Tag Archives: WSMV

How Stations Use News Topicals On Facebook

This is the final part of our five-part series, Building Viewership with News Topicals. Read Part 4 here.

Across the country, millions of people watch the entertainment programming TV stations provide during the day and at night. So it makes sense for stations to promote their newscasts topically within all that programming in the hopes viewers will stay and watch the next newscast.

For years, this was the only means stations had to recruit news viewers with the news of the day, unless stations bought time on other media, like radio, print or cable.

Then came Facebook.

Facebook provides stations with another — and much more mobile — screen to reach potential news viewers.

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Finding And Keeping News Topical Writer/Producers

This is Part 3 of our five-part series Building Viewership with News Topicals. Read Part 2 here.

Creative services directors are finding it harder and harder to find good news topical writer/producers.

Some grow their own, plucking them right out of college, perhaps as interns, and train them. Others look internally, finding someone already at the station who wants to be creative.

With bigger salaries to offer, CSDs in bigger markets have the ability to recruit from smaller markets, but that presents challenges, too.

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What It Takes To Create Quality News Topicals

This is Part 2 of a five-part series, Building Viewership with News Topicals. Read Part 1 here.


Being a news topical writer/producer is one of the toughest jobs in local TV news marketing.

And to do that job well, the experts say, you need to have a passion for journalism, a thorough knowledge of what news is covering in the newscast, the ability to recognize what stories will resonate with viewers, and the confidence to promote those stories even if they’re not the news department’s top stories.

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Building Viewership With News Topicals, Part 1

Tonight at 11, there’s a big change in the weather forecast.

That’s one of the better 4-second news topicals you can write.

Granted, not one you can use every night, only when conditions warrant, yet weather is the main reason people watch local news, and a ‘change’ in the forecast creates a thirst for news.

News topicals, those ubiquitous promos embedded in programming enticing viewers to watch the next newscast, have been a staple of local TV news since forever.

Effective topical news promotion can lead to sampling, and during sweeps, possibly into ratings.

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WSMV Adds ‘Today In Nashville’ To Morning Lineup

what-on-tvWhen a TV station wants to add new entertainment fare to its daytime lineup, most go the syndicated programming route. The costs are known, the promos are fed every day, and there’s usually a track record of expected performance levels. It’s turnkey.

And daytime television isn’t exactly a revenue generator. So you know what you’re going to get; the risk is low and you’ll take whatever rewards come with it.

Some stations fill the programing holes with local news, especially in those time periods that lead-in to already scheduled newscasts. The talent is there, content is available and the necessary production capabilities are ready to use.

Then there are a few brave stations that opt to go it alone. Create their own local entertainment show. From scratch.

Consider the risks. Hire new talent to host the show. Build or reconfigure existing studio space to produce the show. Book guests. Create new promos for the show. The list goes on and on. The investment is daunting for a station to carry alone, and the rewards, well, are in the eye of the beholder.

untitleddb794ccae16f4fa28c6d4cba38f5fe7b-hdWSMV, Meredith’s NBC affiliate in Nashville, is banking on the city’s country music popularity to carry its new morning entertainment show, Today in Nashville, which launches this morning at 11.

Today in Nashville will air live following the fourth hour of NBC’s The Today Show.

“Nashville has needed a locally produced show that takes viewers inside the music scene and highlights our community,” said Doreen Wade, WSMV’s general manager.

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How To Introduce A New News Anchor, By WCNC

While every TV market is unique in terms of how the stations’ news operation compare and match up against each other, there are similar challenges that most nearly every station faces at one time or another.

10jun-question-mark-faceFor example, the introduction of a new news anchor to your team.

How you market this is critical to getting viewers to watch or sample the anchor from the beginning.

The biggest mistake stations make is what I call “anticipointment.” In marketing a new news anchor, they create a level of expectation that’s hard to deliver.

So much so that viewers’ anticipation turns into disappointment.

q scoreEarly in my career, I was taught the importance of what was called ID/recognition. The name, the face, the place.

A “Q” score measures familiarity and appeal of, in this case, a news talent. I know him or her and I like him or her.

Knowing the new news anchor’s name is key from the very beginning. They can’t like you if they don’t know who you are.

WCNC, the NBC affiliate in Charlotte, N.C., owned by Tegna (formerly Gannett), had a new news anchor to introduce to the viewers whose name was a bit of a tongue-twister, Fred Shropshire.

Years ago, the thought might have been to change Fred’s last name to something easier to pronounce and remember. These days, not so much.

Here’s how KTVU, the Fox affiliate in San Francisco, used a talent’s unusual name to great advantage.

WCNC realized that Shropshire’s difficult-to-pronounce name might be an asset to getting people to remember the name.

“He has a unique and hard name to pronounce,” says Deborah Collura, WCNC’s general manager, “so we went out to see if people could pronounce his name.”

But WCNC wanted to do more than get his name out there.

Luanne Stuart

Luanne Stuart

“We wanted to show what kind of man he is,” says Luanne Stuart, WCNC’s outgoing creative services director, “and what he stands for.”

Stuart’s last day at WCNC was Friday, July 10. She’s going to Nashville to be the CSD at WSMV, the NBC affiliate there owned by Meredith.

Deborah Collura

Deborah Collura

“Who is Fred, and why should our viewers connect with him,” are the goals of the campaign, according to Collura.

“He’s from here … he’s a seasoned veteran journalist with a sensibility for connecting with people. So we wanted to try and capture that.”

Sitting your on-air talent down and just talking to them in an intimate setting can be an engaging and effective technique to allow them to be themselves, to be real, which is what you hope will ultimately be the reason viewers will want to watch them.

“Stripping away the veneer is a great way to say it,” says Collura. “I believe contemporary news anchors need to be real people.”

facebook fred 2 - Copy

 

Luanne Stuart New CSD At WSMV Nashville

Luanne Stuart

Luanne Stuart

Four hundred miles due west of the Hornet’s Nest is the Music City.

From the Queen City to what many say is the “IT” city, the boomtown of the New South. Charlotte to Nashville. Set your clocks back an hour.

Luanne Stuart is making the move from Charlotte to Nashville.

From being the creative services director at WCNC to being the new creative services director at WSMV, the NBC affiliate in Nashville owned by Meredith.

Stuart, a country music fan, says she’s going to enjoy listening and living in Nashville.
She starts July 10.

If you’ve got a hire you want to share, manager or staff, let me know.

New News Image Spots From Around The Country

Orson Welles’ opening shot to the movie, Touch of Evil, is one of the most famous continuous single-shot scenes.

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More Super Bowl Promos From NBC Affiliates

nbc logoHere are several more examples of promos that NBC affiliates aired in the highly-rated Super Bowl game this past weekend. Some of these were sent to me or found on Facebook, others are thanks to Don Smith’s blog, I/Do/Promoz.

KNTV San Francisco

WSMV Nashville

WFIE Evansville, Ind.

KNSD San Diego

WISE Ft. Wayne, Ind.

More Cool Yule Promos From Days Of Yore

old xmaqsSome TV stations still do their own holiday promos now and certainly have in the past.

I found some creative and unique holiday spots from yesteryear that I thought I’d share. These are fun to look at even if you never worked at these stations. But if you did work there, these will bring back great memories and familiar faces.

It’s the season of sharing so why not share your station’s holiday promos FROM ANY YEAR.
Send me your station holiday spots from any year to share by emailing me the online link or a small file version I can post online. Got a question or want to brainstorm? I’m at 817-578-6324 or [email protected]

You might have missed the announcement that due to bad weather and repair work on the Rockefeller Center Ice Skating Rink, the annual holiday sing-along by the employees at New York City’s NBC-owned WNBC was canceled for this year. So here are a few WNBC sing-alongs from years past.

WNBC New York, 1979

WNBC New York, 1986

WNBC New York, 1997

And here are some outtakes from the CBS O&O in New York’s holiday shoot in 1992.
WCBS New York, 1992

And here are two, back-to-back holiday promos from WSMV, Meredith’s NBC affiliate in Memphis.
WSMV Memphis