Monday, January 28, 2008

Cutts and Butts and Busses, Oh My!

Tonight's newscast includes back-to-back stories about Bobby Cutts and Christopher Butts. Cutts and Butts. Butts and Cutts. A broadcaster's rhyming buffet. The suspected mom/baby killer and the accused U of A rapist. And it doesn't help that their initials are reciprocals: BC and CB. It's doubtful the audience will pick up the rhyme .. but I'll feel it in the flow of the show.

A few months back, we sent one of our photographers to Winesburg, Waynesburg, and Wooster all in the same day. As we went from story to story on the air, I felt like Elmer Fudd as the "W" theme kept "wolling awong."

We've also had broadcasts where we've had a slew of animal stories ... maybe a dog attack at the top of the news .. and a little later, a car vs. deer story, and then maybe a lighter story going into weather about a cat being found inside a house wall .. and then the final story of the newscast, which is known as the "kicker", is about a man who raises monkeys in his home.

Of course, right after "Butts" tonight, we have "Busses" with the Revere vandalism story .. so there's another verbal connection.

Years ago, when I was just a cub reporter, anchor Judd Hambrick used to talk about "seamless" news .. the idea that there's a transition or segue between every story. Even if you're going from a murder story to the weather, the anchor must come up with a connection. Something like: "Well, hopefully Bob we won't have a killer storm this weekend ..."

It was one of those ideas that worked well on paper and was championed by consultants, but really never worked the way it should have.

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