Archive for the ‘News Promos’ Category

News Open Test

Posted: May 2, 2015 in News Promos
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The Fox affiliate I was working at in Springfrield asked me to help out with the rebranding of their news product as we advanced from a “newsbreak” station to a 10-minute newscast.  Here was one of the tests of the news open as we were getting ready to launch the new look:

Not long after we were creating this open, our owner decided to change up the logo and give it a Fox O & O look.  I did plenty of research and talked to many graphic artists and companies that helped build this graphic look for other affiliates, and found the cost of hiring an outside company to do it was about $20,000 or more.  I went to a site that had some pre-built elements for after-effects and bought a few for about $40, and had my team just build it ourselves.

Here is a full 10-minute news broadcast, but I mainly just wanted you to see the full open and other graphic elements in it:


The Fox station I was at was still very young.  We had launched hourly “News Breaks” (2 minutes long) a year earlier.  But we were growing.  Now we were going to 10-minute newscasts every weeknight at 9.  And we wanted to promote that fact.  But we didn’t want to focus completely on the 10 minute part.  So the following promos were designed to announce the “expanded newscast” due to the popularity we had, and show the News Team appearing to different types of people who were surprised to see this Newscast in their home.  They all decide to give it “10 minutes” and check it out.

Here is one that focuses on a Mother and what she might be doing around 9pm when the Newcast is on:


This next one is about a common man in his 40s, and what he might be doing around 9pm:

The FOX Station I was based at was a fairly new station.  Right when I was starting, they were also launching hourly news breaks that would appear 6 times each weeknight.  It was definitely something different than what was going on at the other local News Stations.  So here was a promo we used to take the “Something Different” approach:

WKCF in Orlando had a 10pm News produced by the CBS affiliate on the other side of town.  We used one of their older sets for our News, and didn’t have much say in the branding, when I inherited the news product.  Not too long after I became the Promotion Manager, we struck up a better deal with the NBC affiliate in town to do our news.  They would let us build our own set on one of their stages, and would work with us on rebranding the look of the newscast.  This is where I stepped in

We had recently revamped our station logo and look, and were heavily branding with the WB Network’s image at the time.

The first step was to redesign our News Logo.  Above is a sketch I made on a post-it note, of what I thought it could look like.  I included our new station’s circular logo and the rest was a shape and image inspired by the old “Weekend Update” lapel pins that Dan Aykroyd and Jane Curtin used to wear back in the old SNL days.  I handed that off to the art department I was using at the time over at Red Rocket Studios.  They fleshed it out a bit more and worked on the final design for me.

After that, it was time to design a news set.  We hired Park Place Studio to do the job, and I sent them over my notes along with the color pallette and other images we thought could work.  Below on the left is their concept art on what it could look like.  And the picture on the right is what it did end up looking like.

I wanted to brand the News using elements from the WB Network graphic package and worked with the News team to make sure it was used in all News graphics too.

We kept our News Anchor, Bud Hedinger during the transition since he was an actual employee of ours and not the other station.  But we were getting weather person assigned to our news that was a familiar face to the viewers in Central Florida, Marty Stebbins.

The launch date of the update was going to be January 1st, 2001.  I wanted to tease the changes on the air, and show images of us getting the new set ready, quick shot of Bud shaking hands with Marty, and things getting ready, without actually saying what was happening.   I wanted to take advantage of using the 2001 theme music to drive home the point of the launch date.  Keeping that in mind, I thought it might be kind of fun to have our voice guy do an imitation of the HAL from 2001 talking to Bud instead of Dave.

Here are a few of the long form and short tease promos.


Then when our next media buy came around, I designed and purchased outdoor ads to hit the streets to reinforce the new logo and Bud as the anchor.

Unlike most changes that happen at a TV station, we didn’t get one complaint on the revamp.  Nobody had anything bad to say.  In fact, they were saying good things on our website.  We decided to make a promo out of it.

This “Get to Know” campaign was a very successful campaign I came up with for our news anchor, Bud Hedinger.

Bud was already an established News Anchor , who had worked at two other stations in the Orlando Market already before he got to us.  He had been in the business for awhile and was asked to guest speak at many local functions.  Whenever I attended these functions, he always killed with a fun little “behind-the-scenes” story that happened to him at some point in his broadcasting career.  I noticed a few things: 1)  People loved these stories.  2) He had a lot of them.  3) They established him as a broadcast guy.  4) They made him more human.

In short, I was getting to know him with each of these little stories.  And when you feel like you know that person on TV, you tend to watch them more than a stranger.  So it was time for me to get the Central Florida Viewers to “Get To Know Bud” beyond those little luncheons.

We first introduced the campaign by cutting together several on-air spots that featured some of those stories.  Luckily he did indeed have a lot of them.




We even made a few into radio spots…



This campaign really did work.  People were quoting the stories, and asking for more.  Here’s a POP promo, that showed the public’s response.  And it wasn’t that hard to track down people on the street to use.  They all knew the promos and the stories, and liked them.


Bud appeared as a guest on a few morning radio shows to talk about the stories, and the local paper did a story on him because of the campaign

This was a sweeps promotion campaign we came up with that focused on our 10pm News anchor. We had him go to local businesses and take over their job for the day, and did a story on it. Then aired the series during a sweep. It received press, and the businesses all promoted that they could see Bud doing their job on the news. Worked out well.  This first promo was the “call to action” promo, asking for people who wanted to have Bud come do their job for the day…


The entries we received were a wide variety.  From School Crossing Guards, to Circque du Soleil acrobats.  The viewers enjoyed seeing where Bud was going to go next.  Here are a few of them…



And of course we weren’t going to reject the submission from the “radio show phone call screener” who wanted Bud to take over for him.  Nothing like free publicity.


We produced a fun radio spot to help get the word out about this promotion.  This was around the time of the famous “Wassup!” Budweiser commercial, and there were a lot of spoofs that were generated from it.  Plus, we had the natural tie-in with the name “Bud”.


The Newspaper did a quick blurb on the Promotional Campaign…