The local TV news formula changes very little. Since the 1970s, it’s largely gone like this:
- Male and female co-anchors
- Weather forecaster
- Slightly crazy sports guy
- Happy chatter amongst them
- Reporter packages with voice track, sound, voice track and outcue
- Live “doughnuts” with package wedged between live open and close
- “Coming up!” teases
- Show-closing kickers
Innovation is tough to find, as three of the four Atlanta local TV news directors made clear during last week’s Atlanta Press Club forum.
One could argue that innovation is essential as audiences, ad dollars and budgets continually shrink. Yet WSB’s news director said her station’s greatest innovation may be enterprising reporting. WAGA’s news director talked about his thirty-year-old investigative unit. Their remarks were numbingly unimaginative.
(Curiously, WGCL’s news director failed to mention his station’s new I-phone application that rolled out later that same week.)
WXIA is a proud, old Atlanta TV station with a distressingly small audience. Its news director rattled off a list of recent innovations. With little to lose, it makes sense that WXIA has embraced innovation. What’s unclear at this point is whether any of its 21st century innovations can help WXIA draw an audience.
Click below to hear their answers to the innovation question, in the final installment of this tedious LAF series. Talk about numbingly unimaginative…