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Mystery of the Holiday Promos Uncovered

CONCORD, NH - SEPTEMBER 04:  Former Massachuse...

Mitt Romney: A Bad Bet?

Call it the Holiday Tale of the Dueling Promos.

Channel 2 has begun running holiday promos that have had some of my blog readers questioning whether they were inspired by (or copying) the old Channel 4 holiday promos that were noticeable by their absence until this past weekend.

Not so, wrote Channel 2 General Manager Jim Toellner after I texted him about the similarities. He explained that the station’s holiday promos involve something different every year. He added that Channel 2’s new marketing director, Larry Watzman, arrived from Dallas in June and hasn’t seen Channel 4’s holiday spots.

Of course, local viewers hadn’t seen them this year, either, until this past weekend. According to my sources, a corporate executive from Channel 4’s owner, LIN Media, recently told the staff he didn’t care if they ever aired this holiday season. Some of my more cynical readers added it wouldn’t have been a bad idea to rest those promos for a year, too.

Bah humbug.

Then they showed up over the weekend, though not too often. They certainly don’t air as often as all the weather promos fronted by meteorologist Don Paul.

A couple of reader comments made me laugh out-loud before the promos returned. Wrote Gman: “Wouldn’t the staff have to produce and film their own little ‘happy holidays’ segment? That’s the new way of doing things at Channel 4. This year truly may be my ‘favorite time’ – not having to be overexposed to that ditty.”

Wrote Rob: “Maybe News 4 hasn’t had a chance to get the kiddie corps to the mall to take their photos with Santa.”

I saw the revised Channel 4 spots for the first time during Saturday’s Army-Navy football game. They had to be revised because of all the Channel 4 personnel that has departed and arrived in the past year.

The familiar holiday theme song played as a variety of Channel 4 staffers were shown with their families. I even recognized most of the staffers, though I bet many viewers would have trouble identifying every one of them without a scorecard.

Channel 2’s holiday promo features a variety of its news personnel hanging ornaments on trees, wrapping presents and doing other traditional holiday things to a much livelier song that ends with “Happy Holidays From 2 on Your Side.”

In that sense, the promos are a lot like the stations’ newscasts. Channel 4’s promos look and old musty despite all the newcomers featured. Channel 2’s promos seem much more modern and energetic.

Channel 2’s promos also don’t have their personalities interacting with any of their real family members. Rather, they try to create the illusion that all the people anchoring and reporting there are part of one big happy family. You might even get the erroneous impression that some of the anchors are married to each other.

Many of the faces in Channel 2’s promos are much more recognizable than those in Channel 4’s promos, which says a lot about how much local television news has changed in the last few years.

Whoever would have thought a decade ago that Channel 2 would become the model of stability?

Speaking of my readers, a couple of them correctly noted that Kristy Mazurek – who will be joining Channel 2’s noon show with Bill O’Loughlin next Monday – was a former Channel 7 reporter and not just a former intern at the station.

Death Notice: Memo to my friends at the Buffalo News: For the past few weeks, the front page of the website has featured a local obituary of a man who owned an Amherst insurance agency. Needless to say, somebody must have died in the interim. When you click on the obituary, it says it was first published on Dec. 26, 2011, which is almost two weeks away. Fill in your own punch line.

Worth a $1 Bet? I’d bet a buck that most people watching Saturday night’s Republican presidential candidate debate didn’t take Mitt Romney’s proposed $10,000 bet with Rick Perry as seriously as the news analysts did. I’m no big fan of Romney but I don’t think he was illustrating how rich he is and how out-of-touch he is with the middle class. I think he was just doing what many people do when they know they are right — exaggerate how much he’d bet to illustrate how sure he was of his position. How many times have you said “I’ll bet you a million dollars that I’m right?”


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6 responses to "Mystery of the Holiday Promos Uncovered"

  1. Jlessord says:

    I for one like and look forward to the musty old Ch. 4 ditty. Seems to always put me in the holiday mood. .The faces may change but the tune and message stay the same and thus I always find myself humming a bar or two of it this time of year,,,which I suppose would be an argument for it’s effectiveness.

  2. Rob says:

    It’s always seems like a game of “Monkey see Monkey do.” News 4 ripped off the popular “Ways to Save” on Channel 2′s Morning show and now WGRZ is copying the warm, fuzzy Happy Holidays promo.

  3. Gman says:

    All I can say is thank goodness I was being productive Saturday afternoon and missed the Army/Navy game.Ch 4′s promos? Of course they look bad. Someone please call and tell them about the new quality of television video that is available today. It’s called HIGH DEFINITION, or HD for short.And Don Paul and his “quack” weather staff; thanks for letting us know about the LAKE EFFECT STORM that was ready to decimate the area with 9 in. of snow last weekend. Thank God you have your Meteorologist degree. It sure helps with your forecasts.

    • Mark Scott says:

      With all due respect, Gman, you’re being unfair to Don Paul and his staff. The National Weather Service also had five to nine inches in its forecast. I’ve said this before. And I’ll say it again. Meteorology is an inexact science because NO ONE can control “Mother Nature.” Meteorologists look at their computer models and try to make their best estimate of what will happen. As a viewer, I’d rather have fair warning, as compared to October 2006 when there was none, and we got socked! What happened here was that the air was just a bit warmer than expected, allowing rain to mix with the snow, thereby reducing the accumulation. Now, if you’re critical of local newscasts for over-hyping upcoming snow storms, I would tend to agree with you. I think all of us in the media could tone down the breathlessness of our coverage when lake effect is forecast. But again, look what happened last year on the Thruway. So, the media are damned if they do and damned if they don’t. I, for one, am just thankful when a storm peters out. It’s certainly preferable to the alternative.

      • Bob says:

        If the local media wants to hype the forecasts than they are fair game for criticism. They over-hype the first couple non-events and, then miss the first real storm, you only have to look at last year. Sure Don Paul and all the other weather broadcasters have access to the same models, but they don’t have to show graphs of possible snow depths and even the time the snow will arrive if they aren’t sure. They only look bad and viewers will only tune out future warnings. I’m surprised they didn’t close the schools the night before.

  4. Doug says:

    Yea but Romney didnt say ill bet you a million, he said 10,000 – Big difference. Also, hes a Mormon right? They cant drink alcohol or caffeine, so I doubt hes able to be betting like that either.

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