Normally competitors, local broadcasters in Central Ohio have agreed on the importance of helping neighbors in need.
The idea came in a conversation between NBC4/WCMH-TV General Manager Dan Bradley and Kermit Whitfield, Director of Communications for United Way of Central Ohio: What if the area television stations produced a show focused on the needs of the Central Ohio community? A joint project, it would air on all stations at the same time.
Certainly it would reach the largest possible audience, but most importantly, people would notice.
It turned out that Indianapolis television stations have been taking a similar approach. With WBNS-TV General Manager John Cardenas having recently returned to Columbus from Indianapolis, the concept was refined based on the Indianapolis success, and Unite to Fight Poverty was born.
Thursday at 7 p.m., if you're watching any of the four local commercial broadcast stations, WCMH-4, WBNS-10, WSYX-6 or WTTE-28, you'll see something remarkably similar. While each station will air its regular programming, during the commercial breaks you will see collaboratively-produced segments.
Showcasing the needs of Central Ohioans, the project highlights the reach of the United Way and how it is helping people build pathways out of poverty.
The project brought the main anchors from all local TV stations together. For one night on neutral territory at the WOSU-TV studios at COSI, Cabot Rea, Colleen Marshall, Yolanda Harris, Bob Kendrick, Jerry Revish and Kristyn Hartman left competitiveness at the door and worked together to help the community.
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The goal of the joint media project is to demonstrate to the community how United Way of Central Ohio and its member agencies are investing donors' generous contributions raised during the campaign to help people build pathways out of poverty and strengthen the entire community.
United Way elements will air throughout the day on Thursday, October 10 on television, but you'll see and hear United Way messages everywhere. From radio stations to billboards, in the newspaper and online, it will be difficult to miss the United Way story.
“Unite to Fight Poverty is an unprecedented event in our community,” said Whitfield. “The tremendous support from all of our local media partners once again shows what a generous and caring community Central Ohio is. This is a powerful way to mobilize our community to come together and fight poverty.”
To learn more about United Way of Central Ohio, visit liveunitedcentralohio.org.