UPDATED BELOW: WTAE aired another update on Kelly Frey's baby boy Bennett last
and my reaction to the report was split.
On the one hand, there is certainly viewer interest in Frey's ordeal, which the Post-Gazette's Mackenzie Carpenter was the first to cover last summer. Viewers take an interest - both a natural curiosity in someone they see on TV daily and, in some cases, an out-sized emotional attachment to someone they do not actually know - in their local news anchors so it makes sense for a station to provide information on its personalities.
The story, as reported by Frey, offered some information that may be helpful to other parents - or future parents - of children with special needs.
"Jason and I wanted to do this in hopes of helping and encouraging so many other moms and dads," Frey said, speaking for herself and her husband.
But WTAE's timing seems suspect and potentially exploitative because the piece aired in sweeps. The station's motivations would surely be less questionable, even in a Local People Meter market that encourages year-round sweeps features, if the report was not so heavily promoted during what has traditionally been an important ratings period.
What did you think of the report and the timing? Log in and post your comments below.
A WTAE spokeswoman e-mailed this notification the afternoon of May 11 :
Kelly Frey’s Baby Bennett story will be on World News Tonight TOMORROW evening.