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SURVEY FINDS INCREASING INTEREST IN SATELLITE MEDIA TOURS; MORE THAN 85 PERCENT OF TV NEWSROOMS USE THEM

 SURVEY FINDS INCREASING INTEREST IN SATELLITE MEDIA TOURS;
 MORE THAN 85 PERCENT OF TV NEWSROOMS USE THEM
 NEW YORK, Jan. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Satellite Media Tours (SMTs) are becoming increasingly popular in the newsroom, according to a Nielsen Media Research survey. More than 85 percent of television newsrooms regularly participate in SMTs, which are fast gaining the same acceptance as Video News Releases (VNRs) the survey, commissioned by Medialink, found.
 In 1991, Medialink coordinated more than 100 SMTs and distributed nearly 2,000 VNRs. SMTs allow a newsmaker situated in a studio to be interviewed successively via satellite by television reporters around the country or the world. VNRs are video versions of the traditional printed press release.
 Among the findings of the Medialink-Nielsen survey of TV newsrooms nationwide:
 -- 85 percent of stations use SMTs in their regular newscasts, with 6 percent participating in as many as three a week;
 -- 38 percent of stations said the number of SMTs available to their stations has increased in the past year, with another 43 percent saying the number remained constant;
 -- 71 percent of the survey sample said SMTs are as popular with newsroom decision-makers as VNRs.
 Gayle Simpson, producer/reporter at WAND-TV, the ABC affiliate in Decatur, Ill., said SMTs help her interview guests unwilling to travel to the middle of the country. "Interviewing a hard-to-reach celebrity gives the station some clout," said Simpson. "It's not just the celebrities, either. Some of the most interesting stories come from medical guests or authors who have interesting stories and oftentimes just-released information to share with the viewers."
 Evelyn Erdozain-Woods, satellite feed coordinator at WCIX-TV, the CBS affiliate in Miami, said SMTs "make well-known celebrities and experts accessible...If the SMT story is an 'evergreen' (a story with not time constraints on its use), it gives the station the option of using an interview on the weekends when we have a smaller staff on hand."
 The Medialink-Nielsen survey also asked stations to rank their interest in SMTs by subject area. The survey found that most in demand are spokespersons for hard, breaking general interest news (28 percent), followed by experts in the medical or health fields (21 percent), entertainment (20 percent) and experts or spokespersons on consumer or cause-related stories (16 percent).
 In this time of economic recession, SMTs are far more appealing than city-to-city media tours by newsmakers. "SMTs save time and money by placing the interviews in a dozen or more markets in a matter of hours," said Nick Peters, Medialink vice president. "Clients like it because it's cost-effective and exciting."
 Among recent SMTs coordinated by Medialink are projects for IBM (computer experts), Tribune Entertainment (Geraldo Rivera), Equifax (Personal Credit Check expert), Marion Merrill Dow Pharmaceuticals (expert on smoking-cessation treatments), and Coors Brewing Co. (singer Jeffrey Osborne on behalf of a literacy project).
 Medialink, the Video Public Relations Network, is headquartered in New York, with full-service offices in Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington and London. Besides SMTs and VNRs, Medialink offers full-service distribution public service announcements, satellite delivery to newsrooms of photos or graphics, and technical coordination for videoconferences. The survey was conducted in December 1991 for Medialink by Nielsen Media Research.
 -0- 1/14/92
 /CONTACT: Nick Peters of Medialink, 212-682-8300, or Mary Churchill of M. Churchill Communications, 212-370-2525, for Medialink/ CO: Medialink ST: New York IN: PUB SU: ECO


CK-OS -- NY063 -- 9670 01/14/92 15:42 EST
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