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Archives: July 2010

The Bad News About Bad News

One of the biggest mistakes many producers make is to group spot news and other negative stories back-to-back-to-back. This really upsets many viewers, and it’s one of the most common complaints viewers have of local television news: “It’s all just bad news.” Many producers reinforce this perception by grouping all bad news together.

The key to a successful newscast is one that has an appropriate balance of news and information spread evenly throughout the program. Many newscasts are way out of balance. For instance, a newscast where the top is full of crime and spot news and the back half is nothing but weather, sports and a kicker is certainly not in balance.

How many times have you seen a newscast where the lead is a gruesome murder, followed by a slightly less gruesome murder, followed by a horrific car accident, which leads to someone dying in a house fire, a drowning, a bank robbery and the stabbing of a local high school athlete. Viewer reaction? “This is so depressing”

Viewers grow weary of the endless litany of “bad news” and eventually tune out. They never get to the more in-depth, interesting, and relevant content that you and your staff have worked so hard on all day long. While it’s a reality that a lot of news is tragic, that doesn’t mean we have to bombard viewers with it over-and-over-and-over-again all at once.

If you have six spot news stories, there is absolutely no need to group them all together near the top of the show. And in fact, you are doing more harm than good when you do that. You may drive viewers away. Avoid the back-to-back-to-back placement of “bad news.” Spread those stories out over the course of the newscast, or simply save some of them for other newscasts.

The solution to a balanced newscast is being thoughtful in placing stories evenly throughout the newscast. It’s what your viewers want. Yes, they are often interested in the numerous shocking stories you have, but putting all of those stories next to each other will often force many viewers to hit the remote control.

Doug Drew is a morning news specialist with 602 Communications. He can be reached at ddrew@602communications.com. Follow Doug on facebook http://www.facebook.com/dougdrew and on twitter at http://twitter.com/dougdrew

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Google Earth Now Shows Real-Time Weather

ReadWriteWeb

Google Earth While we certainly don’t expect you’ll begin planning your days around the new feature, Google has added a new layer to Google Earth that makes it feel even more like you’re taking a live, real-time look at the earth from a satellite above–real-time weather.

Just added to the latest version of Google Earth, the feature offers a live view of the weather, from radar to raindrops.

Weather has been available in Google Earth since 2007, but now “the latest version projects images of rain and snow over the areas with those weather patterns as it’s actually happening”. More…

WFTV Leads Pack in Orlando Ratings

Orlando Sentinel

WFTV Logo ABC affiliate WFTV-Ch. 9 is crowing that it’s “Central Florida’s News Leader,” and the ratings for July back up the claim.

The ratings period ended Wednesday, and the results released this morning reveal that WFTV has the edge in the 25-to-54 age group most important to news advertisers. NBC affiliate WESH-Ch. 2 ran second in most other news time slots.

WFTV’s lead was evident at 6 p.m., when it averaged 37,000 viewers in the crucial age group. WESH placed second with 17,500 viewers. More…

WCVB Wins July Ratings Race in Boston

Boston Globe

WCVB Logo WCVB-TV (Channel 5) captured the most viewers during the July sweeps period, winning every newscast it competes in.

The numbers, which are used to help set advertising rates, were released today by The Nielsen Co. The ratings period began July 1st and ended yesterday.

“We’re in one of the most competitive markets in America and to sweep all the newscasts for the sixth month in a row is a true testament of the hard work from everyone at WCVB,” said Bill Fine, general manager and president of WCVB. More…

In Jackson, Chief Meteorologist Recovers From Surgery

WAPT

David Hartman WAPT Chief Meteorologist David Hartman underwent surgery Thursday and his family said he is doing well.

During the surgery to his neck, doctors discovered that a disk in his neck was “shattered into pieces,” not ruptured like they had originally thought.

For nearly two weeks, the pain in his neck had been excruciating, he said.

“It’s to the point where you can see I’m holding my hand because of constant pain,” Hartman said. More…

In Providence, Struggling WLNE Enters Receivership

Broadcasting & Cable

WLNE logo Global Broadcasting of New England has filed a Receivership Petition in Rhode Island Superior Court to give its struggling WLNE Providence some financial leeway in an unforgiving business environment. The receivership may be the first step toward the sale of the station.

WLNE is an ABC affiliate and Global Broadcasting’s lone station. Providence was hit particularly hard with the recession, with crippling unemployment. Massive flooding this past spring deepened the misery in DMA No. 53.

The receivership “gives a financially stressed business breathing room to restructure and reorganize its financial and business affairs” More…

CNN Names EP for Spitzer-Parker Show

The Wrap

Liza McGuirk CNN finally has an executive producer for the launch of its Eliot Spitzer-Kathleen Parker show.

Liza McGuirk, currently the executive producer of “Fareed Zakaria: GPS,” will take over EP duties at 8:00 p.m., the network announced on Friday.

Jon Klein had been reportedly trying to lure Rachel Maddow EP Bill Wolff away from MSNBC for the slot, but when Wolff declined, Klein decided to go from within. More…

Tampa Bay’s WTSP Drops ‘Connects’ Branding

St. Petersburg Times

WTSP logo Just about two years ago, WTSP-Ch. 10‘s new 10 Connects rebranding was a bold effort to link old school TV newscasts with all the new social media stuff percolating in the culture.

Anchors traded instant messages with viewers during broadcasts. A crowd of citizen journalists were handed cameras and asked to shoot video that could land in a newscast. And the station developed a range of online efforts to signal an attempt to reach viewers in new ways.

But on Monday, WTSP called an official halt to that initiative More…

Following Its Rivals, WFLD Introducing 4:30am Newscast

Chicago Tribune

WFLD Logo The latest news on the earliest news is that there will be yet one more local newscast starting before the sun — like most viewers — is up.

WFLD-Ch. 32 on Thursday said it too will move the start of its early weekday morning newscast with Dawn Hasbrouck and Kori Chambers up a half-hour to 4:30 a.m., beginning Monday.

That’s the same day when WLS-Ch. 7 plans to do exactly the same thing, as it announced earlier this week, as well as the date WFLD’s Anna Davlantes and longtime sportscaster Corey McPherrin are supposed to make their debut More…

Belo 2Q Profit Doubles On Ad Demand, Cost Cuts

The Wall Street Journal

BELO building Belo Corp.’s second-quarter profit almost doubled on strength from advertising revenue and cost cuts, while results came in just below analysts’ expectations.

The television broadcaster has seen results turn around on an improving advertising climate. It recorded a double-digit jump in ad revenue in the first quarter after advertising spending slumped in the past year. It rose 15% year-on-year in the second quarter, following a 23% slump a year earlier, on strength driven mainly by the automotive sector. More…

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