Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Death of the "X" O'clock News Teaser?

So, I'm sitting at home, alone, tonight, watching TV. Well, to be more honest, I'm sitting around using StumbleUpon to kill time and periodically checking in on FaceBook. The TV's mostly on for background noise At any rate, as I sit here, tapping away at my laptop, one of the local TV stations has a blurb for their 11 o'clock local news show. It's like a 15-second blurb, so, all they really say is "we'll check out story 'X' on tonight's news hour."

Now, this is something that I've heard, in one form or another, since I was a kid. I'm sure it wasn't a new way to entice viewers, even in the 1970s. For some reason, though, tonight it occurred to me, "what's the point of the news teaser?" I mean, it did make sense even as recently as 5-10 years ago, but why bother, any more. I mean, if I haven't already been alerted to this story by FaceBook, Twitter, some other social media outlet or just general reading of news sites, hitting me with the teaser isn't going to make me wait around until whatever time you want to put that news story on. No: I'll hit up my favorite search engine and see if I can find out what you were hinting at. When you finally get your new hour on the air, it will be old news to me. Either it will be of little interest to me, by which point, the Internet-as-spoiler will have removed my desire to tune in, or I will have already read extensively about it from a variety of sources. Either way, waiting for your new show is pointless.

In other words, at this point in the game, the news show "teaser" does more to discourage viewership than it does to entice viewership. Besides: your news show conflicts with other programming (like Adult Swim) that I won't need to miss, thanks to you alerting me to the need to do an Internet-search.

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