WSYR-9, ABC (TV Station)

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Fake TV News: A CMD Special Report
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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.

Station Owner

Clear Channel

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. [1]

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. [2] 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." [3]

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." [4]

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: [5]

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.

Contact Details

NewsChannel 9 WSYR
5904 Bridge Street
East Syracuse, NY 13057
Phone: (315) 446-9999
Phone (News): (315) 446-3333
Fax (News): (315) 446-9283

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