Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Cleveland’s Local News Commercials

Newscasts in Cleveland are a competitive business. With four major networks in town (ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC), there is an on going battle to draw viewers to local programming. Viewers often remain steadfastly loyal to their on-air news talent, until something nudges them to make a change. For me, I used to watch Channel 5 (WEWS) a lot, but something happened several years ago – maybe the overkill on weather, maybe I became tired of Ted Henry – but now I’m pretty much a Fox 8 and a Channel 3 viewer. Sometimes WOIO gets in there at 4:00 PM, but only when I really really really really have no other options. OK, I actually like (a little) Jeff Tanchak’s weather. That could be considered an illness in some circles.

The sad thing is that even with the struggle for viewer’s eyeballs being so fierce, the station news promotions have gotten pretty boring. So I thought I’d go back and see if I could find some of the real “oldies but goodies” that were interesting. I apologize in advance for some of the video quality – I’m just using the best I can find.

Enjoy the trip down memory lane!

This is probably the best news promo that I can recall. The quality isn’t great, but you’ll get the point. It’s a promo for WEWS featuring Ted Henry and Dave Patterson. There are actually two promos here, the first being the original and the second, I believe, aired later as a spoof of the first. The second commercial really was actually more impressive and funny.

Here’s one from WJW for their City Camera News, where they spoof the character "Mother Nature" from the Chiffon Margarine commercials:

“Catch 5” from WEWS, probably from the early 1970s. It reminds me a little bit of a bad migraine I had, but featured the talent on the channel at the time. Of course, when you look at the set and the weather “graphic”, the on air talent is all they could feature. Dull by today’s standards but flashy and eye catching for it’s time.

And despite that I don’t have a high opinion of WOIO’s 19 Action News, I do like these two relatively recent spots (from about 2 years ago) that featured Jeff Tanchak. They were creative and amusing.

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