“You Want Me to Package a Mug Shot?” – Visual Stories with NO Visuals

Bob Kaplitz of the AR&D media consulting company recently posted “Just a Mug Shot.”
His video blog shows how a creative field team can turn a little video into a lot of storytelling.

Limited video doesn’t have to be a limitation. It can be an opportunity. On-camera storytelling can be the answer — but you have to do it the right way.-Bob Kaplitz, AR&D


Will local broadcasters capitalize on the greatest opportunity in 40 years to increase their market share?

Digital subchannels offer the possibility of niche community programming
Digital subchannels offer the possibility of niche community programming

by Mark Friedrich President at Michigan Free TV Inc.

The switch to digital broadcasting and the sagging economy, may present local broadcasters their greatest opportunity in 40 years to increase market share. Digital broadcasting has effectively tripled the amount of programming content that they can provide, during a time when consumers are looking for ways to save every penny. The only question is, will they capitalize on it?

To be effective, a new mind-set and spirit of coopitition (cooperative-competition) among local broadcasters will be required. Instead of competing head-to-head for all viewers, they will have to work together to provide a variety of programming choices that will diminish the value of subscription offerings. Sure local broadcast news departments will still compete against each other, the networks will still vie for primetime viewers and they will have to be careful not to diminish or compete directly with their own primary offerings. This still leaves a lot of room to entice viewers away from “pay” TV to “free” TV. It most likely will require cooperation from the local broadcasters affiliated networks to provide what is currently “subscription only” content on a re-run or time shifted basis. Some broadcasters are already airing some pre-packaged content like RTN and This, which is better than nothing, but I don’t think that this type of programming alone will be enough for people to give up their subscriptions. The biggest reasons for maintaining subscription services, is the availability of sports, conservative news and documentary programming. All of which are readily available through affiliated networks and independent sources.

Remember, Local broadcasters have two distinct advantages that subscription services never will. They are free, and can target their content to their local demographics. You don’t have to provide content that necessarily beats that of subscription television, you just need to provide a wide enough variety of targeted content to make the additional offerings of subscription services, not worth their cost. Every household that switches from pay service to free broadcast service eliminates up to 200 channels of competition for those viewers, increasing the value of broadcast advertising time.

Local broadcasters also need to start cross promoting their own sub-channels and reminding viewers that what they are watching is available in digital clarity without a monthly subscription.

Continue reading “Will local broadcasters capitalize on the greatest opportunity in 40 years to increase their market share?”

TV in Denial?

“The traditional TV industry — cable companies, networks, and broadcasters — is where the newspaper industry was about five years ago: in denial.”

— From Henry Blodget’s column in Silicon Alley Insider, “Sorry, There’s No Way To Save The TV Business.” If you work in TV, you’ll likely disagree with his grim assessment, but Blodget makes some thought-provoking points about video distribution.

A New “Pay”Model for Journalist Entrepeneurs

True/Slant offers a new financial model for journalists
True/Slant offers a new financial model for journalists

“It was a dark and stormy night — in a place that is home to the world’s worst thunderstorms,” he said. O’Brien noted that the Airbus A330 had a good record and “the crew had ‘Sully-esque’ seasoning.”

But O’Brien wasn’t reporting for CNN, which dumped him in December. He was posting on True/Slant, a Web site that is mapping a new relationship between journalists, readers and advertisers. In fact, O’Brien has already contacted such aerospace companies as Boeing and Lockheed Martin to sponsor his work at another site, and plans to do so for True/Slant.

Howard Kurtz at the Washington Post writes on how True/Slant is breaking down the wall between sponsors and journalism. The site may even feature pages produced by sponsors.

Lewis Dvorkin, founder of the site, which officially launches today after a trial run, makes no apologies for throwing out the old model. “It’s tailored for the entrepreneurial journalist,” he says. “We’re enabling and empowering journalists to develop their own brand.”

While this is unlikely to be the model for entire television station or newspaper sites, it could be turn a popular talent, or feature, into a profit center. You should spend some time familiarizing yourself with the model.
True/Slant launches – a new journalism model? | CyberJournalist.net
Trevor Cook: True/Slant – another online journalism project

MSNBC on “Starbucks” Deal

Yesterday, I shared the produce placement deal finally acknowledged by MSNBC and STARBUCKS.

Here is more on the deal:

“The world is just different,” said MSNBC’s Phil Griffin. “The rules of 10, 15, 20 years ago just don’t apply. You can’t live by them. You’ve got to be creative.”

Griffin noted that Scarborough’s partner, Mika Brzezinski, asked Starbucks Chairman Howard Schultz on Monday’s show about the high number of calories in a Starbucks Frappucino.

“It doesn’t do Starbucks or us any good to put our head in the sand,” Griffin said. “We are going to stay true to the principles of integrity in our news operation.”

He called the sponsorship a “natural fit” for a show where the hosts have openly talked about drinking Starbucks coffee, with the show’s very name a slang term for coffee.

Read entire article.

MSNBC Show “Brewed by Starbucks”

Now It’s Official: Morning Joe “Brewed By Starbucks”

joe_6-1.bmpFor more than a year, TVNewser readers have wondered whether the Starbucks coffee seen on the Morning Joe set was part of some product placement deal. The answer was always “no” — until today. The show and the the coffee company have formed a “marketing relationship,” in a deal estimated at more than $10 million.