The News has gotten to be SUCH a tease…

Most men lead lives of quiet desperation. Details at 11. – Reuven Frank

Evening News

Here’s something interesting to try, the next time you watch the local evening news. Get a stopwatch and time the newscast. Write down the number of minutes taken up by commercials, the actual news stories, and the time they spend teasing the news/weather/sports. I think you’ll be amazed at how little time is spent on the subject matter, and how much time they waste on teasing the next story.

So what’s the deal? Television is in love with the broadcast version of “efficiency experts” – a group of individuals that tell TV stations how to improve their ratings. Ever hear of “Q”? That’s the system that presumes to tell stations how popular a newscaster is, and specifically what they need to do to improve their Q rating. Neilsens? Old hat. Yet they are all obsessed with ratings. The purpose of the teasers is to keep you watching. You’ll see teases for the late news throughout primetime. But they don’t stop when the news broadcast begins. You’ll see stories teased throughout the broadcast, essentially cheating you by exchanging teases about the news for actual news.

So what’s next? I predict that it won’t be long before you’ll see a constant news ticker crawl across the bottom of the screen in even local newscasts. Add that and “stay tuned for your local Amalgamated Manufacturing Weathercast” and you will see the conversion of local news to become indistinguishable from the product generated by the cable news networks.

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