Post-Standard (Syracuse, NY), August 17, 2006.