Friday, December 14, 2007

Friday's story ideas

In light of the Mitchell baseball report, a more thorough explanation of HGH is necessary. People are now very familiar with steroids.... but how exactly does human growth hormone affect you?

New Jersey ends death penalty. What's the status of capital punishment in your market... and is change coming?

Senate approves energy bill to improve fuel efficiency, and boost production of ethanol.

Genetic testing for breast cancer. Is this new trend dependable, or are the old methods the best?

Year end tax strategies. Explain those last minute tactics to reduce your tax bill.

Green Christmas lights... are fluorescents affordable and available to light your tree & home?

The stage version of "A Christmas Story" is very popular. You might drop in on this holiday classic if it's playing.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Thursday's story ideas

Vetting a charity. In light of the Mike Ditka charity fiasco, show how you can find out which ones are legit... or how much of their dollar doesn't go to "operating expenses."

Republicans are about to float a bill in which employers can require new employees to speak English.

Airline passengers bill of rights. Explain what it is and what could happen if it becomes law.

Meanwhile, Delta is rolling out videos on proper etiquette for passengers. Free b-roll! (Hopefully it will instruct the screaming baby that always sits next to me how to keep quiet.)

Obese children who watch too much TV can develop high blood pressure. (The solution is pretty obvious.)

Baseball's steroid report will name names today.

Holiday market basket. Time to go shopping for turkey, ham, egg nog....

And finally, Wal-Mart pulls suggestive girls' underwear from store shelves. (I'm not making this up.) The panties read "Who needs credit cards..." on the front, and "When you have Santa" on the back.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

When is an exclusive not an exclusive?

Well, if you're covering a story that no one else covers... because it has no news value. Technically, it is an exclusive, but really...

Too many stations are using the exclusive label on a casual basis. Years ago it was reserved for the biggest scoops of the year. Now it seems any story that no one else bothers to cover is suddenly, "A story you'll see ONLY on channel whatever."

Oh, please.

If you're a producer, and you do this on a regular basis, you're basically crying wolf to the viewer. An exclusive should make the viewer stop and pay close attention. That's not going to happen if you have one every day.

Wednesday's story ideas

Help for frequent fliers... the "registered traveler" program. Membership has its privileges, which means getting you thru security in record time.

Study shows obesity decreases a woman's chance of getting pregnant.

Whole house generators. In light of all the power outages lately, let's explore this relatively new product that is gaining in popularity.

Polls show people are now more concerned about the economy than the war.

Fed rate cut. What does this mean for personal investing, like CDs & money markets?

Energy Star appliances. What qualifies, and how can you find out? (

Monday, December 10, 2007

Tuesday's story ideas

Study in Utah shows that people who fast one day each month are 40 percent less likely to have clogged arteries. But how safe is it to go a whole day without food?

Farm bill is in the Senate this week. What does it mean to your market, especially as it pertains to biofuel?

Are you hurting the environment by buying real Christmas trees? Or should everyone just go artificial?

Online poker. Why is it so popular with young people, and how can they get in real trouble?

Michael Vick repercussions. Will his stiff sentence make people think twice about participating in dog fighting?

Clean out the attic for last minute tax deductions. This time of year places like Goodwill and the Salvation Army receive lots of donations.... not just the cash kind.

Lead found in Christmas lights. How do you know if your decorations are safe?

Congrats...what a jump!

Just wanted to issue public congratulations to one of my clients, Caitlin McLaughlin. Caitlin has been working as a producer in Gainesville, Florida and will be heading north to join WDIV in Detroit.

For those of you scoring at home, that is a whopping jump of 151 markets!

Caitlin is a marvelous young writer and I know she'll do well... and being from Maine, she'll probably enjoy getting out of the sweltering Florida heat.

By the way, she's not even 25 yet, and already will be working in a major market. This should tell you that anything in this business is possible, so when people tell you that you must start in a certain size market, or where you should be in your second job, just ignore them. You have nothing at all to lose by sending a tape to any station. Caitlin certainly discovered that the sky's the limit if you have talent, and that age and experience can often be trumped if you have more than the other candidates.

Monday's story ideas

Fed rate cut. Will America get an early holiday gift from the powers that be? We should know this week.

Smokers who eat three servings of broccoli or cabbage per month are 73 percent less likely to get bladder cancer. This, if course, DOES NOT mean it is okay to keep smoking... but it does illustrate the power of the vegetable.

Celebrity endorsements of politicians. Do people really vote for someone because Oprah, George Clooney or Chuck Norris tells them to do so?

What are the hot toys for Christmas? (Besides the ones without lead.) And how hard is it to find them? Are people willing to pay a premium to fill a kid's Christmas wish?

Green shopping (via the Internet or catalogues) saves gas and the environment.

Gas fireplaces. Some are used with the flue closed, some with it opened. Some gas logs are banned in some states. Some say using them can be bad news if you suffer from asthma.