Local TV Teams With Facebook on Live Election Coverage

TV stations around the country are among the 50 broadcast, print and digital news outlets partnering with Facebook to provide live Election Day coverage on the social media platform, Facebook said Monday.

Six Tegna-owned stations will be participating in the initiative, making it the largest partner on the #50states project. They are KUSA Denver, KING Seattle, KARE Minneapolis, KTVB Boise, WCSH Portland, Maine, and WLTX in Columbia, South Carolina.

"On Election Day, our goal is to reach the maximum audience with our local reporting and inform our audience to make an educated voting decision," said Frank Mungeam, Tegna's VP of digital content. "Partnering with Facebook gives us the chance to expand the reach of our local journalism."

Each station has their own coverage plan based on the specific way the election is unfolding in their state, Mungeam said.  In Seattle, for example, KING  will focus on what it’s like being a state where all voting happens absentee -- mail-in or drop off -- which means many of their residents cast their votes weeks before late-election news breaks, he said. KUSA Denver will be streaming live from the county elections office to report on verification of ballot counting. In Minneapolis, KARE will be live streaming from one of the most popular voting locations to see how their record early voting impacts Election Day turnout.

"All our stations will take advantage of Facebook Live’s real-time commenting feature to engage in a conversation about the election with our audience," Mungeam said.

Fox O&O KSAZ Phoenix is Facebook's Arizona partner.

KSAZ will publish a 15-minute video looking at how voting is going in Arizona and provide live updates on the state's biggest stories including U.S. Sen. John McCain’s re-election bid, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s efforts to remain in office and the proposition to legalize recreational marijuana, said news director Doug Bannard. The main segment will be anchored by on-air anchor Troy Hayden and digital journalist Samia Khan and will include reports from the field, he said.

All of which is in keeping with the larger #50states initiative, which asks each participating news organizations to post a 15-minute video covering how the presidential election is unfolding in their states. Those videos will appear on Facebook’s “Election 2016” page and carry the #50states hashtag.

Participants also will publish live videos throughout the day providing voters real-time information.