Archive for October, 2008

How to save the 11 o’clock news

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 30, 2008 by boozecoma

I watched the post prime-time news the other night. It was purely accidental, similar to when you call your parents, expecting the answering machine and they actually pick the phone up, it stuns and confuses you. In both cases, by the time you figure out what’s going on, you are talking about the weather.

Local news is no longer a real source of information, it’s a de-briefing for people that just came out of coma. There is too much competition from 24/7 cable news and the internet. Local news is based on an old model that went out of date before drinking at work became “wrong.”  With a few augmentations I think we can bring this stale doughnut into the 21st century.

 

1) STOP CALLING THE PROGRAM “EYEWITNESS NEWS.”

In my neighborhood, if you are an eyewitness on Tuesday, your photo is on a telephone pole with the word “missing” under it on Friday. Change the title to “Didn’t See Nuthin’ News” and have reporters whisper the stories with their hands cupped around one side of their mouth. More people will tune in every night to see if the anchor that gave out a little too much information ever comes back from their “vacation”.

Anchorperson 1: “Here’s the latest on the fatal shooting that occurred downtown tonight…”

Anchorperson 2:(Whispers into Anchorperson 1’s ear)

Anchorperson 1: “Really? (Looks around and under the news deck nervously) Sorry folks… Umm… Turns out nothing happened…  (Stares at camera uncomfortably for 10 seconds) Nothing at all…”

 

2) STOP USING BULLSHIT LIVE REPORTS.

Being live on the scene of a news story that happened 5 hours ago is a waste of time for everyone involved. The reporter feels like they have been sent to nail a 63 year old prostitute (all the action happened a long time ago and so many people have been through it there is no telling what happened). Those mixed up in the doings are either at home, in jail or on their way to a new life of changing hairstyles and learning Portuguese, so an interview is out of the question. The viewers at home are wondering why the station sent some tool down to City Hall in the rain at 11:15pm when even the cleaning crew is 2 hours gone OR, why in the name of imperial FUCK any one cares what is going on at the State Fair. If these reports have to happen, let’s give the reporter a chance to give a quality answer.

Anchorperson: “Let’s go to Bob Phillips who is live at the Fairgrounds. What is going on down there?”

Reporter: “Well it seems they have actually found someone with a full set of teeth! But as it turns out, they were not attending the fair, they were lost and just stopped for directions out of this cesspool. I pleaded for a ride, however the car was full. Back to you.”

 

3) DON’T TEASE US.

In a effort to get you to watch the news, the stations will pepper the daily broadcasts with gems like: “Deadly radiation levels in a local neighborhood. Is it yours? Tune in at 11 to find out.” RADIATION? You need to tell me that information right fucking now! I don’t want to have sit through a Cloris Leachman dance routine to find out if I am going to die or not. Don’t pimp me-if the shit was that thick you would break into Dr. Phil to give me time to evacuate. You want me to watch your show? Entice me the same way Maxim magazine would-showing stuff I want and articles about how to score it. Spin the news to help us achieve our goals. Don’t promo that an elderly woman died from the heat-let us know a desirable apartment just opened up. Guy dies in a car wreck across town? Who cares? Newly widowed MILF needs a shoulder to cry on? You just got my attention over the west coast ball game I was thinking of watching.

 

4) CUT THE IDLE CHIT-CHAT.

We are led to believe that everyone on the newsroom set gets along. BULLSHIT! This is a job and people who work together don’t get along because they don’t get to choose who they work with. Everyone bites the bullet on the broadcast since time is short and no one wants to hear what some old drunk with too many face lifts cries themselves to sleep over. Let’s let the anchor decide who the on-air team should be. Bringing in a team of friends may not be the most professional thing to do but hearing a story about how the sports guy lost his pants on the subway en route to job interview would be far more interesting than a report on the local lunch moneyless spelling bee champ.

 

5) GIVE THE WEATHER EVERY 4 MINUTES.

The weather. That’s the only reason we watch this 30 minute time siphon anyway, so bring it on! To be fair don’t give all the time to the “Meteorologist” (BTW if anyone EVER tells me that is their job title-they get their head snapped back on the spot.) let the other newspersons toss it in as well. No need to interrupt the flow of the broadcast. High and low temperature, sunny, cloudy, windy or rain. Do a story then the weather. Another story and the weather again. Give the weather while doing the weather. Anyone that gives the barometric pressure gets tazed.

 

And lastly:

6) DO AN ENCORE

If you did a good job, come back and take a bow. What should you do for an encore? The weather, dumbass.