Wednesday, March 3, 2010

4:00 Newscast

Our second Wednesday 4:00 newscast improved in many ways from our first newscast, but in other ways it regressed.

The newscast started with an intro and then very good anc acts on David Paterson's possible resignation and Charles Rangel's leave of absence. It then followed with a solid copy story on Charles Schumer's criticism of federal economic stimulas program. At this point, the newscast was going well and was only ten seconds over, which was not even close to how over we were at that point last week.

The next story was an anc act about the owner of the building which is falling down near I-81. Initially in the rundown, this was the lead story, and its angle was supposed to be about its effect on commuters. However, we were not able to get in contact with anyone from the New York Department of Transporation for some sound. We were able to get sound from the owner, but it changed the angle of the story and made it less newsworthy, so I moved it down in the rundown. At this point, approximately 3:30, I noticed reporter Natalie McGurn had finished working on her studio wrap, so I asked if she could write this story. Natalie admirably helped out and wrote the anc act under time constraints, but the story was not well written. The anc intro completely failed to explain the situation and never mention where or what the building is.

After the anc act we were now 15 seconds over, after Natalie's studio wrap we were 20 seconds over, and after Hannah's phoner we were 25 seconds over. During reporter Simon Rosenwasser's wrap, I decided we had to skip Tease B and the kicker, and anchor Hannah Kollock would read "Now this" instead of the tease.

I told Hannah she would read "Now this" instead of the tease, but I failed to properly communicate that with our engineer, Ryan. I thought Ryan heard me and understood that in Professor Nicholson's newscast anchors read "Now this" instead of the tease in situations in which we are over. Ryan asked if we were going to break after this, and I thought he meant after Hannah read "Now this." Instead, Ryan headed into break as Hannah started to read the anc additional sentence after the wrap. Ryan realized the communication era between us, and took us right out of break, but now Hannah was confused and had to be prompted by Professor Nicholson to read "Now this." This entire miscommunication situation could have been avoided if I did not assume Ryan knew about "Now this." Without using an extremely overused cliche, I learned what happens when you assume.

Hannah did a great job reading abbreviated versions of the weather and goodbye while bringing the newscast to six minutes.

The final product of our newscast, because of bad writing for one story and miscommunication between the producer, engineer, and anchor, was not nearly as good as it could have been. The production, from when the rundown was made until showtime (which was made hectic due to a printer jam right before we went on), was much smoother than last week. Production-wise, our entire team improved. The talent once again did a good job reading their stories.

Although we had a few problems today, I believe every member of our team now knows how to create a successful newscast.

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