WBFS-33, UPN (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.
WBFS-33 is a Miama, Florida-based television station and a part of the UPN network.
Use of Video News Releases and/or Satellite Media Tours
In the 8am news bulletin on March 20, 2006 the station broadcast an uncut but revoiced version of a video news release (VNR) produced by D S Simon Productions to promote the management consulting firm Towers Perrin as a leading expert in workforce efficiency. The re-voiced script was identical word for word to the original VNR. 
Response to Report
On April 6, 2006, NPR's Morning Edition reported on WBFS-33's VNR usage: 
- "We have a policy not to do that," says Shannon High-Bassalik, vice president for news at WBFS and WFOR-TV in Miami. "So you just got somebody in trouble. I’m glad to hear that, because that’s not something we do."
- Bassalik says her stations use video news releases sparingly -- for stock footage in medical stories, for example.
- "We don’t really like using VNRs, frankly," says High-Bassalik. "In our mind, they can be tainted. Just knowing that some company had put this together taints it." ...
- High-Bassalik of WBFS says (VNR production firm D S) Simon's disclosure did appear -- briefly -- in the Towers Perrin video release, but escaped a producer's eye.
General Manager: Michael Colleran
- 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.
- David Folkenflik, "Study: 'Video News Releases' Common in Local TV," NPR, April 6, 2006.