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TEGNA further stamps its mark on WFAA with new image spot featuring reporter Demond Fernandez

@unclebarkycom on Twitter
The TEGNA-fication of Dallas-based WFAA-TV (TEGNA8) continues apace with a new one-minute image spot showcasing reporter Demond Fernandez.

Hired in June 2014 from ABC affiliate KTRK-TV in Houston, Fernandez is presented as a caring, community-oriented storyteller who lives and breathes the overall TEGNA mission of “empowerment.” As when Fernandez says, “There’s a certain pride in seeing our viewers become empowered through different situations.”

Fernandez, who narrates the ad, is positioned as a selfless champion of the people who also embraces those he covers. “And we’re all proud of you,” he tells a young woman athlete. “You know that? Cool.”

“We have to live the experience,” Fernandez says. “The communities I cover, I live in, I work in, I support every day.”

There’s no mention of Dallas in the spot. And don’t blink or you’ll miss the very fleeting glimpses of “WFAA” and a “News 8 ABC” logo.

TEGNA, the new name for Gannett-owned television stations and websites such as Cars.com, is a truncated scramble of the letters that make up Gannett. The corporation homogenizes its “community”-conscious properties from afar via its McLean, VA corporate offices.

In late August of last year, WFAA was forced to use the same mandated newscast theme music and bottom-of-the-screen graphics as most if not all of the 46 Gannett-owned TV stations. WFAA’s longstanding, homegrown “Spirit of Texas” news jingle was the primary casualty.

WFAA, which had been owned for more than 60 years by Dallas-based Belo Corp., was sold to Gannett in June of 2013. Gannett officially took control, after Federal Communications Commission approval, in December of that year. By April of 2014, the new owner had executed its first layoffs at WFAA and other Gannett stations. Gannett created TEGNA earlier this summer while retaining the Gannett name for its print properties.

Fernandez is one of four TEGNA employees featured in separate one-minute spots. The others are Archie Antrez, production supervisor for KPNX-TV in Phoenix; Cars.com vice president of operations Heather Rattin; and Anna Iuorio, account manager for G/O Digital.

All are portrayed as super-dedicated to the overall TEGNA goal of “empowering the people we serve to act with conviction and navigate their world successfully.”

For Fernandez, that’s supposedly a virtual 24/7 proposition. “I tell ya,” he says, “at the end of the day, when it’s all said and done, you’ll typically find me out and about in the community, digging for the next story.”

Here’s the Fernandez video.

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