Category Archives: Producing Personalities

THE VICE IN VP

Even if your newscast is driven by its personalities, you must be first when breaking news rears its ugly head. I want to show you how we provided exclusive team coverage of Former Vice President Joe Biden during his “heavy petting” days. This is the amazing Eye Opener Dallas group from a few years ago! Continue reading THE VICE IN VP

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“SWITCHING GEARS” HURTS MY EARS

There’s a 5 & 6pm newscast here in Cincinnati that I find myself watching… because it’s so bad. From anchors sporting the latest Wal-Mart fashions and looking as disheveled as a hooker who had a productive night, to a weatherman who, literally, yells at you throughout his forecast, thinking he’s sporting a sexy, booming FM radio voice, but in fact, is just, plain yelling.  The anchors start to mirror his absurd volume and the whole show becomes a big yelling fest. But let’s switch gears for a second as there’s one pet peeve I have that gets me yelling back at the TV screen. The anchors are constantly ad-libbing that cliche phrase “switching gears” between stories. It’s a verbal device they use to bridge two unrelated stories to make the transition feel a bit less awkward. As an example, going from a double fatal car crash story to the birth of a new elephant at the zoo is an obvious “switching gears” story. The problem is easily avoided by a producer who understands the art of stacking stories in a newscast. Continue reading “SWITCHING GEARS” HURTS MY EARS

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APPRECIATIVE INQUIRY

Appreciate Inquiry could have a dramatic effect on the productivity in your newsroom. I’ve seen the powerful results AI’s had on people in addiction recovery and on businesses of all types around the country.  At a recent seminar I attended on the subject, I heard from countless people how their businesses and industries have rapidly improved by applying the principles of appreciative inquiry. Continue reading APPRECIATIVE INQUIRY

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ADDICTION RE-LEAF

This past week, I had the privilege of being invited to the Flourishing Leadership Institute’s “LEAF” workshop. LEAF is a new approach used by change agents (coaches, speakers, trainers, facilitators, consultants, and leaders) to lead groups of all sizes to shape their future or solve specific problems better, faster and more naturally than thought possible with other methods.  I was there to premiere a video I shot and edited about Jesse Harless. Jesse is using the LEAF method to help people who are recovering from addiction – and his results are getting glowing reviews.  This video is the media marketing he needed to move his program to a national scale. Continue reading ADDICTION RE-LEAF

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UNREWARDED RISKS!

THE “SOY BOMB” CRASH & BURN

Taking risks is the sure-fire path to rewards. I don’t think anyone will disagree with me. But taking risks also means that sometimes, things don’t pay off. Things don’t go as planned. What you saw in your head when planning your next amazing segment is NOT what you ended up seeing on the line monitor. Continue reading UNREWARDED RISKS!

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THE KITCHEN TABLE!

THE CENTERPIECE OF YOUR SHOW

On The Golden Girls, where did Dorothy, Rose, Blanche and Sophia spend most of their time? At The Kitchen Table. At your house, where does the family end up together more often than not?  Correct! The Kitchen Table! It’s where you have your everyday meals, it’s where the kids do their homework, it’s where dad does his crossword puzzle and where mom reads her magazine. When a friend stops over, he joins the family at The Kitchen Table.  The centerpiece of your home is The Kitchen Table – it’s the “home base” of your family.

The Kitchen Table is also the home base of your morning show. It’s where your family of anchors, sports and weather casters, reporters, and contributors hang out. When Chris Pine drops by,  he joins everybody at The Kitchen Table. When the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders arrive, they join the gang at The Kitchen Table. When the mayor visits to discuss the teachers strike, he does so at The Kitchen Table. You don’t take guests and move them to a more formal location (like a living room set). You all hang out around The Kitchen Table where everyone joins in on the interview, the food and the small talk. Continue reading THE KITCHEN TABLE!

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CALIFORNIA GOES LIVE

California Live premiered recently on the NBC affiliates in Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco. It’s a half hour lifestyle show airing at 11:30AM, showcasing all the benefits of living on the California coast. Full disclosure: I interviewed for the position of Executive Producer for California Live late last year, but the guys at KNBC, where the show is produced, went with someone else. No worries. It wasn’t meant to be – and I remain a fan of KNBC General Manager Steve Carlston. Continue reading CALIFORNIA GOES LIVE

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“TODAY” TURNS A CORNER

GOOD MORNING NEWS FOR NBC

NBC’Today has improved by leaps and bounds since the last time I watched – during the ousting of Matt Lauer more than a year ago.  The new directing style the show has adopted dramatically boosts the connection between the talent and the viewers. Hoda, Savannah and Al are alive, in-the-moment, and occasionally engaging, but the show has some work ahead of it – especially with Carson and Craig. But first, an obvious editorial error. Continue reading “TODAY” TURNS A CORNER

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ANONYMOUS PURVEYORS OF FACTS

-TV TEEMS W/GENERIC REPORTERS-

I’m astounded on a daily basis how the majority of TV field reporters are content being anonymous, generic purveyors of facts and information – as generic and anonymous as the fake reporter in this stock photo!  Watch reporters on any station in your market – they’ll do a “live” hit – then throw to a package that isn’t the least bit memorable or in any way stylized. Their live shots, their standups, their writing and their producing  does absolutely nothing to make them stand out from the parade of generic reporters airing on TV every minute of every day. Continue reading ANONYMOUS PURVEYORS OF FACTS

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LET ‘EM TALK IT OUT

Sometimes you’ve just got to let them talk it out. When the word “thug” became a news story, everyone on set had an opinion. It’s so important to allow them to discuss these issues – which strengthens the connection between your talent and your audience. In this example, we  just let them talk right up to the hard break.

 

 

Continue reading LET ‘EM TALK IT OUT

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