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The vital link between
food & hunger

The countdown is on! Cleveland 13 Public News officially launches Dec. 4 with 13 Days of Giveaways

By: Audrey Cielinski Kessler

CLEVELAND, OH - The countdown is on! No, it’s not about the launch of a NASA rocket to the moon or Mars or the launch of an experimental rocket from a new entrant in the space exploration business.

It is instead the official launch of Cleveland 13 Public News Dec. 4, followed by 13 days of giveaways to viewers and listeners. Cleveland 13 News, said Matt Greminger, a Cleveland native and president of the organization, is a multiplatform news network with the call letters WCTU and the tagline Your Voice, Your News.

Greminger said the focus is on social media rather than traditional means of communicating information because “more than 80 percent of people prefer digital news platforms.” He also stressed “the immersive and interactive public nature” of the news network. “It is something we built to fill a need for a more targeted engagement of individual community members in the news gathering and news reporting process.”

The 13 days of giveaways, said Greminger, is a way to generate enthusiasm and spread the word about Cleveland 13 News and its mission of focusing on local news that the larger news outlets in the Greater Cleveland area may not be aware of or have the staff to cover.

Content for Cleveland 13 News, said Greminger, comes from affiliates, which are sources with a known, dependable history in the news industry, and from business and community-group guest contributors. “We want to give everyone the ability to share news that is vital to the community,” he added. To ensure that an array of local voices can be heard, said Greminger, the network “is supported by a diverse advisory team that includes media veterans from many outlets.”

The daily giveaways start on Dec. 5, with the winner announced live at 8 p.m. The prizes have been provided by some of Cleveland’s small and not-so-small businesses and some iconic ones, too. Greminger was intentionally vague about the exact nature of the prizes, though he did drop some hints, suggesting that someone with a sweet tooth or someone in need of blissful relaxation may find something they like. Most of the giveaways come in the form of gift cards or gift baskets.

Each day’s giveaway will be posted on Facebook, though other social media platforms may be used, depending on the company contributing the prize. “Facebook is sort of a home-base for us,” said Greminger, “not because it’s the BEST social media platform but because its tools and resources make it the most practical for ensuring that everything we do has an easy and comprehensive ‘forever’ archive.”

When you see the day’s prize posted on Facebook, just click “Like” and “Pick Me,” and follow the company on Cleveland 13 News. All entries will be loaded onto what Greminger refers to as a “virtual wheel” that will be “spun” at 8 p.m. each night to select a winner, who will be notified live and identified by the person’s social media handle. “The winner,” said Greminger, “will then be messaged by our team though the platform within which they won that giveaway. From there, we arrange for the shipping or delivery of their prize.”

In the meantime, the winner’s social media handle and a picture of the prize will be posted on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and TikTok. A link to the winner’s Facebook page will be posted on the Cleveland 13 News website, which is updated daily.

Of the 13 days of giveaways, the third day, Dec. 8, will be extra special because everyone can win even if they don’t enter the contest that day or the spin of the wheel doesn’t stop on their name. Starting live at 7 p.m. on Dec. 8, Greminger and WDLW radio personality Gary Tollett will lock the doors to the radio station and won’t leave until $10,000 has been raised for the Second Harvest Food Bank. Greminger acknowledges that he could be inside the station for quite some time, maybe even overnight and into the next day. But he’s not worried, saying, “I’m prepared to stay locked up as long as it takes. Supporting the local food bank is something good for the community and a cause a lot of people will want to support. I think I’ll be out before midnight.”

When he does get out of lockup, it’s not likely that Greminger will pause for anything more than a short nap. Instead, he will be busy “pulling ideas and brainpower from not only emerging tech and markets but also over many generations of wisdom and social circles,” including Cleveland 13 News Advisory Board members such as Elwood Edwards who, in the early years of personal computers and email, was the voice of AOL, announcing, “You’ve got mail.” And now, decades later, you’ve got Cleveland 13 News.

“We built Cleveland 13 News to meet a long-standing need for community-driven and community-engaged journalism,” said Greminger. “We expect to be a very major player.



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