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Grounds for appeal? CBS11 early morning news personalities serve free coffee in new spot

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The early morning D-FW news wars are re-percolating now that schools are back in session and summer vacations have been there, done that.

CBS11 in particular hopes to maintain the gains it made in the May ratings “sweeps,” when its waker-upper ran better than fourth at 6 a.m. for the first time in the station’s history. The victim was TEGNA8, which dropped to the bottom spot with 25-to-54-year-old viewers (main advertiser target audience for news programming).

CBS11’s latest early morn promotional push, subtitled “Morning All-Star Free Coffee,” finds co-anchor Karen Borta and meteorologist Scott Padgett both serving and “buying” coffee for customers at an area java shop. Even though budgets grow tighter, It can be said with reasonable certainty that neither news personality had to pay out of their own pockets. CBS11 director of communications Lori Conrad assures, however, that these are real people, not actors, on the receiving ends of those free caffeine highs.

A few years back, TEGNA8’s Daybreak rolled a free food truck out in hopes of bolstering the program’s viewership. And if the station wants to counter CBS11’s move, it would seem like a natural for DeSoto Cpl. Nick Bristow, the uniformed cop who does Daybreak’s traffic reports, to reverse that old donut-eating stereotype by handing out free ones after pulling over motorists. Only trying to help.

A bubbly Borta, stationed at a drive-in window, is told by one grateful motorist that “you’re very pretty in person.”

“Thank you. So we made each other happy,” she replies, even though “very pretty” is almost a put-down when it comes to the movie star looks that Borta retains after two decades with CBS11.

She ends the 30-second spot by telling viewers at large, “We know what drives you. We’ll help you get there.”

You can see this Cuppa Joe come-on below after first sitting through another brief ad. Increasingly there’s no such thing as a free video.

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