Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Earth’s Great Nor’easter

March 26, 2014

LIVE: Spring Blizzard Cuts Power to Thousands in New England

The Great Red Spot is signature Jupiter.

Jupiter’s giant storm could hold two to three earth-sized planets.

On earth?

We’ve got something, too:


Giant Nor’easter. Source: @jencarfagno, The Weather Channel

A giant Nor’easter.

Could be the largest storm on earth, as I type this.

Watch this amazing timelapse.

A closer look:

Nor'Easter March 2014

Intense wind field. Nor’easter. 26 March 2014

Blizzard conditions and power outages reported.

Waves exceeded 10 feet.

Wind gusted up to 80 miles an hour, too.

Further evidence of my musing, “Is spring broken?”

Storm had @JimCantore written all over it.

Even other meteorologists called his name:

Meteorologists warn @JimCantore. Source: @gdimeweather

Meteorologists warn @JimCantore. Source: @gdimeweather

Meteorologist Cantore answered the bell.

He’s in there, trust me. Scraping snow off the pole:

Nor'Easter Jim Cantore  Jeff Schwartz

Nor’easter engulfs @JimCantore. Source: The Weather Channel

Here’s his “live” encounter.

Can you imagine if this Nor’easter made landfall?

Its main “punch” remained out to sea.

So, unless George Clooney and the Andrea Gail make a comeback, this is not “The Perfect Storm.”

It’s vast, however.

Easily visible from space.

Probably from Jupiter, with binoculars or a small telescope.

Jupiter’s Great Red Spot is hundreds of years old.

Earth’s Nor’easter will likely “tire” in days.

The result: it’s news, but more weather and science news.

Some amazing science in-progress.

Impossible to pass up.

The visuals, alone.

One day, perhaps, an astronaut’s “live” coverage of The Great Red spot?

Until then, enjoying a great Nor’easter.

From the safety of satellite technology.


Twitter: @schwartznow

Digital Hubs:  Here or Here


Got Game? Play-Journalism Works

March 6, 2014

To Spur Traffic at News Sites, Just Travoltify

Leslie Kaufman for The New York Times:

“Which of the following interactive features drove record traffic to its respective news sites in recent months: a) How Much Time Have You Wasted on Facebook? for Time; b) The interactive dialect quiz for The New York Times; c) The Adele Dazeem Generator: Travoltify Your Name, which appeared on Slate; d) all of the above?”


All of the above.

“News organizations are changing their formats in the digital age to connect with more readers, with quizzes and games having become popular offerings that audiences find hard to resist.”

Yes, I Travolified:

Jeff Schwartz “Travoltified”

Meet Jude Stonz.

I like it.

Jude “Heisenberg” Stonz even better, if I chose “Breaking Bad.”

As for SchwartzNow “Travoltified”?

Didn’t check.

The key takeaway is, get new followers. By gamification:

“‘It is the gamification of content,’ said Joshua Benton, director of the Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard. ‘Take the same dynamics that lead games and social sharing to be addictive and use them in a way to connect to content.’”

Think crossword puzzles, NCAA brackets.

You’ve done them for years.

It’s journalism at play.

Reporter Kaufman says play-journalism works.

As in, 9.5 million unique visitors, some 100,000 people an hour.

Oh, SchwartzNow “Travoltified?”

You knew I’d try:

SchwartzNow “Travoltified”

Meet me, Jude “Heisenberg” Stonz Stewart.

Hey, Jude, can you get me traffic?

I can get you traffic.

Most likely.

Good gamification gets results.

If I ran your Online Newsroom: Got game?

Bloomberg News? Terminals Win

November 25, 2013

Signs of Change in News Mission at Bloomberg

Amy Chozick, Nathaniel Popper, Edward Wong and David Carr, The New York Times;

“The growth of Bloomberg’s terminal sales worldwide had softened over the last several years, and had dropped significantly in the last year in mainland China, a vast untapped market. Bloomberg News’s tough reporting last year about China had prompted officials to cancel subscriptions for the lucrative terminals, frustrating the company’s Beijing sales staff.”

Bloomberg journalism: is it a victim?:

“…at the Hong Kong bureau of Bloomberg News, anxious journalists were still dealing with the implications of a decision by top editors weeks earlier not to publish a hard-hitting article about a Chinese tycoon. Bloomberg employees had asserted in published reports that Matthew Winkler, the editor in chief, had justified killing the piece, citing concerns that Bloomberg journalists would be expelled from China in retaliation.”

“No longer an employee”:

“Later that night, just hours after (CEO Daniel L.) Doctoroff raised his glass, the company confirmed that one of the writers of the article was no longer an employee.”

Can Bloomberg, a media giant, balance journalism and business?

In China, at least, the answer appears champagne-glass clear.

The machines come first.

Those Bloomberg financial terminals.

They are huge business.

Read the full story linked above for context.

Profits from financial terminals overwhelm those from news.

So, Bloomberg journalists, know your priorities.

Business first. Before news.

That’s the story.


Ratings: 5 Questions for TV News Directors

April 30, 2013

Local News is not just TV, Anymore

May starts another ratings month in TV news.

Top-rated news teams approach the entire year as rating’s season.

The best don’t sprint.

They iterate forward, building on each day, every decade.

In the past week on social media, I’ve seen members of your news team:

  • Dancing and acting goofy in the newsroom via @vineapp clips
  • Arguing climate policy in Twitter spats with other TV stations
  • Posting on Facebook, but not interacting with viewers who “join the conversation” you started
  • Putting bloopers on YouTube

News directors, I’m not judging. I do have five questions for you:

  1. Do you have a social media plan?
  2. Does the social media content of your entire news team support your business objectives?
  3. Taken together, do posts from your team represent your desired brand?
  4. Are you constantly measuring your social media results?
  5. How do you know what’s working?

My advice, do more of what’s working.

Represent a cohesive brand.

Taken together, content should be on-message, conveying the true story of your market reputation.

So, survey the social media landscape.

Look for best practices from within your own market.

And from other markets.

Learn. Let your plan grow. One size does not fit all.

Engage both on-air and behind-the-scenes talent in your social media strategy.

Include anchors, reporters, producers and photographers. Know that all are posting.

Manage their desire for personal branding with your boss’s need for company branding.

Create content, but engage and listen to us, too.

Review results of your social media plan regularly with your team.

Local news is not just TV, anymore. Social media are many channels.

Make sure your team knows how critical it is to stay on-plan.

If dancing is part of the plan, okay. Track the results.

News directors, one more question.

You have a plan, right?

If so, news team: assemble.

Finding Trusted News

April 22, 2013

The Pressure to Be the TV News Leader Tarnishes a Big Brand

Reporter David Carr:

Still, when big news breaks, we instinctively look to CNN. We want CNN to be good, to be worthy of its moment. That impulse took a beating last week. On Wednesday at 1:45 p.m., the correspondent John King reported that a suspect had been arrested. It was a big scoop that turned out to be false.

In one of the most defining moments of the #BostonExplosion story — CNN blew it, while the world watched. It was not alone:

Mr. King, a good reporter in possession of a bad set of facts, was joined by The AP, Fox News, The Boston Globe and others, but the stumble could not have come at a worse time for CNN. When viewers arrived in droves – the audience tripled to 1.05 million, from 365,000 the week before, according to Nielsen ratings supplied by Horizon Media – CNN failed in its core mission.

This is now a case study.

Not totally, “How Mr. King failed (he did).”

More, “Communicating in a new media world.”

Crisis communications tests the best. Failure is not an option.

I need to trust you, when “it” goes down.

Yet, during this crisis, big news outlets failed me. Over and over.

The “King” failed.

So, is your news team is up to a crisis, beforehand?

I know big, worldwide crises from inside and outside.

I already know, you’re not ready.

Down deep, your team, lacking the resources of a CNN, knows it, too.

Trust me. Just ask them.

Bottom Line: Now is the time to be ready for “next.”

You need a plan, the right people on the bus, training and execution.

The stakes are as high as a business will ever face.

Your reputation is on the line.

Trust is about getting it right.

Morning News Drama and Business: Skip That

April 21, 2013

Waking Up on the Wrong Side of a Ratings War

Brian Stelter writing in The New York Times:

Curry felt that the boys’ club atmosphere behind the scenes at ‘Today’ undermined her from the start, and she told friends that her final months were a form of professional torture.

A nine-page story on the drama of millionaire, morning TV hosts.

Contracts, plots, PR disasters, hurt egos, crying.

But I don’t feel their pain.

Journalism is business, too.  And these hosts know it.

They angle for ratings and power. I need news, weather and sports.

Which are available online, all day long.

Turn off the TV. Turn on the tablet or smartphone.

Unless you like morning soap operas.

Me? Skip that.

If I Ran Your Newsroom: Put News Online

May 8, 2012
Streaming Your TV Newscasts Could be Good Business

If I ran your newsroom:

Streaming local TV newscasts “live” online…
…is a competitive advantage.

  • I just returned from back-to-back trips, one overseas, one to Michigan.
  • The trips kept me from home for most of a month.
  • While away, I tried to watch Colorado newscasts on my computer.
  • But I couldn’t do so; I lacked local choices.
  • I sometimes found myself watching stations from Los Angeles and Indianapolis.
That Means?
  • That means your station lost a potential viewer, as well as online traffic.
I would’ve even paid-per-view for the option. I need and devour information.
Station management may find the “live” option difficult to offer for a variety of reasons.

That said, using my experience as a free test-case, make a strategic business case for streaming your content online.

Run the potential numbers.

Start with your competitor’s data. They have the advantage for the moment.

%d bloggers like this: