Thursday, April 26, 2012

The End

This one is just a teeny, tiny blip on the media radar, but it makes me sad nonetheless.

HLN, a network that used to known as CNN Headline News, and a network that actually did real news at one time, announced it's ending Local Edition.

Local Edition was the five minute segment at :25 and :55 minutes past the hour where some local TV stations or cable operations inserted a mini newscast, or community interest piece.

Comcast still does it.  It's usually some Harrisburg dullard yammering away about something no one cares about, but local is good, even if it misses the mark.

I used to work for a TV station that produced a five minute insert for Headline News.  It was a neat little thing.  We'd record a set of headlines after our morning, noon, evening and late night newscasts.  They'd run at :25 and :55 after the hour.  Remember, this was the time before internet video got big.  It was a nice way to get the headlines around the clock.  The TV station expanded its brand to another channel, and we made a few dollars in the process.  But then, new ownership came in, and in yet another short sighted decision, the local insert was killed.

We even used to do election nights on the second channel, and I had a chance to anchor one-- the 1996 primary.  I was supposed to be at the headquarters of a candidate running for statewide office, and one of our anchors would handle the Headline News Local Edition coverage.  But, the anchor decided she'd rather study one race rather than dozens, so we swapped positions.  I had a great time.  Anchoring election coverage involves a lot of thinking on the fly, and you really have to do your homework.  Every minute was a rush.

HLN said it killed Local Edition because it destroyed the network's flow.  Really?  I thought Nancy Grace and the non stop sewage river of tabloid trash killed the flow.

Local Edition:  It was nice while it lasted.