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Archives: September 2010

Headlines Are Ads

Most every producer in the country has to write a pre-show tease or headline at the top of the newscast. Most everyone does them the same way, usually three top stories, each with a piece of video, with wipes between each one.

Usually it’s the producer who picks these stories, and most everyone starts with whatever the lead story is, followed by two other big stories of the day.

But the reality is that these headlines are there for one purpose and one purpose only: to get people into the newscast. Whether we like it or not, they are simply ads for the newscast.

Anyone who has gone through the 602 Communications tease writing course has heard this before, but many news people still have a difficult time accepting this concept.

A successful producer has to wear two hats. One is the journalism hat that we wear 90 percent of the time. But every good producer also needs to know when to take off that hat and put on the promo hat. The promo hat you wear when writing those headlines or pre-show teases, or any tease for that matter.

You have to face the fact that the pre-show tease or top of the show headline is an advertisement for your newscast. Pick the best stories that will draw people into the newscast. Pick the most interesting, unique, compelling stories that fall anywhere within your newscast.

Good Morning America and The Today Show are experts at this. Watch the top of their programs and you will see the great job they do including the big news story of the day, plus those incredible stories that you just have to see.

One of the most important themes of the 602 Communications tease workshop is that teases should SELL a story, not TELL a story. So when writing those pre-show teases or top of the show opens, keep that in mind. This is where you SELL the newscast. The purpose is to get viewers into the newscast.

Doug Drew is a morning news specialist with 602 Communications. He can be reached at Follow Doug on facebook and on twitter at

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Poll: Fox News Viewers Angry, Engaged

The New York Times

Fox News Voters who say they watch the Fox News Channel for most of their information about politics and current events are more enthusiastic about the election and more attentive to it, angrier with Washington and more likely to vote for Republican candidates this fall than viewers of any other news network, according to a New York Times/CBS News poll conducted this month.

Whereas 78 percent of likely voters who say they are Fox News viewers support Republican candidates, 58 percent of viewers of CNN and MSNBC and 45 percent of broadcast network viewers say they will vote Democratic in November’s House races. More…

Belo Adds ABC’s Live Well Network

Broadcasting & Cable

LiveWell The first non-ABC owned stations are on board with Live Well Network, as five major-market Belo outlets will launch the digital channel Nov. 8. WFAA Dallas, KMOV St. Louis, WWL New Orleans, WVEC Hampton-Norfolk and WCNC Charlotte represent the Live Well debutants.

The ABC-owned stations launched Live Well HD in the spring of 2009. The network has dropped the “HD” from the name, as not all the Belo stations will air the channel in high def, though the ABC-owned stations will continue to. More…

Columbus’s WCMH Launches Mobile DTV

Television Broadcast

WCMH WCMH-TV is now the first Media General station to launch Mobile DTV. The NBC affiliate started broadcasting the ATSC M/H signal of the primary feed on Sept. 23, Media General said in a statement today.

“Our greatest strength is that we have the right local content for our marketplaces,” Marshall N. Morton, president and CEO of Media General, said. “Mobile DTV is an important new way to extend our reach and deliver this content to our viewers… We look forward to launching Mobile DTV in as many as five to seven additional television markets in the coming months.” More…

In Minnesota, Popular Anchor Joins Local News Website


Cyndi Brucato Long-time broadcast journalist Cyndy Brucato is joining MinnPost to report on and analyze what’s going on in the Republican Party and in the conservative movement.

That’s a rich topic these days, of course. The GOP is expected to make significant gains in the coming mid-term elections, and party officials seem to have their hands full with the growing popularity of the Tea Party.

Cyndy got her start as a reporter for WDIO-TV in Duluth, later moving to WCCO-TV in Minneapolis and WBBM-TV in Chicago. But most Minnesotans probably know her as the respected and long-time news anchor for KSTP-TV More…

ABC Selling Its Ad Slots to Affiliates

The Wall Street Journal

ABC Logo Walt Disney Co.’s ABC network is trying out a new approach to ad sales: selling national ad slots to local ABC stations.

The sales, which will begin with six 30-second prime-time slots in the last two weeks of October in “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Modern Family” and other shows, are timed to enable both the network and the stations to cash in on an historic crush of political advertising tied to the midterm elections.

But ABC hopes to use the approach at other times of the year, taking advantage of a wrinkle in the TV market: the aggregate price for the local ads that air on all ABC stations in a particular ad slot is often higher than the price ABC can get for a single national ad. More…

Veteran Boston Reporter Moves From TV to Radio

Boston Herald

Joe Battenfeld Veteran political reporter Joe Battenfeld is leaving Fox 25 after a seven-year run and has landed a radio show on WRKO.

Battenfeld’s contract with WFXT-TV (Ch. 25) runs out next week–a month before Election Day–and the station has decided not to renew it.

“I’ve had a great run and I think I’ve helped make Fox 25 a force in political coverage,” Battenfeld told MediaBiz yesterday. “I’m very happy to be moving on and I can also think of several politicians who will be happy I’m moving on.” More…

Anderson Cooper Lands Syndicated Daytime Show


Anderson Cooper Anderson Cooper, the anchor of CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360,” plans to host a one-hour daytime television show that will be nationally syndicated in fall 2011.

Cooper, 43, will serve as executive producer on the program, which will be produced by Telepictures Productions and distributed by Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution, according to an e-mailed statement today.

Cooper, who joined CNN in 2001, will continue to anchor his 10 p.m. program and extended his deal with the 24-hour cable news network for an undisclosed period of time. More…

In Chasing Long Accuser, Did WAGA Go Too Far?


Jamal Parris A newly surfaced television interview with Jamal Parris, the third of four men accusing Atlanta-area megachurch pastor Bishop Eddie Long of sexual coercion, is making its rounds online.

The local Fox affiliate in Atlanta, WAGA-TV, landed the “exclusive” interview after it dispatched its “Senior I-Team Reporter” Dale Russell to hunt for Parris in Colorado, where he now lives–but the city was not disclosed.

Apparently, the feverish hunt was successful. More…

Activist’s Plan to Embarrass CNN Reporter Foiled


James OKeefe boat Things did not go according to plan for James O’Keefe, the conservative provocateur and hidden camera auteur, in a recent attempt to embarrass CNN reporter Abbie Boudreau.

Boudreau had been working on a CNN special about young conservative activists titled “Right on the Edge” when she scheduled to meet with O’Keefe to discuss his potential cooperation in a video shoot. While Boudreau planned to meet with O’Keefe to talk about an upcoming project that he was involved with, the activist, best known for his undercover ACORN videos, had other ideas.

When Boudreau arrived at the designated meeting place, she was warned by a colleague of O’Keefe’s that the meeting was actually an elaborate set-up and that O’Keefe was trying to “punk” her. O’Keefe’s plan, it appears, was to lure Boudreau on to a boat and seduce her, all the while capturing the situation on video. (CNN Video)