Sunday, September 24, 2006

Comparing newscasts

Here's a look at what each station had in their first blocks at 11 tonight. If I missed anything, let me know...

  • Amber Alert
  • Bin Laden Dead?
  • Plains Twp. Crash
  • Archbald Arrest
  • Scranton Stabbing
  • Wilkes-Barre Demolition
  • Downs Syndrome Walk

  • Amber Alert
  • Bin Laden Dead?
  • Stroudsburg Fight
  • Scranton Stabbing
  • Plains Twp. Robbery
  • Dickson City Robbery
  • Fatal Luzerne Crash
  • Luzerne House Crash
  • Plains Twp. Crash
  • Sunbury Train Accident
  • Wilkes-Barre Demolition
  • Bloomsburg Fair Begins

    WNEP (newscast delayed an hour due to college football)
  • Amber Alert
  • Bloomsburg Fair Begins
  • Paterno's Stomach Bug
  • Wilkes-Barre Demolition
  • Plymouth Robbery
  • Missing Dog
  • Springbrook Twp. Crash
  • Archbald Accident Correction
  • PennDOT Memorial
  • Fatal Luzerne Crash
  • Sunbury Train Accident
  • Voting 101 Demo

    WYOU has traditionally had shorter first blocks, due mainly to its lack of staff. Things were different tonight, though, as they had the same story count at WNEP. But take a look at the story slugs for WYOU...accident, crash, robbery, stabbing. It reads like a police blotter, as if the stories were just thrown in there to take up space. That's not what I call a newscast that screams "WATCH ME."

    WBRE had the fewest stories of the three tonight. It didn't have the police blotter feel of WYOU's newscast, but the first block was pretty empty and bland. I wonder why?

    WNEP's newscast tended to bounce all over the place. "The Bloomsburg Fair began today!" "Joe Paterno could have the runs!" "Here's Ryan Leckey in a green shirt bouncing around Public Square!" You get the idea. The newscast definitely had a faster pace, which I like, but could we have some sensible story transitions? Is there logic in going from a robbery, to a missing dog, and back to a car crash?

    All three stations did immediately jump on the Amber Alert in Pittston.

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Wow, it looks to me as if WYOU had the best first block of the night.

    Is hell freezing over?

    12:49 AM  
    Blogger Tom Carten said...

    WBRE spent waaaay too much time on the Bin Laden story, especially since most (all?) of the reports basically said it was probably baloney. I had the feeling, since I do it myself occasionally, that they had 5 pounds of news and a 10-pound bag to fill. The weather guy, Denk?, seemed to be in a real hurry; perhaps not his doing. It was nice, however, to see a couple versions, complete with edit notices, on the Radnor building coming down. Congrats to Production, or whoever, for letting that one slip by.

    1:30 AM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    missing dog = stolen dog...saw they mentioned that or i'd wonder why a missing dog story myself

    2:16 AM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    More evidence that the harder a vehicle crashes, the more likely the accident is to make it onto the local TV news show.
    More evidence that the more heinous the crime is, the more likely it is to make it onto the local TV news show.
    Same with fires.
    Same with stabbings.
    Same with bar fights.
    If it crashes, it leads. Big deal.

    10:50 AM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    if i ever became a news director i would only air accidents that made an impact on traffic or were part of a criminal investigation (dui, homicide by motor vehicle, etc). a car flips on a country road in union county....who cares?

    6:18 PM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Just saw WYOU's weekend whatever they call it. No Wait Weather? Christ, it didn't take them long to FU one of their major selling-points. Seven(7)minutes into the cast and here comes NO WAIT WEATHER. I can't stomach them during the week, so tell me; do they do that Mon-Fri?

    :07 is about where you'd get the first weather hit(if not the bump)from any station. They're a big bowl of suck, as is their neighbor across the hall.

    8:00 PM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Accident, fires, stabbings, shootings and general mayhem are pretty easy stories to knock down.

    It's almost as easy as sports... the incident happens, either a stringer or a reporter/photog talks to a trooper or a PIO and/or witness... and BAM... you have some video and copy that fills 20 to 30 seconds of air time.

    If it's good enough and has a great impact on traffic... the desk might consider someone doing a live shot on the ground and sending up the chopper.

    Just go to the WFTV / Orlando web site.

    They still use the same addage that many stations have used over the years, if it bleeds or on fire, it leads.

    1:43 AM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    An accident last Friday PM on the Cross Valley(309)stopped traffic completely for as much as two hours - we're talking THEE major route in/out of the Back Mountain, and also one of the major routes for truck traffic accessing P&G at Mehoopany. WNEP stuck it way down at the bottom of their first block. This tie-up easily affected tens of thousands of people.

    1:53 PM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Shorter blocks because of less staff?
    Do you know anything about putting together a rundown?
    Jesus, that's just a dumb comment from a non-producer.

    7:28 PM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I wish news bosses would walk the walk as well as they talk the talk. They CLAIM to want to get away from the police blotter crapola, but let me tell you this my friends... if one station has a stabbing in one of our major cities or boroughs, and we don't have it, then the news bosses are the FIRST ones to say "why didn't we have that?" Well, maybe the second person to whine, right behind the desk jockies who watch the other guy's newscast. We have met the enemy, and it is us.

    8:45 PM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Weekend news? A skeleton staff of rookies? Hardly representative of the best any station can be or wants to be.

    How about a head-to-head 6:00 p.m. or 11:00 p.m. comparison: strength vs. strength vs. strength to see who the three stations think they are and how they go about attracting an audience.

    9:35 PM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Shorter blocks because of less staff? Do you know anything about putting together a rundown?
    Jesus, that's just a dumb comment from a non-producer.

    The difference between a producer and a really good producer is beyond description. Any DB can be a producer, this market is full of them. Great producers are really tough to find, because no one wants to pay. So-so producers are generally technicians as opposed to artists. And it is an artist who crafts and coddles and coaxes what becomes a great news cast. And more than a few producers in this market are actually line-producers; they're main concern is timing a show and nothing else. And jamming every thing imaginable into any given news cast IS NOT good producing. There are a few here who live by that notion, and they know who they are. Incidentally, an anchor producing his/her own news cast, while perhaps necessary, is bush league bullshit, and it shows. It gives no one a thing, not a thing.

    9:58 PM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Years ago one station here did a bigtime research project and asked, "What do you want in a newscast?"

    The answer came back: local, LOCAL, LOCAL!

    So the station asked viewers what they meant by "local."

    Boiled down, the answer came back, "I heard sirens on my street last night and wondered what happened."

    Up until then I thought murders and fires and wrecks (oh my!) were a knee-jerk reaction on our part: pandering to a lowest-common-denominator audience. Now I know that thinking I can ram MY definition of news down viewers' throats is what leads to knee-jerk PBS-style arrogance (with an emphasis on the "jerk").

    I guess I'm neither as high nor as mighty as most of the rest of you. Me? I don't care much about impressing you insiders, but I LIKE giving viewers what they want and expect in a newscast.

    10:30 PM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    16 got crushed the other day! 28 had an interview with the Mom of the Amber Alert child/sound with the Police, and pics of the bad guy. 16 had file of the child's home. WOW

    8:30 AM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    That bigtime traffic offense that Andy M reported on while on cruiser patrol with the Hazten cops sure as hell had no impact on the ability of other motorist to drive past the traffic stop scene. It was stunt reporting, nothing more.
    Big deal.

    12:39 PM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    all i hear is 16 got crushed - but yet they dominate in every aspect of the news. i work in w-b - and i see more 16 news vehicles than i do WBRE/WYOU "news alliance" vehicles, and they are only blocks away. i wonder how it feels to those who work there everytime they see moosic come to wilkes-barre and kick ass right in their own backyard. yeah 16 has it's drawbacks, but at least their programs are not unwatchable and gimmicky. how many "i-team" members does it take to screw in a lightbulb? all three - one to climb the ladder, the other to hold it and the last to say "he was there". 4 weathermen to tell me that it's dark out? c'mon. this is junior varsity. no, it's a crying shame that 2 news stations are that bad, and one who does it right just barely is light years ahead of them. all you need is effort. as far as the websites are concerned, this is a joke right? when i go on wyou's "interactive" website and the topics for 5, 6 and 11 are blank, i feel like i'm on candid camera...i keep waiting for peter funt to tap me on the shoulder and tell me to smile this is all a can rip me all you want and tell me i don't belong. i don't care, i'm not the one looking over my shoulder hoping my boss don't see me here. i'm not the one hoping that the people of NEPA, as bass ackward and closed minded as we can be sometimes, watch my sorry excuse for what you call "news" and expect to come out "informed" and "come back tomorrow" i'm reminded of the following famous movie quote whenever i watch a 22/28 "news"cast...

    Mr Madison, what you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I've ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response was there anything that could even be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

    That's all I have.

    7:50 PM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Here is a peek at what some 16 viewers are saying about NEP's news coverage on Talkback.

    8:48 PM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    WYOU has traditionally had shorter first blocks, due mainly to its lack of staff. Things were different tonight



    what happened to 11 at 11?

    when I worked at 'You we ran the 11 at 11....which was the the longest 11pm A block in the market? Is that not done anymore?

    12:56 AM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Whenever you hear "16 got crushed" on this blog, you should know who it is making the post. And I suspect he really believes it to be true.

    As to 11 at 11 - that's ancient history. Another gimmick that fell flat.

    9:58 AM  

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