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Archives: March 2010

How to Write a Great News ID

In the teasing world, three to five second IDs are always the most challenging promos to write. How can you convey the best stuff from your story in such a short amount of time? When you break down the elements of a great ID, it has two main parts.

The first sentence is the build. This first part must create intrigue and present just enough information for viewers to get excited about your story. It should grab attention and leave viewers with the idea that big stuff is going on. If viewers miss the news, they’ll miss something interesting or important. Think of it as a big exclamation point, meant to make viewers look up and pay attention.

The build should be done in as few words as possible. Most producers make the mistake of trying to tell the story in the tease. The purpose of a tease is to sell, not to tell. Let the news report tell the story. A tease is meant to excite, not explain. Try to always use a sentence fragment in the build. This first sentence should be short and choppy, composed mainly of adjective/noun combos. You probably won’t have time to use verbs.
“Four dead in a huge fire.”
“Fuming airport travelers.”
“Critical win!”
Remember that any extra words in this part of the tease will leave you short on time for the important second part – the promise.

The promise should clearly convey your coverage of the news story. The goal is to showcase your team’s enterprising reporting, not to further explain the details of the event. Many times, these sentences will start with “who, what, where, when, why or how.” Just as before, use sentence fragments on the promise. Now, combine the build with the promise.
“A huge crash. How a dog caused the accident.”
“Crushing defeat. The coach’s new defense strategy.”
“The mayor arrested. How police found the embezzled money.”

Most IDs lack this critical promise of coverage. News producing is all about conveying the facts of the story and most writers try to make their IDs little mini news reports. Remember that the best part of a tease is always the last line. Make it a practice to literally count the number of words in this first line. If you have more than three or four, cut it down.

Next week – how to combine the build and the promise into a single sentence that’s even shorter.

Graeme Newell is a broadcast and web marketing specialist who serves as the president and founder of 602 communications. You can reach Graeme at gnewell@602commu

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Joe Buck Signs New 4-Year Deal with Fox Sports

USA Today

Joe Buck Joe Buck tells USA Today he has a new four-year contract to serve as Fox Sports’ lead announcer for its Major League Baseball and NFL coverage. His previous four-year deal expired in February.

“We’re gearing up for baseball season,” Buck says.

Fox Sports president Ed Goren confirmed the deal, saying: “We’re thrilled to have the voice of Fox Sports and one of the best broadcasters in the business with us for the next four years.”

The renewal will keep the 40-year-old Buck on the microphone through 2014. More…

Groundbreaking Philadelphia Reporter Poindexter Dies


Malcolm Poindexter Former CBS 3 Reporter Malcolm Poindexter passed away this morning at age 84 after a diverse and illustrious career in television as a general assignment reporter, education reporter, public affairs host, editorial spokesman and community leader. The four-time Emmy Award winner and legendary newsman retired from CBS 3 in February, 2001.

Poindexter had a remarkable multi-media career spanning more than 50 years in journalism and encompassing every medium of the industry–newspapers, radio and television. His assignments included serving as a reporter for the Philadelphia Tribune, The Bulletin, Jet and Ebony magazines, the Associated Negro Press, the London Daily Express and KYW Newsradio. More…

LL Cool J Blasts Fox News for Presence in Palin Promo


LL Cool J Tweet
If the lineup and promotion for the inaugural episode of “Real American Stories,” a new Fox News Channel series to be hosted by Sarah Palin, caught you by surprise, you’re not the only one. On his Twitter account on Tuesday night, LL Cool J, who was announced as one of the guests for the show, wrote that Fox was “misrepresenting” him.

“Real American Stories” is scheduled to have its premiere on Fox News Channel on Thursday night. On its Web site, Fox News said the show would profile people who have “given back, given all and never given up.” Among the guests that Fox News is announcing in an advertisement for the first episode are the country musician Toby Keith; Jack Welch, the former chairman of General Electric; and LL Cool J More…

Sarah Palin Set to Host Fox News Special

New York Post

Sarah Palin, Fox News Sarah Palin is hosting a special — her first as anchor — on Fox News Channel tomorrow night in Greta Van Susteren‘s 10 o’clock time slot.

The show, called “Real American Stories,” is another step for Palin toward a substantial TV career and perhaps away from a run for the White House in 2012.

It will be her second TV show in less than a month.

Last week, the Discovery Channel’s TLC said it had won a heated bidding war for a series about Alaska that will be hosted by Palin. More…

Minneapolis’ KSTP Moves Anchor to Web

Minneapolis Star Tribune

Art Barron KSTP Morning and midday anchor Art Barron is being kicked off KSTP-TV but not out of the building.

“He will do midday up until the May book starts and then he will transition fully into a Web position,” KSTP-TV news director Lindsay Radford told me today. “He will be a Web producer for us. We are launching a whole bunch of community sites and have hired a whole bunch of people for that. God bless Art. He’s got the best attitude in the world.”

As a producer, Barron’s face won’t be seen anymore, which means that he’ll probably experience a cut in pay More…

Hometown Butler in Final Four, WNDY Grabs ‘Hoosiers’

Broadcasting & Cable

WNDY Hoosiers WNDY Indianapolis has grabbed the rights to air the Indiana basketball classic film Hoosiers, which will run 8-10 p.m. March 31. Not only is Indianapolis the site for the NCAA basketball Final Four and title game next week, but hometown Butler is one of the four remaining teams.

WISH-WNDY President/General Manager Jeff White says the response to WNDY airing Hoosiers has been “overwhelming” since the stations announced it on air and on Facebook. He declined to say how much MGM demanded for the film, but suggested it was not a princely sum.

Viewers and advertisers alike have expressed abundant interest in Hoosiers. More…

CBS Affiliates Express Concern over Comcast-NBCU Deal

The Wrap

CBS Logo CBS’ TV stations are raising some questions about Comcast’s $30 billion deal for NBC Universal and suggesting they could carry those doubts to federal regulators.

In a letter sent Tuesday to CBS affiliates, Tim Busch, chairman of the CBS Television Network Affiliates Association, warned its members that the affiliate association board is worried that the deal could disadvantage CBS stations.

“We are concerned that the proposed merger would competitively disadvantage CBS affiliates by reposing an unprecedented level of media market power in a single vertically integrated cable/television broadcast network company,” Busch wrote. More…

Nielsen To Eliminate Live-Only Local TV Ratings


TV Remote Control The Nielsen Company is going ahead with its controversial plan to eliminate live-only local TV program ratings, which covers around 70% of local U.S. television homes.

This comes after a four-month delay from the original date, Dec. 1, when the TV research company intended it to go into effect. The change begins April 1.

Now, TV advertisers and stations will only have overnight access to data for three different data streams — live program-plus-same-day time-shifting of programming, live-plus-three-day time-shifting, and live-plus-seven-day shifting — to account for their media buys. More…

Meteorologists Split on Global Warming

The New York Times

Chad Myers, Global Warming
The debate over global warming has created predictable adversaries, pitting environmentalists against industry and coal-state Democrats against coastal liberals.

But it has also created tensions between two groups that might be expected to agree on the issue: climate scientists and meteorologists, especially those who serve as television weather forecasters.

Climatologists, who study weather patterns over time, almost universally endorse the view that the earth is warming and that humans have contributed to climate change. There is less of a consensus among meteorologists, who predict short-term weather patterns. More…