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C Block

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  1. C Block

    OTS question

    My immediate guess for the reason for this shift is simply that there are fewer people around in newsrooms who are now doing even more things, so making fancy, bespoke graphics falls by the wayside. You'll still see plenty of OTSes on the network evening news, but they have full art departments to pull stills from each story or design matching elements to make them great and worthwhile. Local stations are far less likely these days to have their own in-house graphic designers, so OTSes are made by the newscast producer. Producers aren't graphic designers – they're more than likely picking pre-made graphics from a library, which are usually IMO poor quality and never story-specific. Producers are also tasked with so many other responsibilities to the point that OTSes or other unique presentation elements are just farther down the list of priorities. I wonder if there has also maybe been some consultant research done on this as to whether viewers aren't impressed by them anymore. Does the same OTS with the same moody picture of the thumbprint and police lights really do anything to advance a crime story? Or an OTS that says nothing other than "New at 5"?
  2. I think this is about right. Much like Denver and St. Louis, I could see where they might shift around some of the evening newscasts on KUSI to not compete with KSWB. A primetime block on KUSI might make sense. They then can keep the morning blocks the same and compete with one another and differentiate them with "unique talent" even if much of the content is the same, and cheap. The whole point in all of these duopoly markets is to simply maximize ad inventory, not about maximizing the potential for new content.
  3. Erica Hill-Rodriguez will be named KTLA's new news director. She was most recently the news director over at KTTV. https://www.linkedin.com/in/erica-hill-rodriguez-706559b/
  4. More turmoil at KTTV – acting news director Pete Wilgoren is out. By my count, three LA stations are currently without a news director (KTTV, KNBC, KTLA). Yikes.
  5. Great, they can beat KTVU at 10pm on the Friday before the Fourth of July. But that's not a trend. The fact is that KTVU still frequently has triple (or more) the audience of KRON at 10pm, and often more viewers at 11pm than all the other stations combined. Don't believe Lieberman's assertion that KTVU ratings are "cratering" in his mind. He makes up 80% of his "reporting" and doesn't have access to the numbers. He even claimed recently that KRON was beating KTVU at 11pm – only problem is, KRON hasn't had an 11pm in years. With that said, KRON's primetime block has cultivated some sort of following, especially after KGO cancelled their 9pm show on KOFY. There are more eyeballs on KRON's 8 and 9pm than on the CW shows. If Nexstar cheapens the CW programming as widely reported and also forces KRON to air it, then that seems like a perfect recipe to sabotage what success they have.
  6. That's not really true. It has happened in some isolated incidents. But Rich Lieberman keeps making up his own facts to claim otherwise.
  7. I'm not so sure KRON would be too happy about becoming a CW affiliate. Their primetime news block has actually gained some traction since it launched a few years ago.
  8. I'm not so sure of that. Fox has more than $4 billion in cash on hand, which is plenty to cover the settlement. In perspective, $787 million amounts to about two weeks' worth of revenue for the entire company. What I imagine probably will happen, though, is that you'll probably see Fox be less willing to make new investments in its operations and some overall belt-tightening in the medium term.
  9. The TV on the gym treadmill was stuck on KRON this morning, and I thought it was weird that Darya and whatever that guy's name is were both anchoring from separate newsroom cams this morning. It could also always be just a minor lighting update like what KGO just did a few weeks ago. I haven't heard anything either way.
  10. I'm confused by that KYW look. Why bring back a throwback logo that few people probably remember? It seems counterproductive to what I thought was CBS's ultimate goal of unifying all the stations' branding and eventually de-emphasizing channel numbers. Yes, I know they want to have local elements in there too, but this just feels like it's going in the opposite direction. Also, why let stations pick their own colors? The whole point of standardizing graphics equipment on Chyron Axis is that you can roll out different animations and monitor graphics for all kinds of news topics really quickly to all the stations. Other station groups have done this for years. Stations like KYW and KDKA with one-off looks are going to perpetually have a mismatched look or will not be able to benefit from the resources of hubbed graphics.
  11. It's certainly different, and honestly, not that bad. I think UK viewers lost a lot more in the merger than World viewers did. The story selection is different with more UK stories. However, in my view, this has been going on ever since the pandemic anyway when they substantially started doing a lot more simulcasts between the two channels. The balance of international-to-domestic stories is more in line with something like France 24 than it was of the old BBC World News. The format is very different. They've ditched their super traditional format in favor of lots of live elements. They run very few PKGs and instead do a lot of live talkbacks with correspondents and various experts. It almost harkens more to an American rather than British style of cable news. It feels less polished than the previous format, which was heavy on the well-produced, lengthy reporter PKGs, but it does feel more engaging and immediate with all the live presence. I think this is actually a good strategy. My Comcast isn't filling the shorter ad breaks, so I'm seeing the "Around the UK" segments that run at about ~10 minutes past. In the past during joint newscasts, the anchor would just read a few UK stories during this opt-out. But now, they've decided to run shortened evergreen stories from BBC's local stations. I think they feel super awkward, and they probably should just go back to what they used to do. Also, the newscasts sometimes have awkward endings as sometimes they might be in a live interview at the end but still have a hard out at :26. Some people on the UK forums are really panning the lack of any kind of visual rebrand. The logo's a little different, and there's some inconsistency with show opens from hour to hour, but it's otherwise the same music, graphics, and studios as before. It seems like a bigger visual refresh will probably happen later. I can forgive any kind of visual inconsistencies given that behind the scenes, the BBC is probably more focused on trying to figure out what the day-to-day operations of the merged channel will be like.
  12. I’m sorry, but that pee-stained Spirit Airlines vibe looks awful. They should have been forced to use the same colors like everyone else.
  13. There was definitely a push initially that every O&O would contribute some kind of content on a regular basis to Fox Weather. Obviously that didn't happen with everyone. As I see it, a big reason for that is that all the O&Os have so much live news to worry about themselves and barely enough meteorologists locally to fill all of it, so I doubt a lot of the local mets wanted yet another thing dumped onto their workload with nothing for them in return. What has happened, however, is that Fox Weather will request live shots from O&O reporters who are on weather live shots, and O&Os are also able to request live shots from Fox Weather correspondents.
  14. Most likely that. That sounds like a "the competition is doing this, therefore we must do it too" directive from somebody locally. That graphic also looks like a rush job from the hub which is typical of station-specific requests. This is not a thing on other O&Os nor would I expect it to become a thing.
  15. This is textbook Wendy McMahon if you recall the branding shifts at WCCO and WBZ in the mid to late 2000s, both of which were places where she was the head of creative services. The WBZ brand of that time is a great example — she brought the call letters back, but the CBS eye became more prominent in a lot of branding elements.
  16. The new WPIX and KTLA sets have turned out great. Everything else recent from Nexstar looks extremely mediocre and nothing that’s an improvement over what they replaced.
  17. Maybe I'm late to this, but there's been a proposal to turn the base of 1515 Broadway (where CBS Mornings originates) into a casino. Who knows whether this would ultimately happen, but it does make me question whether Paramount will keep CBS there long-term. https://www.curbed.com/2023/02/times-square-casino-slgreen-caesars-jay-z-security-bratton.html I believe there's an ordinance or some other requirement that every building in Times Square be flashy or have some sort of prominent use. I think Viacom got away with it during the TRL days because that show would spill big crowds into the street, but the way that studio space is currently used certainly isn't flashy or anything to keep people lingering.
  18. If you're a station, you need a whole crew of people even if you just have a single half hour 6pm newscast. Making them work harder by doing more live news doesn't cost anything. You can expand that half hour newscast into an hour and not have to pay anybody extra or hire any more people for it. If you cared about quality, you might, but that would also cost money. An extra half hour of news will get higher ratings and be easier to sell to advertisers than almost any syndicated show these days or informercials. Now keep doing that several times over. This has been the sad reality of local TV news economics for the last decade, and I expect it to continue. We're going to keep seeing this industry do more with less. It's happening everywhere at every station in every market to some degree.
  19. Why would KGO ever want to use the former brand that one of its competitors used for decades?
  20. I wonder whether this means they'll start putting newscasts over there when they're pre-empted by network programming. Right now, they'll cancel newscasts during Thursday Night Football instead of moving them over to the second station, which is what most of the other O&Os do.
  21. Moving to Chyron probably explains at least some of the teething problems on KCBS, I mean, uhh, KCAL. I believe they were on Viz before. Hopefully the other stations have a smoother transition. The assignment desk segments are interesting, though it’s not a new idea by any means. I can’t help but think the unions would kill it before anything else though. I don’t know what the contracts are down there, but up here, SAG-AFTRA is pretty clear that anybody who’s not hired to be on-air never appears on-air.
  22. I still think the programming strategy is smart. But there's no way of getting around it: that branding is clunky. It is most certainly going to confuse viewers, and I wouldn't be surprised if CBS tinkered with it again within the next two years.
  23. It's not about cost-cutting, it's about more effectively using the power of owning two stations. By putting different and better programming on both stations, they can sell ads on both stations. Right now, they're trying to sell ads on a newscast nobody watches on one station, and infomercials on another. There's no guarantee that people will start watching right away, but there will now be more reason for viewers to linger on both of the stations CBS owns, and it's at least a more compelling sell to potential advertisers.
  24. They sold the building, but that doesn't mean they're getting evicted. The announcement last year was that they expected to lease the space back from the new owners for a few years. https://apnews.com/article/ga-state-wire-fl-state-wire-atlanta-florida-health-c7e1f0b9f85ecb1203f4fa727701c3ac Honestly, I think it's probably so hard to predict when or how the drawdown of CNN Center and move to Techwood will happen. It's been talked about for years and first came about under different management and under a different corporate owner. I'm sure it'll happen, but I wouldn't be confident trying to pinpoint when or what the final outcome will look like. My only guess is that, whenever faced with any kind of decision moving forward, the current people running CNN will probably select whatever's the more austere choice.
  25. It''s not that clear cut. There are a lot more resources, people, and space needed to support TV news production than just what you see on air. Morning Express probably only accounts for a fraction of the headcount still based at CNN Center. CNN Domestic weekends, a good chunk of CNNI shows, and CNN En Espanol are all still anchored out of CNN Center. And even though they've moved a lot of anchoring out of Atlanta, a lot of other important staff are still there. As I understand it, a lot of the staff for the CNN Domestic dayside hours stayed in Atlanta even though those hours moved to New York. So a lot of the producers, writers, segment producers, editors, etc. for much of CNN Domestic are still in Atlanta even though the shows are anchored in New York. Not to mention CNN.com, Newsource, Image + Sound, and plenty of other teams. CNN Center may not be the bustling place it was a decade ago, but there are still a lot of people working there to support a major news organization. Some other people also might have a better idea than me, but I also question whether there's enough space for everything at Techwood just yet. Even if they are going to move everything there and in a smaller footprint than what they have at CNN Center, there's still going to be a fair amount of work needed to move so many employees and have space for all of them. I'm sure they'll be able to do it, but it won't happen overnight, and it won't happen just because Morning Express got cancelled.
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