24-second news cycle

The Onion

“A typical News Moment segment includes seven seconds of lead stories, four seconds of developing news, the “International Second,” “Weather on the 00:00:13s with Bob Van Dorn,” “The Fastest Four Seconds in Sports,” a two-second top stories recap, and wraps with four seconds of mixed entertainment and lifestyle pieces. In larger markets such as New York and Los Angeles, this last portion may be preempted by local news.”

This brilliant send-up at theOnion.com reminded me of a recent promotional gimmick by one of the local TV outlets. Appears to be new enough that I can’t find a reference on their website but it goes something like:

“We give you a full seven minutes of news before the first commercial break!”

I’ve been struggling to understand why that is something they’re so proud of they mention it in the open to the newscast (Video: 10 sec Quicktime). The other stations have their first spot break 5 minutes in? I honestly don’t get it.

I can’t post this (and sleep at night) without a word about the one-minute news “capsules” that air on all of our radio networks. I remember when our newscasts were five minutes (heck, I remember when we did a 15 minute newscast at seven in the morning). Then four. And now one. The only reason they are not shorter is we couldn’t bolt on a 30 second commercial. [Onion pointer from Bob]

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