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Archives: April 2010

National News in Local Newscasts: Readers React

In my last article I touched on a rather controversial subject, the place national and international news has in a local newscast. In my article, I suggested that significant breaking national or international news not only has a place in a local newscast, but also can be a lead. A significant national or international story trumps a less significant local story, especially if it is “happening now.”

It’s not an issue of geography, it’s an issue of interest. If your local viewers are interested in the story, then it’s an issue of local interest, no matter “where” it occurs. This is particularly true in morning newscasts. Viewers wake up in the morning and want to know what significant stories occurred overnight anywhere in the world. In response to my article, I received a few emails from readers:

Explore local angles
Doug, you make a very good point on leading with a powerful national or international story on the local news segments. You missed a very good opportunity, however, to add that the local news segment writer or producer or whomever puts the words together might just pause and use some of the intelligence he or she thinks they have and give the story a local lead.

Oil spill follows Gulf platform explosion and collapse could be localized with several angles including what it might mean in gasoline availability and price, what environmental consequences might mean as far as local spill cleanup is handled, and on and on.

From an old newsman who wishes the young newsroom force would show a flicker of innovation and skills beyond just doing the job.

Vern Modeland

Network morning newscasts are three hours old out West
Doug, good article in Shoptalk on using national news in a local newscast. I concur. I may have missed this, but there’s also the time difference for west coast stations. The other morning here in Phoenix, the local NBC station said they would be joining the Today Show in New York with the latest on the oil rig story, and I thought: how misleading. You can’t have the latest with a news show taped three hours earlier.

Dan Davis

Don’t let viewers go to cable
You nailed it Doug! Ignoring breaking news forces viewers to turn to cable stations to get the real stories. It’s the old pebble in the pond. The ripple effect sometimes is global. I do not want “old” or regurgitated news about Mrs. O’Leary’s cow because it happened in nearby Podunk. Today, we are citizens of the world or I like to think so.

Another pet peeve: “For more on the story…go to our web site….” For god sakes, I am watching TV. Does this mean the anchor held back details and if so, why? I turn off the set and power up. I am no longer watching. I am glued to the computer– surfing, e-mailing, and tweeting. Now, the GM is scratching his or her head wondering why viewership is down. Duh?

jvwomack@verizon.net

Leave local for local stories
Doug, I have never agreed with local news using the scarce and valuable time they have to cover ground better handled by their affiliated network news department.

Unless a national story has a strong local component, it should be left to the national newscasts to report, leaving the local time for local stories.

Just one viewer’s opinion.

Richard D. Perez
Executive Director
Whitney Powers & Associates

Strong story, here or anywhere
Doug, just a quick note to say “AMEN!”

Our newscasts here at WISN focus on local stories. But our producers, managers and anchors do a great job of asking good questions and ultimately we run our lead story through a rigorous filter. We have no problem leading with national news if it’s the big news of the day. I have also preached the gospel of good storytelling. Lame and local does not trump strong and national. If it’s a strong story here or anywhere — your viewers will stay with you.

Thanks for today’s column. I am happily forwarding it to our producers.

Lori Waldon

Feedback
Thanks for the feedback. If you want to respond to any of my articles or if you want to suggest a topic for a column, write to me at ddrew@602communications.com

Doug Drew is a morning news specialist with 602 Communications.

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AP Expects Revenue Slide Similar to Great Depression Era

Associated Press

AP logo The Associated Press said Thursday its net income plunged as revenue fell nearly 10 percent last year. The news cooperative also expects a decline in revenue this year, which would be its first back-to-back drop since the Great Depression.

The AP released its 2009 financial results at the not-for-profit organization’s annual meeting in New York. AP executives used the forum to explain some of the ways they hope to boost revenue for the organization and its members, such as with news applications for the iPad.

Net income decreased 65 percent to $8.8 million in 2009 from $25.1 million a year earlier. The AP would have posted a loss had it not booked a $13.2 million gain from the sale of its German-language news service. Revenue totaled $676.1 million, a drop from $747.7 million in 2008. More…

Report: TV Station Revs To Climb 7.5% in 2010

MediaPost

TV Salesman The latest estimates are that TV station’s sudden advertising growth will rise to an average 7.5% in 2010 to $17 billion over 2009.

The new report, by BIA/Kelsey, a television station consultant and researcher, says most growth will be fueled by an improving economy and political advertising. The fierce midterm elections should prove lucrative for stations, particularly in key battleground states.

It expects television revenues in 10 states to increase by close to 8% or more, due to close races. Those states include Arkansas (gaining 8.5%), Pennsylvania (8.5%), Texas (8.48%), Ohio (8.48%) and Colorado (8.43 %). More…

Meredith Broadcast Revenue Up 20%

Broadcasting & Cable

Meredith Logo Meredith Local Media reported revenue of $68.76 million in its third fiscal quarter, a 20% improvement over the $57.27 million it reported in the same quarter last year. The Local Media Group‘s operating profit was $13 million in the third quarter, up significantly from $1 million in the same quarter a year ago.

Meredith’s 12 TV stations comprise the Local Media Group.

“Our Local Media business delivered significantly improved results across the board, a reflection of improving market conditions and success at executing our performance improvement initiatives,” Meredith Chairman/CEO Stephen Lacy. More…

Fox Business Reporter Reflects on Start in Tampa

The Tampa Tribune

Charlie Gasparino Charlie Gasparino remembers his last day with The Tampa Tribune.

The latest hire at Fox Business Network says an editor took him and fellow newspaper scribes to a Tampa pub and toasted his decision to leave, noting that “Charlie, you are making the worst mistake of your life.”

“It made me think for a minute because I had learned so much in my short time there so it was a tough decision because I was doing pretty well,” he said in a recent telephone interview.

It was 20 years ago that Gasparino, now 47, worked for The Tribune. More…

Another Veteran NY Anchor Drops Dirty Word On-Air

New York Post

Rosanna Scotto Milk Debate
A debate about what to call soy milk on “Good Day New York” this morning took an odd turn when veteran Fox 5 anchorwoman Rosanna Scotto pulled a Sue Simmons on live TV.

Scotto and her fellow anchors were debating the National Milk Producers Federation’s argument that products should only be called “milk” when it comes from an animal, not soy or rice.

When the topic of what to call soy milk came up, Scotto blurted out, “Soy ji—um!”

Scotto’s confused co-anchor, Greg Kelly, looked on in disbelief as the banter continued during the live show. More…

In Phoenix, Gannett to Move TV Station in with Newspaper

Phoenix Business Journal

KPNX Logo Gannett Co. Inc. announced Wednesday it will consolidate KPNX-TV, NBC’s Phoenix affiliate, into its downtown office.

The ground floor of the Republic Media building at 200 E. Van Buren St. will be reconfigured for a main studio for newscasts, local programming, interviews, an outdoor studio, a cooking set and two outdoor camera positions.

The building also houses The Arizona Republic, azcentral.com, La Voz, and other print and digital publications.

Construction is expected to begin in July with the move complete by early 2011. More…

National News in Local Newscasts: Readers React

In my last article I touched on a rather controversial subject, the place national and international news has in a local newscast. In my article, I suggested that significant breaking national or international news not only has a place in a local newscast, but also can be a lead. A significant national or international story trumps a less significant local story, especially if it is “happening now.”

It’s not an issue of geography, it’s an issue of interest. If your local viewers are interested in the story, then it’s an issue of local interest, no matter “where” it occurs. This is particularly true in morning newscasts. Viewers wake up in the morning and want to know what significant stories occurred overnight anywhere in the world. In response to my article, I received a few emails from readers:

Explore local angles
Doug, you make a very good point on leading with a powerful national or international story on the local news segments. You missed a very good opportunity, however, to add that the local news segment writer or producer or whomever puts the words together might just pause and use some of the intelligence he or she thinks they have and give the story a local lead.

Oil spill follows Gulf platform explosion and collapse could be localized with several angles including what it might mean in gasoline availability and price, what environmental consequences might mean as far as local spill cleanup is handled, and on and on.

From an old newsman who wishes the young newsroom force would show a flicker of innovation and skills beyond just doing the job.

Vern Modeland

Network morning newscasts are three hours old out West
Doug, good article in Shoptalk on using national news in a local newscast. I concur. I may have missed this, but there’s also the time difference for west coast stations. The other morning here in Phoenix, the local NBC station said they would be joining the Today Show in New York with the latest on the oil rig story, and I thought: how misleading. You can’t have the latest with a news show taped three hours earlier.

Dan Davis

Don’t let viewers go to cable
You nailed it Doug! Ignoring breaking news forces viewers to turn to cable stations to get the real stories. It’s the old pebble in the pond. The ripple effect sometimes is global. I do not want “old” or regurgitated news about Mrs. O’Leary’s cow because it happened in nearby Podunk. Today, we are citizens of the world or I like to think so.

Another pet peeve: “For more on the story…go to our web site….” For god sakes, I am watching TV. Does this mean the anchor held back details and if so, why? I turn off the set and power up. I am no longer watching. I am glued to the computer– surfing, e-mailing, and tweeting. Now, the GM is scratching his or her head wondering why viewership is down. Duh?

jvwomack@verizon.net

Leave local for local stories
Doug, I have never agreed with local news using the scarce and valuable time they have to cover ground better handled by their affiliated network news department.

Unless a national story has a strong local component, it should be left to the national newscasts to report, leaving the local time for local stories.

Just one viewer’s opinion.

Richard D. Perez
Executive Director
Whitney Powers & Associates

Strong story, here or anywhere
Doug, just a quick note to say “AMEN!”

Our newscasts here at WISN focus on local stories. But our producers, managers and anchors do a great job of asking good questions and ultimately we run our lead story through a rigorous filter. We have no problem leading with national news if it’s the big news of the day. I have also preached the gospel of good storytelling. Lame and local does not trump strong and national. If it’s a strong story here or anywhere — your viewers will stay with you.

Thanks for today’s column. I am happily forwarding it to our producers.

Lori Waldon

Feedback
Thanks for the feedback. If you want to respond to any of my articles or if you want to suggest a topic for a column, write to me at ddrew@602communications.com

Doug Drew is a morning news specialist with 602 Communications.

Dr. Drew Starting His Own Production Company

The Hollywood Reporter

Dr Drew One of the most prominent faces in reality TV, Dr. Drew Pinsky, is forming his own production company.

Dr. Drew Productions will produce unscripted shows featuring the celebrity doctor and other talent. Pinsky will partner with his longtime manager Howard Lapides on the venture.

The first project is a pilot, “Estranged With Dr. Drew,” where couples decide if they want to reunite or separate. The pilot is being shopped with Picture This TV. More…

MSNBC Launches Smartphone-Optimized Website

Adweek

MSNBC iPhone Citing consumers’ needs for engaging, customized news content, MSNBC.com has launched a smartphone-optimized version of its site.

The site, which debuted with Hilton Hotels as the launch sponsor, allows iPhone, iPad, Palm Pre and Android-powered devices to view content from MSNBC Digital Network’s many properties. (These include Today, Meet the Press and Dateline.) It is aimed at providing a “brand centric, immersion experience for consumers,” said Jeff Maurone, product manager at MSNBC.com.

The target audience is consumers who purchase cutting-edge smartphones. “They’re self-selecting into being passionate about content [delivered] via their devices,” said Maurone. More…

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