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The imperative for authentic representation has become increasingly pronounced in the rapidly evolving landscape of local television. The necessity of adopting a two-pronged content creation approach for local TV stations, particularly in light of the financial constraints associated with in-house content creation teams, is essential. By bifurcating content creation into in-house production and a dedicated community-generated content team, stations can elevate their narratives and better resonate with their audiences.

Many local TV stations rely predominantly on in-house teams for content creation. This strategy limits the diversity of perspectives and proves to be economically challenging. In-house content creation teams often come with hefty price tags, making it an expensive endeavor for stations, especially those operating on tight budgets. With technological advancements and the proliferation of social media, communities now possess the means to produce compelling content. However, a link should be added to provide these varied voices with a dedicated platform. The proposed model advocates for a 1-2 person community content team, a specialized unit that addresses the financial challenges and facilitates the integration of diverse narratives onto the local TV platform.

At the heart of this proposed model is establishing a community content team. Given the expense of maintaining large in-house teams, the community content team is a cost-effective alternative. Though smaller than the in-house team, this specialized group is a liaison between the station and the community. Responsible for outreach efforts and offering narrative crafting and editing support, the community content team empowers individuals and organizations to share their stories effectively. This approach broadens the spectrum of voices heard and nurtures a sense of inclusivity, deepening the station’s connection with its audience.

A case study was conducted at Sinclair Broadcast Group to substantiate the efficacy of this cost-effective approach. The introduction of a community content team yielded a remarkable 225% increase in video revenue on Sinclair’s Facebook pages in 2020 compared to 2019. This success exemplifies the model’s potential to diversify storytelling and significantly contribute to revenue growth. The case study underscores the importance of community engagement and the transformative impact of providing a platform for viewers to share their narratives.

Integrating two content departments, one dedicated to in-house production and the other to community-generated content emerges as a strategic imperative for local TV stations, particularly considering the financial challenges associated with in-house teams. This cost-effective approach facilitates a more diverse representation of voices, ensuring authentic community engagement and inclusivity. The success observed in the Sinclair Broadcast Group case study underscores the potential of this model to not only redefine content creation but markedly enhance revenue streams, making it an economically viable strategy for stations operating within budgetary constraints. In the ever-evolving media landscape, the proactive adoption of this dual-content department approach positions local TV stations as dynamic hubs of diverse storytelling and community connection.


Michael VanZetta, a seasoned broadcasting professional and the CEO of PiZetta Media, brings two decades of expertise to the realm of authentic storytelling. Having previously worked with esteemed organizations such as WJLA ABC7 and WUSA9, Michael recognized the need for a platform that prioritizes the narratives of individuals, nonprofits, and those navigating mental health journeys. Inspired by personal experiences with Bipolar Disorder 2, he co-founded PiZetta Media with his wife, Jen, to create impactful video stories that resonate with diverse audiences. Michael’s passion for fostering community connections, coupled with his commitment to mental health advocacy, is evident in PiZetta Media’s groundbreaking series, “Mental Health in the Commonwealth,” where he strives to break the stigma surrounding mental health through the power of authentic storytelling.