Channel Surfing
by Laura Nachman
Bucks County Courier Times
November 21, 2006


Stories run by CN8 and CBS3 were cited by media watchdog group, The Center for Media and Democracy, ( for running VNRs (Video News Releases), sponsored public relations videos that mimic news reports.  According to the site, five stories by Janet Zappala of “Arthur Fennell Reports” and one story by Stephanie Stahl of CBS3 news used VNRs for products such as Bisquick, Allstate Insurance, and others. 


According to the Center for Media and Democracy, 46 television stations in 22 states ran VNRs in the six-month period following its initial investigation, “Fake TV News” in April of 2006. 


Leslie Padilla, a spokesperson for CN8 responded in an email, “CN8, The Comcast Network complies with all broadcasting regulations and guidelines, and receives no compensation for footage it airs as part of its original programming. The segments highlighted in the study were all taken from pre-packaged materials provided by third-party news sources, which CN8 has full broadcast rights to air. CN8 takes great care to ensure it meets or exceeds the highest broadcast standards and, although not required to, it recently started to visually and audibly identify footage taken from outside sources and news feeds.”


Good news and bad news for Fox29 “Good Day Philadelphia” anchor Sheinelle Jones.  The good news is that for the first time, she’s featured on a billboard.  The bad news is that her name was spelled wrong.  A station spokesperson said they are aware of the error and are in the process of getting it corrected.


These days, almost every station provides long-term winter forecasts, but the first weather anchor in our area to come up with that idea was NBC10’s Glenn “Hurricane” Schwartz who provided his first winter outlook in 1997.  He makes his annual seasonal forecast tonight at 11 p.m.


KYW Newsradio’s Newstudies program, which teaches area high school students about the broadcasting industry, celebrates its 40th anniversary in 2007.  If you are one of the many communications professionals who participated in the program (like me!), contact KYW’s Kyle Ruffin at 


I will be asking some trivia questions and providing analysis for the second annual “Brady Bunch Thanksgiving Marathon” on CW57 Thursday from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. and Sunday from noon – 3 p.m. For more about the show, go to