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kdex86

Why does my local early evening (4 PM, 5 PM, 6 PM, 7 PM) news start early?

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I like to watch the local news at 6 PM, because that half hour also includes sports.  Frequently, I don't get home from work early enough to watch it live, so I will set my DVR.  Only problem is, the "6 o'clock news" never starts at 6:00 PM, but rather at 5:58 PM.  ON ALL FIVE STATIONS IN MY TELEVISION MARKET (Boston).  So if I DVR the news at this time, it "misses" the start of the broadcast, sometimes the ENTIRE lead story!

 

Today, WCVB went a step further and started their "6 o'clock news" at 5:57 PM (see the attached image).  180 seconds ahead of schedule.

WHY DO MY LOCAL TV STATIONS DO THIS?????  WHAT'S SO FREAKING SPECIAL ABOUT FIVE FIFTY-EIGHT PM?????

IT REALLY IRKS ME AND MAKES ME WANT TO JUMP OFF A BRIDGE!!!!!

IMG_1941.jpg

Edited by kdex86
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Correct me if  I am wrong, but I believe it has something to do with ratings. If they start a few mins earlier, they can maximize their ratings for that hour or something similar to that. 

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1 hour ago, MikePulse said:

 

Also they typically slam it up against the credits of the previous program as a lead it for that reason. They don't take a break until the end of the A block. Often times, with the credits of the previous program, they'll squeeze to a PNP and role a tease while the credits are rolling to keep viewers engaged.

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Charleston stations have done this at least for the last 20 years. Maybe longer. Dates back to when Oprah was a lead-in to local news at 5 on our NBC (WCBD). The news would always start at 4:58 or 4:59 to retain the Oprah viewers. Even a :30 commercial would mean hundreds, probably thousands of sets flipping to another channel. 

 

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It's a common occurrence on CTV and Global stations up here.  Even before the format change CityNews at 6 in Toronto would begin 30 seconds early (keeping in mind they had a full one hour 5pm newscast).  The rest of the City stations start right at 6, no earlier - haven't turned to a Toronto newscast in a while to see if they take advantage of the start time or not.  CBC as far as I can recall doesn't do an early start but don't quote me on that.

 

Guess the idea is audience retention - plus the idea that if you start your show early you wouldn't feel the need to turn to a competitor.

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As others mentioned in this thread, I can vouch that I learned the reason for this from my former news director. By starting the newscast 2 minutes early, you save time and can win the quarter hour on more hard hitting top stories or breaking news coverage. It’s definitely a consultant move and it’s one that all stations across the country follow.

 

For example, a sample newscast starts with a 15-30 second pre-show topical tease, then you have a 10-15 second open, then you have an extra 5-10 seconds for the anchors to introduce themselves, then you toss in a minute for first weather, etc. By the time the hour starts, you’re already in to your first lead story. Your lead story is what will help you win the quarter hour.

 

In markets like Nashville, ratings are done on the quarter hour and every minute counts. Wasting precious time on the intro pleasantries wastes time, but it’s unfortunately necessary. By doing it this way, you can ensure your station wins the lead-in and viewers won’t turn it off which is important if you want to win the quarter hour.

 

A compelling lead-in that starts right at the top of the hour or half hour can make or break a newscast. If you started the top or bottom of the hour with all the wasted time at the beginning of the newscast, then you’ll basically be telling viewers to turn you off because you have no reason for them to watch. People don’t want you to waste their time, they want to know what’s going on the moment they tune in, which most of the time is right on the hour or half hour.

On 11/4/2019 at 5:07 PM, kdex86 said:

WHY DO MY LOCAL TV STATIONS DO THIS?????  WHAT'S SO FREAKING SPECIAL ABOUT FIVE FIFTY-EIGHT PM?????

IT REALLY IRKS ME AND MAKES ME WANT TO JUMP OFF A BRIDGE!!!!!

IMG_1941.jpg


Also, you mad bro? If this is what makes you want to metaphorically or even literally kill yourself, then I suggest some serious professional help. Stations have been starting before the half hour or hour for years, your screaming in all caps and angry aggression on this will only fall on deaf ears. It’s not going to change, this is a consultant driven business and consultants say start early.

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This has definitely been a thing in the past, but it seems like since Oprah went away and more stations added 4pm newscasts, the early starting went away and/or is not as early as it was. 

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56 minutes ago, PTVNews said:

This has definitely been a thing in the past, but it seems like since Oprah went away and more stations added 4pm newscasts, the early starting went away and/or is not as early as it was. 

 

There are some stations that have the 4pm started the show at 3:58, 3:59. I'm not sure if every station does it but WABC does it after GH. And WLS does it after J! 

 

Edited by CircleSeven

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To a point, though, I can understand his frustration about this issue.   If someone watches a program on one channel that ends at (for example) 4pm sharp, then switches the channel to a newscast expecting to see it from the start...only to discover it had been underway since 3:58ish, I can totally see why some would get frustrated.   

Edited by TheRyan
grammar

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4 hours ago, CircleSeven said:

There are some stations that have the 4pm started the show at 3:58, 3:59. I'm not sure if every station does it but WABC does it after GH. And WLS does it after J! 

KDKA's 4pm show starts at 3:58. 

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The worst offender of this is not here in the US, but over in the UK. ITV News at Ten in 2001-2004 had starting times ranging from FAR too early to FAR too late. People in the UK still want a newscast that starts exactly at 10pm and the BBC's competing offering does just that. (Oh, and no commercials with the BBC!) ITN/ITV's 2001 revival was a failure compared to pre-1999 News at Ten.

 

News at Ten was revived again in 2008 and it succeeded.

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2 hours ago, Conrad said:

The worst offender of this is not here in the US, but over in the UK. ITV News at Ten in 2001-2004 had starting times ranging from FAR too early to FAR too late. People in the UK still want a newscast that starts exactly at 10pm and the BBC's competing offering does just that. (Oh, and no commercials with the BBC!) ITN/ITV's 2001 revival was a failure compared to pre-1999 News at Ten.

 

News at Ten was revived again in 2008 and it succeeded.

I seem to recall the broadcast regular admonished them for not having a 10pm news anymore and began push it's start time around while calling it the News at 10 (while some in the press referred to it as the "News at When?".  Was handled well, IMO by the Beeb for relaunching their 9pm newscast one hour later.

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2 hours ago, Northerner said:

I seem to recall the broadcast regular admonished them for not having a 10pm news anymore and began push it's start time around while calling it the News at 10 (while some in the press referred to it as the "News at When?".  Was handled well, IMO by the Beeb for relaunching their 9pm newscast one hour later.

Yes, I know critics have referred to it as "News at When?".

 

And while this is partially related, don't forget about movie theaters/theatres. The movie doesn't begin at the advertised start time. Instead, the pre-show (NCM First Look/Noovie or Screenvision Limelight/Front & Center) ends and the trailers begin at that time. After the trailers, you of course have the movie.

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Some of it depends on the show that precedes it.   Usually a show wraps at 57ish past the hour, and instead of filling the time with ads, it's a race to see who is on the air first.   

 

Certain markets seem to have a "compact" in place, especially after prime programming and will not start their shows until the top of the hour, or even 1 past just so they can get some ad time in.

 

I've noticed some differences between markets going out of their morning shows.   All of the Mobile/Pensacola stations seem to go until about 58:30 and put in 90 seconds of ads.   Biloxi and Hattiesburg fill the hour and go out right at the top to lead directly into the national morning shows....

 

Meters and code readers have definitely made the start times earlier and the A block much longer...got to suck in the viewer as long as possible!

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In addition to keeping viewers from changing the channel, another benefit of starting at :57 or :58 relates to advertising rates. 
 

“End Breaks” (commercials that air at the end of a program) are usually priced according to the ratings of the ending program. 
“Internal Breaks” are priced according to the program in which they run.

 

If the newscast has higher ad rates than the show preceding it, then an End Break will be moved into the newscast, allowing the news to start a minute or two earlier.

 

During the Oprah years, some stations might have made more money keeping the Oprah end break, but the risk of losing news viewers was too high to chance it. And, it didn’t make a lot of dollar difference. Oprah was a loss leader. It cost so much money to buy, stations rarely made any profit from it. The real payoff was in the increased viewers for news.

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On 11/4/2019 at 6:07 PM, kdex86 said:

I like to watch the local news at 6 PM, because that half hour also includes sports.  Frequently, I don't get home from work early enough to watch it live, so I will set my DVR.  Only problem is, the "6 o'clock news" never starts at 6:00 PM, but rather at 5:58 PM.  ON ALL FIVE STATIONS IN MY TELEVISION MARKET (Boston).  So if I DVR the news at this time, it "misses" the start of the broadcast, sometimes the ENTIRE lead story!

 

Today, WCVB went a step further and started their "6 o'clock news" at 5:57 PM (see the attached image).  180 seconds ahead of schedule.

WHY DO MY LOCAL TV STATIONS DO THIS?????  WHAT'S SO FREAKING SPECIAL ABOUT FIVE FIFTY-EIGHT PM?????

IT REALLY IRKS ME AND MAKES ME WANT TO JUMP OFF A BRIDGE!!!!!

IMG_1941.jpg

Jesus Christ get a grip. Even my NextPVR automatically pads about 5 minutes before the show begins. That way, I don't miss the beginning of a show or newscast

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On 11/11/2019 at 1:16 AM, Yankees4life said:

Jesus Christ get a grip. ...

 

Here at KBEX-TV our 5pm newscast starts at 12:00...because we forgot how to re-set the VCR master clock after the last state mandated power outage.

 

 

 

 

1200.gif

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Eat News
Twice-Fake and True .. https://youtu.be/zQELp93xxfo
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Some stations (mine included) don't have a "hard out" on their 5pm hour. The break between the 5:30 and 6:00 is usually around a 1:45 give or take. As long as meters are hit everyone's happy. In fact, I think all our shows except the weekend ones start off the clock by around a minute. 

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On 11/4/2019 at 9:45 PM, Mrknowitall526 said:

You should be able to adjust your DVR recording to start a few minutes early!

 

I have YouTube TV.  The DVR does not allow for "padding", even though it auto-extends live sporting events.

On 11/11/2019 at 4:16 AM, Yankees4life said:

Jesus Christ get a grip. Even my NextPVR automatically pads about 5 minutes before the show begins. That way, I don't miss the beginning of a show or newscast

 

Get a grip?  You don't want to know how many times I've turned on the TV at 5:59 PM only to be "late" for the news.  If I turn on the TV at 7:59 PM for a prime-time show at 8:00 PM, I'm on time.

 

And it's not just the news at 6 PM.  It's also the newscasts at 4 PM, 5 PM, and 7 PM.  WCVB in Boston used to run a "countdown clock" at 6:59 PM (after the conclusion of ABC World News Tonight) for their 7 PM newscast.  Now they start THAT newscast early too, which also breaks DVRs because they think the channel is still airing ABC World News Tonight.

 

If I watch the news in the morning (6 AM), or late at night (11 PM), these newscasts do NOT "start early", but right on the top of the hour.  Which leads me to ask, WHAT IS SO GODDAMN SPECIAL (or lack thereof) about the early-evening newscasts???????????  Regardless of whether you watch at 4 AM, 4 PM, or midnight, it's still the same "program"!  It makes no sense whatsoever for early-evening broadcasts to jump the gun!!!!!

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1 hour ago, kdex86 said:

 

I have YouTube TV.  The DVR does not allow for "padding", even though it auto-extends live sporting events.

 

Get a grip?  You don't want to know how many times I've turned on the TV at 5:59 PM only to be "late" for the news.  If I turn on the TV at 7:59 PM for a prime-time show at 8:00 PM, I'm on time.

 

And it's not just the news at 6 PM.  It's also the newscasts at 4 PM, 5 PM, and 7 PM.  WCVB in Boston used to run a "countdown clock" at 6:59 PM (after the conclusion of ABC World News Tonight) for their 7 PM newscast.  Now they start THAT newscast early too, which also breaks DVRs because they think the channel is still airing ABC World News Tonight.

 

If I watch the news in the morning (6 AM), or late at night (11 PM), these newscasts do NOT "start early", but right on the top of the hour.  Which leads me to ask, WHAT IS SO GODDAMN SPECIAL (or lack thereof) about the early-evening newscasts???????????  Regardless of whether you watch at 4 AM, 4 PM, or midnight, it's still the same "program"!  It makes no sense whatsoever for early-evening broadcasts to jump the gun!!!!!

Porco dio... 🤦‍♂️

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2 hours ago, kdex86 said:

You don't want to know how many times I've turned on the TV at 5:59 PM only to be "late" for the news.

 

This has been going on for years.

They are no longer early, you are now late.

Edited by 24994J

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