Study shows promos drive away news auds

Report says overhype, 'exclusive' sends viewers away

On-air promos for local newscasts may be driving viewers straight to the competition, according to a Promax & BDA-commissioned study on the effectiveness of local news promotion.

The report, conducted by Frank N. Magid Associates, found that a third of local TV news auds say that promos often discourage them from watching the newscast entirely.

Magid said spots that overhype and reports tagged “exclusive” have been found to shoo viewers from one station to their preferred one because they know that their favorite newscasts will likely have the same story anyway.

“I’m quite shocked at the levels of promotion that turns viewers away from certain networks,” said Brent Magid, prexy-CEO of the news consulting firm. “There’s also a tremendous amount that does nothing at all.”

Findings, along with suggestions for improvement, were unveiled at the 48th annual Promax & BDA conference, the yearly trade show dedicated to promotion in both broadcasting and cable.

Unlike in years past, the exhibitor floor, keynote address and weeklong sked have been nixed in favor of a three-day, nuts-and-bolts operation that runs through Friday at the Westin Bonaventure.

This year’s theme — “Return on Investment” — surfaced in the instructional nature of Wednesday’s series of workshops, which included seminars on creating slogans, improving news promotion and reinvigorating older brands.

Panelists speaking about producing the graphic and design-heavy upfronts included promo execs Jan Chaloner of ABC, Grant Stuart of VH1 and independent producer Barry Goodman.

This year, confab drew inspiration from professionals outside the TV biz as well, recruiting motivational speaker and Nike rep Kevin Carroll and director-writer Julie Taymor to speak.

Also new this year: Promax & BDA’s first Television Century Awards, feting Fox TV topper Sandy Grushow, Hubbard Broadcasting chair Stanley Hubbard and ABC Cable prexy Anne Sweeney.