WPGH-53, FOX (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.

WPGH-53 is a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania television station and an affiliate of the FOX television network.

Station Owner

Sinclair Broadcast Group

Use of Video News Releases and/or Satellite Media Tours

In the 10pm news bulletin on December 2, 2005 the station incorporated an uncut video news release produced by D S Simon Productions for the Panasonic, Namco and Techno Source on high-tech gift ideas. The VNR was produced for Robin Raskin. [1]

WPGH-53 aired a Karen Ryan VNR on August 16, 2003, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. [2]

Response to our Report

Following the Center for Media and Democracy's study, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported: [3]

In March 2005, Jeff Alan, WPGH's news manager at the time, said the station's policy was not to use VNRs.
Now news director at KOIN-TV in Portland, Ore., Alan said yesterday that WPGH never used VNRs sent through the mail, but sometimes the station took reports either from Sinclair or CNN Newsource that may not have been labeled as VNRs.
"I'm sure this was innocent, and would we have known it was a VNR, we wouldn't have run it," Alan said. "There's a bigger picture question here: These things are getting on the air everywhere because they're not being labeled as for-profit stories. If they're cleverly worded, you don't know they are for a particular product."

Contact Details

FOX53 - WPGH
750 Ivory Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15214
Phone: 412-931-5300
News Fax: 412-931-4284
News Line: 412-939-6397
Web: http://www.wpgh53.com/pittsburgh_pa/

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