TEGNA at IAB NewFronts: The Value of Public Trust

As a first-time presenter at this year’s NewFronts, we shared how our strategy of reinventing local media in the digital age is creating new benefits for advertisers. Here’s what you need to know from Adam Ostrow, and Joanie Vasiliadis.

According to a Knight-Gallup study, more Americans trust local news than national news – including cable, newspapers, and digital outlets. That’s because audiences tend to see local journalists as more caring, trustworthy, and unbiased. TEGNA can confirm this sentiment.

In 2020, record audiences – nearly 70 million monthly visitors – engaged with our numerous digital properties. They turned to us for some of the most impactful stories in their lifetime, from the pandemic to social justice.

But trust is on shaky ground and has been for some time. TEGNA saw that years ago and created VERIFYthe industry’s largest effort to stop the spread of misinformation. It is our commitment to help audiences separate fact from fiction and preserve their trust. 

VERIFY is also seeing exponential growth across our properties and platforms. In 2020, VERIFY content saw a more than 400% increase on TEGNA websites, which translates to millions of monthly visitors, including on our Snapchat Discover channel, where 50% of the audience is younger than 24.  

Because of this success, and the fact that 55% of consumers want to increase their media literacy, we’re taking VERIFY national and expanding our trusted relationship with audiences.  

Public trust has enormous value and initiatives like VERIFY help cultivate a feeling of confidence for audiences, extending the news-trust halo to brand advertisers. 

  -> Fun Fact: In 2020, the IAB coined the term “News Trust Halo.” It describes the brand lift marketers enjoy when advertising in news. The more trusted the news source, the more powerful the halo. 

“From a brand perspective, it can be a little scary to want to advertise with news considering all the misinformation going around,” says Adam Ostrow, TEGNA’s chief digital officer and Digiday’s TV Executive of the Year, 

“With VERIFY, we are making sure our content is extremely trustworthy, which is a positive for advertisers. We are creating credible, accurate, and transparent content that upholds the highest standards in terms of clean and thoroughly researched journalism.”     




Thinking of how to safely amplify your brand messages in the digital space?  Get in touch.    

About TEGNA 

As one of the nation’s largest local media companies, TEGNA represents 64 local media brands in 51 markets. While our brands started as television stations, every newsroom operates its own website, OTT and mobile apps, multiple newsletters, and at least four social feeds. When you add it all up, our creators publish more than 60,000 pieces of content a month, and communities across the country place their trust in us for accurate news that keeps them safe, up-to-date, and helps them plan their day.

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