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Archives: January 2010

Florida’s WPTV Ends ND Search, Picks Jeff Brogan

TVSpy

WPTV logo Jeff Brogan, a Cincinnati-native who has been with the city’s ABC-affiliate for 10 years, is packing his bags and moving to Florida to become the News Director of West Palm Beach’s WPTV. Brogan had most recently served as assistant news director for WCPO, which, like his new home, is owned by Scripps. “Brogan has been a key behind-the-scenes figure at WCPO,” writes Cincinnati media columnist John Kiesewetter.

In a memo to his staff, WPTV GM Steve Wasserman said that “an exhaustive search” had come to an end. “WCPO has made tremendous strides in recent years in the quality of its newscasts and the ratings that they generate,” Wasserman acknowledged. “Jeff has been a big part of that success.”

Brogan will begin at WPTV at the end of February. Before becoming assistant news director at WCPO, Jeff served as an Executive Producer and newscast producer.

Shelly Palmer’s MediaBytes

Video: Is Apple’s iPad as Revolutionary as Steve Jobs Says?

MediaBytes Video

Out With The Old, In With the New

Morning viewers don’t want to go looking for international news on the networks and then come back to you for local news, weather and traffic. They want you to have ALL the news.

National and International news is extremely important in the morning. For one thing, viewers want to know what happened in the world overnight when they wake up. Research shows morning viewers have a high interest in national and international news. In addition, it’s the international and national news from which you will need to rely on to make sure your news content is fresh. In fact, as the show goes along, you want to start dumping as much news as you can and replacing it with fresh content. Lets face it, most of your local news stories are old, yesterday’s news. You want to replace those stories as fast as you can as the show goes along with a mix of local, national and international news.

Anywhere, Everywhere

Broaden your vision of where to look for the news. Think”Anywhere, Everywhere.” Use all your feed sources, wires, the internet, etc. It may be 5am your time, but it’s already middle of the day in other parts of the world. Somewhere something is happening. The Ethiopian Airlines plane that crashed after taking off from Beirut is of interest whether you live in Fresno or Framingham. If the Berlin Opera House is going up in flames, take it live. If a school bus has overturned in Maryland, insert some live pictures. This isn’t to say you need to spend a lot of time on some of these stories. Let the cable news networks devote hours of time to them. A quick hit on a big national or international story serves your local viewers well.

What determines local news is not a matter of geography. In other words, just because it happens outside your market doesn’t mean it is not of interest to your local viewers. If the story is of interest to your viewers, no matter where it happens, then it’s a story of local interest.

If it is new, significant, and happening now, work hard to show your viewers that the news is changing and you are constantly updating your newscast.

West Coast stations really have it easy. At 5am on the West Coast it’s already 8am on the East Coast. A lot has happened by 8am. In fact, by 3am Pacific Time, new stories are probably already starting to roll into your newsroom. Those are the stories you want to concentrate on.

Anchor responsibility

As these stories come in someone has to be responsible for finding them and getting them on the air. In fact, the anchors of the show should take considerable responsibility. Anchors should be constantly monitoring the news as the show progresses using computers on the set, their BlackBerry’s , iPhones, etc. For many of these updates, you don’t even need a script. Simply read it right off the computer. With budget cuts, there are fewer people in the newsroom during many morning newscasts, and in some cases there is no one left in the newsroom as the show hits air! That’s why the talent needs to step in and take charge, working with the producer to work in fresh content.

Remember, happening now almost always trumps a day old local story.

Doug Drew is a morning news specialist with 602 Communications. He can be reached at ddrew@602communications.com

Rentrak Promotes Value of ‘Stickiness Index’

MediaPost

TV kid Rentrak’s “Stickiness Index” has been in operation for about six months, and the company says it continues to reveal value in TV shows not always pegged to traditional measures.

“We think it’s a fair metric — and allows you to look at a show beyond just high ratings,” says Bruce Goerlich, chief research officer of Rentrak, who devised the measuring service last fall.

“One of the things I saw on the agency side was that engagement has some value. That the longer a person watched a program, even when controlling for exposure, the more likely they would recall the commercials,” he said. “That’s what ‘stickiness’ is: It’s the percent of a program watched on an index basis.”

Rentrak’s “Stickiness Index” measures stickiness on a second-by-second basis. More…

Jacksonville Stations Set to Go HD

The Florida Times-Union

First Coast News logos First Coast News, which airs on Jacksonville NBC affiliate WTLV TV-12 and ABC affiliate WJXX TV-25, plans to begin broadcasting its local newscasts in high definition starting with the 5 p.m. news on Monday. And Action News, which broadcasts on CBS affiliate WTEV TV-47 and Fox affiliate WAWS TV-30, expects to also be showing its news in HD by Monday.

The other local television newscaster, independent station WJXT TV-4, began broadcasting in HD a year ago. So by Monday, all local newscasts in Jacksonville will be available in high definition.

The stations have been broadcasting network programs in HD for several years, but producing local programming in HD requires a lot more equipment and can be quite expensive. None of the station managers would say how much they have spent on the equipment. But National Association of Broadcasters spokesman Dennis Wharton said the cost of a local station going HD averages about $10 million, although it can vary widely. More…

‘Leno Effect’ May Linger for Months

The State

Jay Leno After a severance deal with NBC announced Thursday, Conan O’Brien will move on from “The Tonight Show,” and Jay Leno will move back to his comfortable 11:35 p.m. time slot.

But the network ratings meltdown, what station managers refer to as the “Leno effect,” will linger in the local market for months.

“The whole thing has been a grand experiment,” said Donita Todd, vice president and general manager of Columbia’s NBC affiliate WIS-10. “The problem was just not enough people were watching.”

Local news stations count on the networks to deliver programming that will attract–and retain–viewers for the late news. At the 10 p.m. slot, Leno’s prime-time show was a weak lead-in, and that caused local broadcasters around the nation to make noise. More…

Media General Broadcast Revenue Down 17%

Broadcasting & Cable

Media General Logo Media General’s broadcasting revenue was $71.6 million in the fourth quarter of 2009, down 17% from the same quarter a year before. The media company said the decrease was “entirely a reflection of lower political revenues in the current period.”

Media General‘s broadcast revenue grew from the $63.4 million it reported in the third quarter of 2009.

The company’s operating expenses dropped 22% in the fourth quarter, due in large part to Media General having 900 fewer employees at the end of 2009, compared to the end of 2008.

“Media General’s fourth-quarter results improved year-over-year and sequentially from the third quarter of 2009,” said President/CEO Marshall Morton. “Total revenues in the fourth quarter decreased 14%, a sequential improvement from an 18% decrease in the third quarter of 2009. More…

Scarborough, Brzezinski Make Emergency Landing

WCBD

Joe Scarborough, Mika Brzezinski A plane carrying 16 passengers was traveling from New York to Charleston when it had to make an emergency landing in Myrtle Beach.

MSNBC hosts Joe Scarborough, Mika Brezinski and members of their crew were on board the flight Wednesday afternoon.

The flight was diverted to Myrtle Beach International after reports of smoke on board.

The crew was traveling to Charleston for Thursday’s GOP Gubernatorial debate.

Delta released the following statement on Comair Flight 6435:

“Out of an abundance of caution, the crew of Comair flight 6435, opted to divert to Myrtle Beach, SC following reports of a smoky odor in the cabin. More…

Comcast CEO Frustrated by NBC’s Late-Night Woes

Mediaweek

Comcast CEO Brian Roberts Comcast CEO Brian Roberts on Wednesday expressed his frustration with NBC’s late-night imbroglio, telling a Washington, D.C., audience that his company was effectively sidelined during the Leno-Conan meltdown.

“It is what it is. It’s a frustrating period because we are unable to be legally involved,” Roberts said, before going on to add that there are “many good things happening at NBC Universal.”

Speaking at a Congressional Internet Caucus event, Roberts noted that Comcast cannot intervene in NBCs day-to-day business operations until the deal actually closes; as such, the company was forced to stand silent as NBC brought its 10 p.m. Leno experiment to a close.

Returning Leno to The Tonight Show came at the cost of a $45 million payout to Conan OBrien, who last week elected to leave NBC rather than accept a 12:05 a.m. post. More…

Leno Tells Oprah He Can’t Bring Himself to Call Conan

People.com

Jay Leno The two most-discussed talk-show hosts aren’t talking to each other, that is.

In his first interview since NBC’s recent late-night programming fiasco, Jay Leno told Oprah Winfrey that he hasn’t spoken to ousted Tonight Show host Conan O’Brien throughout the public-relations nightmare that ended with O’Brien’s Jan. 22 departure from NBC.

Leno, who will appear on Thursday’s Oprah Winfrey Show–filmed on the Jay Leno Show set in Burbank–told Winfrey he was tempted to reach out to O’Brien, but “it didn’t seem appropriate.”

Leno, who in March is set to return to the 11:35 p.m. program he hosted for 17 years, said he prefers to “let things cool down” before approaching his former NBC colleague, adding “maybe we’ll talk, you know.” More…

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