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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

Teasing Is A Good Thing

Choosing the right teases is essential when it comes to preparing the rundown for your newscast. If you opt to tease the wrong stories, you can immediately turn your viewers off. The key with teases, then, is determining what stories will captivate those tuning in. It’s one thing to get viewers to start watching your show but another to keep them interested long enough to resist the temptation to pick up the remote and change channels. 

As the lead producer, the role of identifying and writing the teases for the newscast falls on your shoulders. After a long day in the newsroom, it’s easy to treat the task as an afterthought. To do so, however, is a big mistake. After all, teases can make or break your show. If you settle for the obvious stories - stories, it must be said, that rival stations are likely to feature - you are doing nothing to differentiate your newscast. The best producers think outside the square and look for teases that are not only newsworthy but that also keep viewers watching through ad breaks. 

When it comes to deciding what video should go with the teases, again, when you’ve worked all day in the newsroom as the video producer, there is a temptation to take the path of least resistance and pair the first appropriate video you can find with the script. Sometimes it can feel like getting the job done is more important than actually doing it well. But if you do that with your teases, the results are almost always disappointing. Put simply, your teases only work when the script matches the video. As the video producer, it's your job to make sure you read the script and find video that works with it. Done well, the teases can look fantastic and really give the newscast a professional look.

As the web and graphics teammate, the whole concept of teases takes on a different form. Rather than turning your attention to teasing the best stories in the newscast late in the day as is the case for the video and lead producers, as the web teammate, your job is to do that constantly throughout the day. With access to ATVN’s Twitter and Facebook pages, the web producer plays a crucial role in teasing the key stories in the newscast to our followers on social media throughout the day. It's a simpler job but one that's no less important than those of the lead and video producers. 

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