Friday, April 11, 2008

Most Powerful Radar

I bet viewers love this spot and I'd bet they understand the point. Not sure about credibility and all the stuff we promo people usually worry about - would be curious why they went in this direction.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Great Management

I'd like to start a dialogue about managing creative departments... specifically, positive feedback.

What have you done lately to let your department know it is appreciated? Or what has your boss done to make you feel valued.

As this business gets tougher and finding good employees gets even tougher - what are we doing to encourage good work, out-of-the-box thinking and for going the extra mile?

I once worked for a boss who always brought his staff out to dinner after a hard fought sweeps. Win or lose - we'd go to a terrific restaurant. I felt appreciated.

I've had courtside seats at an NBA game, courtesy of a boss. I've received free icecream on Fridays during sweeps. I've had others decorate the office with framed storyboards of our best work, complete with credits.

One of my favorites is getting an email from the GM or my boss saying what a good job I'd done. Now, what did that take? A few moments of his time? But it meant the world to me, especially as a young producer.

Another technique that isn't an "atta-boy" but let me know how much my boss respected me? He didn't keep secrets from me. As a junior producer, I'd get pulled into his office and told "This is confidential - but you should know the image spot for so and so - stop working on it - that person may be leaving the station."

I was a young pup... but my boss trusted me enough to reveal information that could get him fired. Dumb on his part? No, not if you trust your team. He knew I needed to know that information and he told it to me. No lectures on "Don't tell anyone!" -- it was understood. That is a story that had a longlasting impact on me. I was treated with respect... and I will always hold that boss in high regard.

So... what do you do to lift your team? What has a boss done to make you feel appreciated? I hope this elicits some great responses.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Interesting News Image Spots

These are a few years old - produced by my former station, KENS 5 in San Antonio(not by me, btw - these were done long after I'd gone). I think they are interesting and funny and hmmmm... not sure what else to say! They're a little goofy - but hey, they stand out! I'd never do these for my station - but for the market, these may have just worked.

Or they may have been a dismal failure... I can't decide.

Keep in mind the San Antonio market is largely Hispanic when watching this one:

Reporter Compilation Reel

Some of the best moments on television. Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

A Favorite Story

Seeing what WKYC did with their spot reminds me of something I did while at KHOU in Houston.

We had the confession tapes of a notorious serial killer - who, by a flaw in the system, could have been released from prison.

The confessions were graphic. They were haunting. They were creepy as hell.

We did the typical "hear from a madman" spots... but I wanted to do one more.

So in true television whore fashion, I aired a spot in primetime the night of the piece - probably during CSI. It featured grainy black and white footage and a voice over:

Tonight, a warning for our viewers of 11 News at 10.

Our report on the confession tapes of Coral Eugene Watts contains disturbing recollections of a serial killer's Houston slayings.

Be advised this material may be upsetting to some. Viewer discretion is advised.

We kind of got in trouble because it caught the GM off guard(oops... don't make that mistake again) but we won that night... big.

Who can resist a news story about a serial killer that comes with a warning!!!

Sensational? Probably. Effective? You bet.

PromOscars: Sweeps Promos(My Take)

Here is my take on the contestants in the PromOscar Sweeps Category:

KHOU: This won the CBS Eye on Excellence Award. The use of no sound helps this spot grab attention and is used to make the point that kids cannot hear smoke detectors at night. (I produced this - so I guess I'm biased!)

KXAS: I wrote about this last week. A great use of props and "going the extra mile." Not sure when this was done - probably before we all did a million identity theft promos. Good spot.

NBC17: Really makes a connection. Who hasn't had these thoughts? Especially as we get older - our memories force us to say a lot of crazy things like "Where is my pen?" and "Did I foreget the baby in the car again?"

WFAA: Simple. Cute. Well done. I love this spot.

WKYC: I loved the use of sound in this spot. What a great tease. It would be hard not to watch this special report.

WNBC: A fun approach to a rather serious subject. Nicely done.

KCBS: A great use of a simple graphic technique and treatment on the voice. Great SFX as well.