Perspectives

Copyright 2019 by DNN Corp

 

From category archives: Blog

News and the Newsroom - all day parts,all screens, from breaking news to back stories

What’s Our Story: Making or Breaking Broadcast in 2016

What’s Our Story: Making or Breaking Broadcast in 2016

The term you hear is that “it’s all about the story you tell yourself.”

Sports psychologists, motivational speakers, and business-book writers use the term to inspire more positive thinking - assuming you have a positive story to tell.

What story are we telling ourselves in broadcasting in 2016? Here’s how one story goes:

News consumers - especially younger ones - are abandoning live TV news and moving to new platforms faster than we are; our stations (and networks) are stuck in an old paradigm with people who cannot react quickly enough to change and do not understand digital.

Let’s call this the “WE’RE ALL TOAST” story for broadcasting. (Kind of hate to write it down - but that’s how it sounds, sometimes).

Truth is: The growth of digital is dramatic and developing digital news products is essential, but there must be a way to tell ourselves a different story. Otherwise, we should all just go work for Google.

READ MORE

Nielsen Viewer Assignment – Three Action Steps to Consider Right Now

Nielsen Viewer Assignment – Three Action Steps to Consider Right Now

Effective December 31, 2015 demographic data reported by Nielsen in all but the top 25 TV markets will be unaccredited. The move follows Nielsen's decision to drop paper diaries -- a nearly century-old measurement method -- for estimating the demographic composition of audiences in its 31 "set-metered" market ratings and all 154 diary only markets to begin using new, as-yet-unaccredited methods for calculating who is watching television. In place of the paper diaries, Nielsen has introduced a new method, a mathematical modeling technique that Nielsen calls “viewer assignment” that extrapolates audience estimates.

In a nutshell, the viewer assignment method mathematically models and ascribes audience estimates for non-people meter markets with data generated from its people meter sample. The new viewer assignment method is treating the behaviors of people in one sample -- the national people meter respondents -- in a way that is representative of viewers in non-people meter households. This new methodology is meant to derive demographic data for stations in smaller markets from larger local people-meter markets, some located far away.

We could use this space and reams of paper to discuss the pros and cons of this approach – but we won’t. Viewer Assignment is here and now the question is what does your station do about it.

Here are three key items and action steps your station needs to take now that Viewer Assignment is here.

READ MORE

Keeping Stories Alive: Up or Out!

Keeping Stories Alive: Up or Out!

Do we get it? Just how quickly news gets distributed by multiple sources across multiple platforms? Yes, we know it but do we get it? Get just how fast a story—or at least its initial headline—gets old?

Do we get it? Just how quickly news gets distributed by multiple sources across multiple platforms? Yes, we know it but do we get it? Get just how fast a story—or at least its initial headline—gets old?

Not many get it; otherwise, we’d see much different behavior.


• A story from a network morning show would not run in a 4 p.m. newscast.
• A station’s news app would not have its first 10 stories be two hours or more old.
• A prime tease topical would not use the same headline from early news to sell a story.
• A late newscast would not have pacer stories that were merely a carry-over from early news.
• A morning newscast would not repeat secondary stories within a half hour of each other.
• A station would not act like they were premiering a “viral video” when it has 2 million views.

Enough with the “nots.” We were all taught it’s better to state things in the affirmative, so here goes:

READ MORE

Facebook Tactics for Your Brand

Facebook Tactics for Your Brand

By now you should be seeing the increasing importance of social media and Facebook in particular as a key component of your daily and rating book strategy. In the words of Share Rocket President Chris Kraft “Twitter alerts, Facebook converts” a clear message about its ability to get far more engagement, stickiness and overall loyalty from your fans. SmithGeiger research indicates that for many it has become as primary as your newscasts as their first source for news. The reach you can get from not only your brand but the aggregation of your talent along with your brand can often easily outdistance the reach from on-air topicals. So, as you gear up for November, here are a few tactics for your tool box:

Facebook recruit to view- A daily plan for every newscast by both your brand and each talent associated with the show. Stay away from overt “coming up at 5…” type language. Instead, both talent and the brand are best if the content is more native to platform language that accentuates the NOW or the effort going into a story that makes it unique “At 10 we have an entirely different story than the one you may have seen at 6…” At many stations this function is increasingly under the marketing department to work closely with both the brand and talent on the timing and tone of these that should generally post in the hour before air to give it time to surface in feeds. It makes good sense to integrate this with the topical efforts so there is brand congruity.

READ MORE

Are Your Fall Premiere Efforts "Pixel Perfect"?

Are Your Fall Premiere Efforts "Pixel Perfect"?
The approach of Labor Day promises more than the end of summer time activities. It signals the beginning of the fall premieres. The audience has many choices not just in what programs they might watch but where and when they might watch them. For a successful fall for a TV station, the station leadership team needs to craft a three screen plan to build anticipation, help support audience conversations and generate audience participation around key prime time programs using all the screens the audience uses.

As stations plan fall promotional efforts, we can all learn from stations that make sure they are using every one of their 16:9 pixels on their main TV signal. While many of these promotional concepts are tried and true, being aggressive and consistent with one message across all dayparts using every pixel can help make sure audiences are aware and interested in new and returning programs. While radio, cable and digital out of home buys can be valuable parts of a station’s fall premiere schedule, in today’s challenging economic conditions, it is best to look to the platforms they control. These “owned” platforms include the station’s TV signal, digital platforms and social media accounts which when combined can create a strong sense that the station has something of importance on their air.

READ MORE

On-Air Earthquake: How Would You Respond?

On-Air Earthquake: How Would You Respond?

Earthquakes are a part of life on the West Coast, but they're rarely captured during a live newscast. On Monday, August 17th, 5 local stations in the San Francisco DMA were on-air when a 4.0 temblor struck at 6:49a. It didn't cause any damage, but certainly prompted some interesting reactions.

We've assembled clips from each station: CLICK HERE TO WATCH

These kinds of events can be a producer's dream, or nightmare. How would you react?

READ MORE

Top 10: Back to School

Top 10: Back to School

Some of us may have dreaded going back to school after a summer of fun and flings.  But now all grown up and working in the media, we must learn to love it and own it (many parents already do!).  It's our first chance to reunite with consumers - especially those female viewers - who are getting back into routines, which is especially beneficial to the AM newscast.  As you work on a specific plan for your market, here's a top 10 list of ideas from our team at SmithGeiger...

  1. Calendar: build a master school schedule, post it, talk about it daily, and be sure everyone in the builing knows when each school district starts
  2. A-Team: be sure your mainline staff is not off during the 2-3 weeks when schools go back in session; showcase a full anchor and reporting team, especially in the AM 
  3. Weather: create school or district-specific graphics, like an hour-by-hour planner, to run on those key days and/or weeks; post those graphics to social media

READ MORE

Top 7 for Summer

Top 7 for Summer

Ah, yes, summer.  A steady stream of sunny days... and vacation requests.  It's tempting for newsrooms to fall into a bit of a lull, but in fact, these months can give you a chance to accomplish quite a bit.  Our team at SmithGeiger has assembled a Top 7 List of tasks you may want to add to your plans...

  1. Act Like It's May: most importantly, the most effective news organizations never let-on to their audience (or staffers) that one month is more important than other.  Staying consistent and energetic while your competition is taking a break can win you ratings, switchables, and loyalists.
  2. Do a TV Blackout: form a committee, and tell them they can only consume your news product on their digital platforms for an entire 24-hour period.  You might be surprised what you find, or don't.
  3. Experiment: want to try out a new or relatively risky segment idea or showcasing tool?  Now's the time, especially on or around the 4th of July when viewer levels tend to be at their lowest.

READ MORE

HOT CLIPS - June 2015

HOT CLIPS - June 2015

No summer break for Hot Clips. And this month we focus on Weather and Traffic examples from around the country...

3D WEATHER (KNBC, Los Angeles): using augmented-reality to give an hourly forecast.

STUDIO TORNADO (Weather Channel): showing "the anatomy of a tornado" using The Lab, an augmented reality studio

RAIN SHOW & TELL (CBS DFW): an in-studio demonstration of just how much rain parts of Texas have received.

READ MORE

Sustained Urgency: An AM Mandate

Sustained Urgency: An AM Mandate

To produce a morning newscast in 2015 - think two thoughts that are NEW to this moment in time.

  • The first screen the majority of viewers wake up to is their smartphone.
  • Viewers believe UPDATES ON ALL STORIES is of equal importance to Breaking News (a discovery first noted recently by SG research VP, Tony Calfo).

These two thoughts are connected: The more viewers get information from digital sources, the more it makes them expect even more updating from TV news - throughout the entire broadcast. It’s true in all day parts but particularly acute in the morning as a result of the smartphone being the first screen.

The findings have led to coin the phrase, SUSTAINED URGENCY, and it carries with it clear implications:

READ MORE