Tag Archives: Local News

How Weather Departments Need to Be Rethinking Their Roles

I am skeptical of meteorology in local news; and it’s not the usual suspects of they over-hype, or it’s not accurate, or not relevant in my back yard. Lot of it as the excessive data without it being applicable to the average viewers. Or should I say “average” in 2005 standards when the viewers were a bit more intelligent, no offense.

In the last five years, I’ve seen local media go down the tubes in local weather forecasting. The worse offense is the “[X] days to [Y] event” such as “52 days to Daylight Saving” or “29 days to 8:00pm Sunsets”. Or 12 Days to Spring Training in midst of a mild winter. I understand the intention of meteorologists trying to spruce up the viewers especially with depressing and polarizing news. Local news is not the place for meteorologists to make people feel better.

Continue reading How Weather Departments Need to Be Rethinking Their Roles

Local News: Remembering Your Last Crush Before Giving Up on Love, part two

Today, the focus is NBC’s Look F, the 6th version of the in house graphics for their owned and operated stations. Some stations (even non NBC affiliates) can purchase the packages WINK in Florida for an example, a CBS affiliate used a variation of Look F, and it wasn’t ripped off. You can click here to learn more about the history, which station it was designed for, etc.

Look F was conceived in Dallas, when apparently NBC relocated their corporate creative services away from 30 Rock. A search on the web indicated a person in the Dallas area took credit for Look F, before going to Hothaus, in nearby area. Look F is completely different than many of the other NBC O&O packages, think of Look C in 2008, or Look N (talk about version inflation.) The current Look S (again another version inflation) kinda has a consistent look in the past. In short Look F was very different. Most NBC O&Os took the package, unfortunately in my neck of the woods, Look N was already rolled out, and the NBC O&O in Boston was using Look N when it was just 6 months old. In 2012, all NBC-owned stations took Look F; and introduced it for the London Olympics or some stations implemented it for the Super Bowl… especially for Philadelphia, where the Eagles were playing that game…

screengrab of WCAU-TV's NBC 10 News open from 2012

As I get to Philly, the ones had the ability to tweak the living daylights was the ones that made Look F even more acceptable, and it made it look sexy. WCAU-TV, and WTVJ comes to mind. L.A., New York, San Diego, Connecticut, and couple others I am blanking took the more fluffier look. I am not showing that here. Since our theme is to promote nutcracking journalism in the allure of high sex appeal, I am sticking to that.

The best practice if I were to use it was to use all Gotham fonts like in the case of WCAU and WTVJ. It had class and I find Gotham to be very classy but sexy at the same time. It has a professional look.

The lower third as pretty cool. A lot of eye candy with gradient beams flowing left to right. Blinking boxes that resembled from another package was implemented.

I do not use After Effects, but if you are good in Photoshop and have an Non Linear Editing system, you could just slap these elements a PNG images, and use motion effects to do this. It was really cool when I made a mock of Look F.

This was a part of the open. It had a lot of classy looks to this.

The promos using the graphics package.

Another closing stinger. Well done in terms of the use of text and stuff.

What really made both WTVJ and WCAU-TV successful was it’s theme music.  It’s unclear who did WTVJ’s, but WCAU used then 360 Music, now part of Stephen Arnold Music.  It’s called the NBC O&O Package. For a company out in the heartland to make a theme rock and fit into a mainstream East Coast environment really was one of their best work, given how they easily can regress back into a low key melody used in the NewsNation package.  I’ll do a perspective in a later post. As of the summer of 2021, WMAQ in Chicago has started using the East Coast cuts when Look S came along. The Boston O&O is using this package, but the cuts that are being used were composed for KNSD, in California, where I have paternal-quirky-aunt that lives in that market. It doesn’t have intelligence, thought, and ambition for a serious news market, the go to the beach all day audience.

Stephen Arnold Music has touted that 15% of a stations ratings can be influenced by “Sonic Branding” (err news music). I’d go so far to say that that said percentage can be influenced by what particular cuts in the package the audio operator or producer chooses, i.e. a viewer may mute faster, or change the station or walk in another room and miss what’s coming up if the music drives them batty.

I know this may sound very quirky to say, but I do really think look and feel matters. If the station produces strong content, it should match up with sexy graphics and head banging music.