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Local TV Awards: WKMG Newsroom Chief Allison McGinley Is Results-Oriented

Allison McGinley WKMG Orlando
News Director of the Year: Allison McGinley, WKMG Orlando (Image credit: Graham Media Group)

Allison McGinley, who joined WKMG as an intern in 1993, is wholly focused on delivering timely and at times vital information to viewers, and users, on all platforms. That includes franchise Make Ends Meet, which launched as COVID-19 took over last year, set up to help unemployed people receive the benefits due them. 

Florida’s Department of Economic Opportunity snafus persisted in 2021, and Make Ends Meet has helped return more than $2 million to those who rely on the funds, much of that this year. It is a news segment, a section on the website and a weekly newsletter. McGinley called it “a culmination of what we do” — investigative journalism, community service, nudging lawmakers to make changes. 

“That’s what we’re here for,” she said. 

Also: Local News: Sweltering Orlando Heats Up

WKMG launched Solutionaries this year, an OTT program with a problem-solving focus. Under McGinley’s leadership, a dozen WKMG staffers hatched the first episode, on law enforcement, in June, and the second, on affordable housing, in September. The rest of the Graham Media Group stations will work off the template to create their own Solutionaries programming, suitable for both digital snacking and longer-term viewing. “It really gives some tangible answers that are actionable,” said Jeff Hoffman, WKMG VP/general manager. 

WKMG’s “Getting Results” news has emerged as a factor in super-competitive Orlando. The station has seen aggregate news ratings points climb 6% in 2021. WKMG’s ClickOrlando.com had 18 million users in 2019, and 47.5 million year to date in 2021. Before McGinley took over as news director in 2015, the website “did not register,” according to Hoffman, who said his news director’s work ethic is “unmatched.”

With 28 years at the station, McGinley understands what makes Orlando unique among TV markets. She was named chair of RTDNA this year. Dan Shelley, executive director, called McGinley “the perfect leader” for RTDNA  based on “her passion for the industry, her compassion for journalists still facing unprecedented challenges, and her clear vision for what we need to do to make broadcast and digital journalism better for the public we serve.”

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.