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Archives: October 2010

TV, Web Coverage Stokes Demand for Court Stenographers

New Mexico Business Weekly

Court Stenographer Yvonne Gonzales is thrilled that, 21 years ago, she chose the profession she did.

The job has kept her household afloat for the past two years, while her husband, who was laid off from a firm that installed security systems, looked for work.

The situation is likely to keep getting better for Gonzales and others in her profession, as the U.S. Department of Labor predicts employment in her field will grow by 18 percent in the next eight years. More…

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Aol News Hires ABCNews.com Boss

New York Observer

Jon Dube AOL Inc. announced today that Jon Dube, who oversaw content and operations at ABCNews.com, will be stepping into the general manager position at AOL’s journalistic arm.

His official title will be “Senior Vice President and General Manager, AOL News & Information.”

“I believe AOL is better positioned than any other company today to marry innovative technology with high-quality original journalism in a way that creates the best online experience imaginable,” Dube said in a statement.

Tribune Braces for Competing Bankruptcy Plans

Chicago Tribune

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX Still recovering from a management scandal that claimed its chief executive a week ago, Tribune Co. is bracing for its next disruption: How to cope with legal challenges from Aurelius Capital Management and other unhappy creditors seeking to upend its bankruptcy case.

Creditors face a midnight Friday deadline for submitting restructuring plans that would contest a settlement filed Oct. 22 by Tribune Co., its biggest senior creditors and the committee charged with representing the company’s junior creditors.

Aurelius intends to file a competing plan, said Mark Brodsky, chairman of the litigious New York hedge fund. More…

KXAS Reporter Distracted by ‘People Smoking Weed’

Sports Grid

Newy Scruggs This is Newy Scruggs. He’s an NBC sports reporter in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. And when reporting from right outside San Francisco’s AT&T Park yesterday, he caught a whiff of what some people near him (but off camera) were doing. And he didn’t hesitate in letting the audience know all about it.

Just as it seemed he was about to launch into a World-Series-related story (he was right outside the stadium where it’s being played, after all): “I can tell you–right over therethere’s some people smoking weed… I’m like [sniffs] ‘That’s not cigarettes, that’s weed. [points at camera] That’s weed!’” More…

WNYW Suffers as Cablevision Dispute Continues

MediaPost

Cablevision Fox5 announcement The Cablevision blackout led to slashed ratings in New York for Fox drama “Glee” this week, with the Halloween-themed hour down 29% compared to the previous original episode.

On Tuesday on WNYW/Channel 5, “Glee” posted a 2.84 in the 18-to-49 demo, down 29% from a 4.01 on Oct. 12. Nationally, ratings were up 4% in the key demo.

With WNYW/Channel 5 off the air in 43% of the New York market, its late local news continues to suffer ratings drops at much higher percentages than that. More…

Competitive Campaigns Offer Stimulus Package for Stations

Associated Press

Political Ad Sharron Angle For TV viewers, this cutthroat election year is a riot of attack ads and media saturation made possible by big-money donors. For TV stations, it’s a stimulus package.

One research group expects TV political spending to hit a record $3 billion, and the windfall may continue well past Election Day because regular advertisers are getting squeezed out of the schedule and could spend their ad budgets later. Coming out of a recession that put some broadcasters in or near bankruptcy protection, political spending is emerging as a critical–but temporary–source of revenue.

Several factors created the upsurge More…

WJCL-WTGS to Partner with Savannah Morning News

Savannah Morning News

WJCL, WTGS, Savannah News Three Savannah media outlets will become neighbors and partners starting next year.

The Savannah Morning News has signed ABC-television affiliate WJCL and its sister station, Fox 28, to a long-term lease for the vacant third floor of the newspaper’s office building on Chatham Parkway, publisher Michael C. Traynor announced Thursday.

The newspaper and television stations also committed to a content and marketing agreement. The content sharing will include such things as the Savannah Morning News’ Savvy Shopper program and high school sports coverage among other items, Traynor said. More…

KETK Readies Follow-Up to Controversial Segment

TVSpy

KETK Homosexuality Segment KETK, an NBC affiliate in East Texas, has drawn the ire of anti-defamation groups after running a segment Wednesday morning that asked, “Do you think the acceptance of homosexuality will be the fall of America?”

Now the station is planning to run a special piece on Friday morning to respond to the criticism, which included an online petition calling for NBC to end its affiliation with KETK. According to GLAAD, Dave Tillery, the station’s manager, will appear with Chuck Smith, the deputy director of a local LGBT rights group, to discuss the segment.

The controversial segment aired during KETK’s late-morning lifestyle show “East Texas Live.” The show’s hosts Bob Brackeen and Callie Wall conversed with KTBB radio host Garth Maier via Skype about the show’s “Topic of the Day.” Trying to motivate viewers to call in, Maier mentioned President Obama‘s willingness to appoint gays and lesbians to his staff and repeated variations of the question, “Do you think the acceptance of homosexuality will be the fall of America?”

Convicted Sex Offender Surrenders to KTLA Reporter

TVSpy

KTLA Eric Spillman A registered sex offender in Los Angeles turned himself in Thursday during a live KTLA news report.

Valentino Rodriguez Jr., a 46-year-old parolee, went missing after removing a GPS tracking device from his ankle, but on Thursday he decided to end the police search with the aid of KTLA reporter Eric Spillman. (Video here)

On a sidewalk in East Los Angeles, Rodriguez told Spillman that he wanted to “do the appropriate thing” and turn himself in to police. He said that he was feeling “paranoid” and “suicidal” and mentioned the name of his parole officer. Spillman said that he’d wait on the sidewalk with him until authorities arrived.

Keys to Booking Guests

Highlights:

  • Press releases pitching guests are only a starting point for producers who book segments.
  • Guests are often trying to promote something other than your primary objective.

The producer of the Howard Stern show, Gary Dell’Abate, recently appeared on David Letterman’s The Late Show, telling Dave that if Stern was a good guy on the radio “we would have no where to work.” It was a great interview with lots of insight into Howard Stern and his shock radio show. It was about an 8 minute interview, lengthy by late night talk show standards, and not until the very end did Letterman let Dell’Abate plug the real reason he was on the show, to promote his new book They Call Me Baba Booey.

The plug goes at the end of the segment
I am sure Dell’Abate’s agent or publisher pitched The Late Show to book Dell’ Abate as a guest. In fact, most guests who appear on television are booked through a PR agency who sent a press release to the station. Television stations are inundated with people trying to get on TV to promote their product, their book, their movie, their concert, their community event, their restaurant, etc. Some of these make great guests, but just remember whose show it is. Accomplish your goals first, and get them to hold their plug for the end of the interview.

It’s easy to book a guest who comes in the door through an agency or a press release. You simply call the contact person on the release, and select a date for the appearance.

Guests are given valuable airtime
But too often that is where the planning stops, and it can’t be that way. Too many producers simply pick up the press release, call the contact person, agree on a date, and viola, the segment is booked! But it’s not just about filling time. You are giving these people incredible amounts of airtime. It’s time they very likely couldn’t afford to buy if they were going through the sales department. So, they should be willing to do whatever it is you want, within reason.

Dan Aykroyd is making the local TV circuit, his agent offering him as a guest to pitch his new Vodka. Aykroyd is a great guest, but if not planned properly he will simply come in and do a commercial. Instead, think why you would want to have him as a guest. You’d want to talk to him about his movie career, and about the new Ghostbusters movie that is in the works. You have to make it clear to the contact, that you’d love to have Aykroyd as a guest, but that you will start off talking about his movies, and at the end, he can talk about his new Vodka. It’s a win-win for everyone.

Charities must follow the same rule
If the Cancer Society wants to come in and talk about it’s upcoming fundraiser, that’s fine, but you don’t want the Executive Director on as a guest. You want a cancer survivor on to talk about what it’s like to deal with the devastating disease. Remember, what you want are real people with interesting stories to tell, while the charities are trying to promote an event. It’s your show, demand a real person and promise you will promote the event at the end.

Make the PR agency do all the work
Put the people who write the press releases and the PR agencies who are pitching guests to work. Tell them that their clients can come on the show, but only if they do it your way. If they don’t want to play, then they don’t get on. Believe me, most will agree to your requests. Have the agency do all the work. If they are pitching new toys for kids, tell them that they have to have all the toys on set, plus they need 5 kids to test the toys and are willing to talk to your hosts about what they like or don’t like about the toys. Make the PR agency come up with all the props and children.

Bottom line
Make the guests and their agencies do the heavy lifting. They do the work, and you get a great segment. These guests don’t get on your show unless they do it they way you want. It’s a win-win for everyone.

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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