A while back we held a poll regarding "general" threads - threads with a loose topic, meant to keep random tidbits from ending up in improper threads - and the overall consensus was that it was time for them to go. This update is about that. Please note that general threads will not go away entirely. Some threads may remain (such as the Classic Video threads) and new threads will be created (such as a "Comings and Goings" thread to replace "Out and About".)
Threads that will be closed under the new rules will be flagged prior to these changes being made, to allow conversations to be split off into new threads.
To encourage better, more focused conversations, there will be some changes made regarding the overall layout of the boards. New boards will be added, and some boards will be merged or removed. While the industry has changed a lot since the TVNewsTalk Forum signed on in the early 2000's, the forum has not. These changes will be put into place later on, and a site announcement will be made prior to the changes being implemented, as the site will be briefly unavailable while they are made.
The new board layout will be:
General TV (Category)
TV Industry Discussion (Currently "General TV" but refocused on the industry overall. Local station specifics moved to Regional boards below)
"Corporate Chat" depreciated, merged with Industry Discussion
Digital News Discussion (Web/Mobile/Social Discussion. "Social Media" renamed and relocated from "Communications Center" Category.)
Local News (Category, regions based off this map.)
NYC Board - Remains, but Station General sub-forum depreciated.
Philadelphia Board depreciated due to lack of use, merged with Northeast region
Chicago Board - Remains
Los Angeles Board depreciated due to lack of use, merged with West region
National and International News (Category)
US National News (US Cable News and National News merged together)
Sportscasting (Current "Sport Center" Board, refocused on sports broadcasting. Originally intended for just discussion of sports, it's more or less become about sports broadcasting)
General Topics (Category)
On-Air Appearance (Merging Graphics/Music/Sets boards into one, since standardization has become so prevalent they're almost always cross-posts)
Engineering and Tech
Research (Current "Classic Video" and "Tape Library" merged. Focus on researching different topics and sharing of classic video and articles.)
"Weather Lab" depreciated, moved to TV Industry Discussion
Everything Else (Category)
Changes will be made to the site's Guidelines to enforce the new purpose of any remaining general threads.
(New) Topics should be as focused as possible. Topics should be thought of as a conversation on a specific subject. Creation of catch-all "general" threads that bounce between subjects is no longer permitted without administrator approval.
(Modified) Content should not be disruptive to the flow of conversation. Consider the subject of the topic you are posting in. Posts that are irrelevant to the topic at hand belong in either a different or new topic. Additionally, posting low-quality, one line posts and responses (e.g. "I agree!" "Yeah." "Is it done yet?") disrupts the flow of conversation and adds nothing constructive. Excessive use of capital letters (TYPING IN ALL CAPS) is not allowed. Nonsensical posts and posts that do not follow the basic rules of the English language are likely to be removed.
(New) Content should be posted in a calm and respectful manner. While you may disagree with another users opinion, or the way certain stations or companies are run, constantly bringing up your disagreement with them, or ranting about them, is frowned upon. You are free to express your opinions, just do so in a calm manner that is respectful of the people who's daily lives are actually impacted by the issue at hand. There are real people behind all of these decisions, and many of them care as much about TV News as any news fan does.
FAQ and Examples:
There will obviously be many questions regarding the roll out of these changes. We expect the biggest question will simply be "Why?"
One of the biggest complaints we get from casual site users is that it has become increasingly difficult to find things on TVNT. Conversations are broken up between numerous threads. Posts about a single Tegna station's graphics are in the Tegna corporate thread. Graphics discussion about one station ends up in the Sets and Studios thread for the set they launched at the same time. New cuts of music are discussed in a station-specific thread. Discussion about a possible company merger are buried inside the company's general thread between posts about a single station's anchor retiring or complaints about music. This fracturing of information makes it hard to jump into the conversation and leads to disruption in other threads where someone will be told "We're already talking about that over here."
Moving forward, general-type threads may be only used for the following:
Talent and Staff Moves/Retirements/Etc. - A new "Comings and Goings" thread will be created in "TV Industry Discussion" for lower profile moves/retirements/etc. Higher profile situations, such as a main anchor in a large market station, are expected to go in their own thread in their appropriate region.
Company-wide initiatives - We do not expect you to create a new thread for every station that debuts a company graphics package. It is okay to have a "Scripps v.3 Graphics" thread, as long as the conversation is about the package as a whole. A station debuting a new logo with the graphics launch would warrant its own thread.
Industry-wide happenings - A thread discussing stations rolling out ATSC 3.0 is fine, as long as the conversation is about the rollout overall. A single station doing something (i.e. WXXX debuting an ATSC 3.0-compliant weather alert ticker or experimenting with 4K transmission) should go in its own thread.
We are sure there will be more questions that come up about these changes. That is why we are holding off implementing them. We expect to begin this process in mid-June, once we work through any feedback or complications that may arise.
Please feel free to leave your questions below!