Does More News Mean Better News?

Trends in local TV morning news come and go, but right now the trend is MORE news.

cartoon-alarm-clock-black-whiteFor example, here’s a Miami station expanding its weekend morning news. This means one lucky news team — two anchors and a meteorologist — will be broadcasting live for a total of five and a half hours from 5 to 10:30 am. On the weekend. That’s a long time to be in the chair or at the key without a break for anything more than a deadline dash to the restroom.

Unless you are the talent, you probably don’t realize how little NEW news is generated over the ever-growing length of the morning broadcast. Producers tend to come and go each hour, copying and pasting what was read in the previous hour(s). So how do you make exactly the same story sound fresh for the fourth or fifth time? And then walk over to the set of your sister station and read it again a few more times.

Another trend is more — but shorter — morning weather hits. Going away is the traditional “first hit” followed by a much longer “main weather” later in the half hour block. If you’re doing weather “on the 5’s” your forecaster might have 6 hits per hour. Each one needs to be fresh and different but also serve the viewers who only have time to catch one hit on their way out the door.

A talent coaching visit can help, but only if your talent coach has updated their lesson plan for the morning marathon.

  • News Preparation: Driving the first hour of the show without making it seem like a rehearsal for the next four and a half hours. And keeping it fresh over the next several hours.
  • Defining the Weather Story: Go beyond the data we can get on a phone to deliver a compelling weather story that will make me want to stay for more than one weather hit.
  • Identifying Down Time:  While it’s a long haul, there’s a surprising amount of downtime during a morning newscast. How to use it effectively.
  • Social Media Balance: How to shine on multiple platforms without allowing that extra Snapchat to drag down your live performance.
  • Don’t Forget Traffic: How to make it must-see-TV, even when not much is going on.
  • Finishing Strong: Why you should bring your best energy in the last 5 minutes of each hour.

Sound like a winning strategy? If so, contact me at