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Chris Archer's Articles

Hot Clips: August 2016

This month's batch of Hot Clips is dedicated to the science of standing-out, both from a storytelling and showcasing point of view...

INVESTIGATIVE TABLE TURNING (KNXV, Phoenix): this reporter gives one organization a taste of its own medicine, infused with creative editing

SHAKE THE BLUR OFF (WCAU, Philadelphia): interacting with some simple effects inside of a stand-up

FB LIVE IMAGE SPOT (WRTV, Indianapolis): call it a "Social POP," with this station back-selling its Facebook Live benefits

Olympics Strategy: Top 10 for Non-NBC Stations

It's the middle of summer. Vacation-season is in full swing. And now the Olympics are back - but not on my station. Time to raise the white flag? Absolutely not!

In fact, it's a great opportunity to make some headway on your NBC foe in the market, reminding consumers that you - as the news leader - will never compromise live coverage of breaking news and weather for the gold medal round of... handball (we actually like handball, but like disruptive weather better).

Our team at SmithGeiger has compiled a Top 10 list of tactical and strategic initiatives for non-NBC stations during the Summer Games:

  1. Own News When They Can't: the Games will pre-empt most 4pm, 10pm, and 11pm newscasts on NBC stations. (See the NBC Coverage Plan here). If there's breaking news or weather, go all-in during these newscasts. See bullets 4, 5, and 6 below for digital ideas on how to remind consumers a station in the market won't make you wait for news.
  2. Be Better Competitively: in the AM and Early Evening time periods, we'll still be head-to-head with the local NBC station, but while they're caught-up in long live shots, talk-backs, feature profiles, and highlights from Rio, let's hammer-home the news of the day. Be sure we're loaded with live reporters, breaking news, and a constant promise of weather coverage, especially in those A-blocks.
  3. Hold Our Morning Ground: we always hear notions of an "Olympics halo" that helps an NBC-station the next morning. Not true, at least not consistently during the 2014 Games. Make the AM newscast your priority during the Olympics, as it likely is every single day, and simply put: plan on winning with great, consistent coverage.

Hot Clips: July 2016

This month's Hot Clips showcase breaking, weather, and an investigation...

URGENCY + EMOTION (World News Tonight): the start of WNT in the wake of the Orlando nightclub shootings, offering a balance of new information and emotion

ID FRAUD STAND-UP (WXIA, Atlanta): a super-creative stand-up promoting an upcoming story on identity fraud

PRECISIONCAST (KRCR, Redding): how low can you go when it comes to zooming-in during your weathercast?

Orlando Mass Shooting: Coverage Ideas & Examples

In the wake of Sunday's horrific mass shooting at an Orlando night club, our team at SmithGeiger has been working to gather various examples and ideas from around the country for your ongoing coverage...

Hot Clips: June 2016

This month's batch of Hot Clips helps highlight how we can use our tools, and a sense of transparency, in producing and promoting our newscasts...

CHOPPER ENROUTE (WTVF, Nashville): process storytelling using a chopper tail-camera, and overtly declaring it as the station's exclusive tool in the market

THIS IS WHY WE GO (CNN): covering the big story, from first phone call to the reporter live shot

CREATIVE STAND-UP (KMGH, Denver): a reporter stand-up thinking out of the box, while standing in it - literally

Story Ideas - May 2016

With every day becoming more of a battle in May, our team at SmithGeiger offers some armor in the form of 10 potential quick-turn stories ideas from around the country...


A class-action suit alleges BevMo! is displaying prices for bottles with wine ratings for specific years that don't match the bottles on the shelves.


A widow has a warning for anyone dialing 9-1-1, as states and the feds work to deploy the next-generation emergency system.


It's a technique many parents use to soothe their newborns. But a new analysis of recent studies shows it may increase the odds of SIDs.

Hot Clips: May 2016

Our May batch of Hot Clips comes loaded with all-platform production and showcasing techniques from around the country...

SUSTAINED URGENCY (WSB, Atlanta): a 5pm newscast loaded with urgency and "in the last few minutes"-type references

WEATHER ALERT (KNXV, Phoenix): combining NAT sound, big & bold showcasing, back-selling, and brand into a weather toss

ALERT CENTER TWITTER (WTOL, Toledo): a new Alert Center example showing the power of finding and presenting new video from various sources

Story Ideas: April 2016

We call these our let's-put-them-on-the-white-board considerations as you finalize and boost your May planning calendar...


Parents are being left in the dark about cancer-causing chemicals in their children’s car seats, even after companies are served with violation notices.


Most day care facilities are regulated by state agencies.  But religious day cares in six states face little to no regulation. Where does your state fall? 



They can save your life, but about 20% of automated external defibrilators aren't easy to find according to this investigation.


Now that police body cameras have been deployed for about a year in this market - and others - a check-up finds things aren't perfect and perhaps not worth the cost.

Hot Clips: April 2016

Our latest round of Hot Clips from around the country...

EARLY PM POSITIONING (WBRC, Birmingham): using a hammer to overtly point out how things evolve between 5pm and 6pm 

TURN, SHOW & TELL (WINK, Fort Meyers): from the desk, with a clean walk, talk, show, tell and toss

BRIGHT SPOT (KMGH, Denver): a bright twist to the 7-Day forecast, highlighting the best day ahea

Hot Clips: March 2016

A new month comes with a new set of examples from around the country...

STAYING NIMBLE (WBRC, Birmingham): what happens when severe weather threatens Super Tuesday coverage? Do this! 

SNOWCAST APP (WKBW, Buffalo): an on-air mention about an App that can predict how much snow you'll have... in your backyard 

FAST, FULL AM START (WBTV, Charlotte): the top of a 6am hour, filled with urgency, energy, and team