WTTG Washington edited together a two-minute news tease promoting both the late night and early morning newscasts. The topical aired during halftime of Thursday Night Football. “The fans stayed up. The game got great ratings and the people stayed with us,” said Paul McGonagle, WTTG’s news director.
Instead of going to a live two-minute news break, WTTG, a Fox O&O, showed a taped two-minute news topical promoting that night’s late news and the next day’s morning news.
“Obviously, we had a huge audience watching Thursday Night Football,” said Paul McGonagle, WTTG’s news director.
“We thought it was a great opportunity to showcase our night side stories as well as in the morning, and our talent, in a non-traditional way. The topical reflected who we are; we’re very personality driven, and people really like our people.”
McGonagle said the executive producers for both shows wrote the topical.
Normally, WTTG’s late night newscast would air at 10. But that night, the newscast didn’t go on until around midnight.
“Our news actually did really well. The fans stayed up. The game got great ratings and the people stayed with us,” said McGonagle.
NOTE: Imagine your network gives you a 60-second local break going out of the program that leads into your late newscast. I would air a 60-second news topical filled with reporter standups from the story location, story teases using sound bites, interspersed with energetic anchor and weather tosses. The impression you want to make, at just the time some viewers are considering going to bed, is that there is a lot of news tonight, and that your station appears to be everywhere covering it.
Or if your station has difficulty holding the lead-in to your late news, why not a super-tease? Start the news with a 30-to-45-second preview of your content, tightly edited like a news topical, that goes right into the newscast live without an open. Create a thirst for news, at just the time some viewers are considering going to bed.