60 Years of QLD TV

Days elapsed since Local Edition's end.

Monday, August 23, 2021

Content Survey Live 2021: Lexicon News, Night 1.


For those who have missed last week's action:
10 Week:

Just when you thought it was safe to turn off the content survey for another year, here we are again together for a second week, albeit one with a difference.

This, is Lexicon News.

But you all are asking: "What the hell is Lexicon News?"

Lexicon News's genesis

Lexicon News, came about as a way to extend the format into a second week, but it's catalyst, was a move I made twelve months ago: from Brisbane to regional Queensland, where 7's news service is not only omnipotent, but probably has been the most successful local news product in aggregated Australia for the last decade, as bulletins were added in markets that were once heartlands for WIN Television (Rockhampton in 2010, and Toowoomba in 2015) while the regional television sector played two games of musical chairs with Southern Cross and Win concerning the Nine chair in Victoria, Southern NSW and Queensland in 2016 and 2021: consigning Nine to a very deep ratings hole in our part of the world.

But it hasn't been without some growing pains, especially when Seven News in Brisbane expanded to one hour in 2014, which eventually (once Toowoomba gained a local news service in December 2015) resulted in Seven's 6pm hour in Brisbane being heavily edited into a 1/2hr service to air at 6:30, with Brisbane's sport/weather airing live statewide.

From this position (and a little help from a PVR recording the directors cut and 7+'s full bulletin), we will find out how much Queensland regional viewers don't see in the (news) directors cut of BTQ's 6pm news.

"Why the name, Lexicon News?"

The inspiration for the name: came from the most unusual source: a Christmas tape, someone uploaded to Youtube.
(There is nothing to be ashamed about people outside the industry watching TV Xmas tapes, broadcasters: especially, as even the BBC celebrated their own, back in 2018.)
This particular Christmas tape, came from BTQ in Brisbane, in 1986: and probably lines up with some of the best ever done by the Beeb (less titilation, but more of a cohesive story)
The story, is simply: parodying Bondy's Sky Channel, with their own idea... "The Lexicon Channel".

The Lexicon 1200: unrivalled in it's performance, can time compress your favorite programs, so you the viewer can enjoy more programs in less time than any other network. Imagine Gone With The Wind being telecast in one hour, Imagine 26 minutes of commercials, and eight minutes of station promotion per hour, that's The Lexicon Channel's promise. A new generation of broadcasting has been born.
The Lexicon Channel: Taking on the challenge, taking entertainment to new... lengths.

Quote from the afore mentioned Christmas tape's intro.

The whole idea was, simply a channel that actively edited programs so as much programming could be screened as possible in as little time as possible: as famously explained by the eccentric idea of condensing the four hour epic, "Gone With The Wind", into a one hour slot... only to stick 34 minutes of non program content in, leaving only 24mins of the film.

Hence why this week is called "Lexicon News": where a hour news bulletin is condensed into a small time frame: in a small timeframe, so it can be gotten out of the way, because 7 doesn't want to move Home and Away.

The Ground Rules:

The ground rules, for the Lexicon News event, are taken from a promo, in 1987: that compared Seven's second attempt at 1hr news in Brisbane, with Nine's 1/2hr product that became dominant at the exact same time.
As it described:
"If you are watching a half-hour news, take out the weather, sport, opening music, hello's and goodbyes and the commercials, and you could only get about 12 minutes of real news each night."

Thus the ground rules for the Lexicon News challenge are for five nights:
-Time the length of the bulletin, from the moment the first story intro begins at 6, to the time the throw to sport begins, on both bulletins.
-Write down every story on the 1hr version, and compare with the half hour version to see how much content is removed.
-Subtract the BNE timing from the regional timing to get the amount of time lost to regional QLD viewers each night by simply trimming the BTQ news bulletin.
-Ultimately: add up all the figures, and come up with a final set of numbers at the end of the week.

And, that's how a joke on a Christmas tape, married with a 1987 promo, to create a challenge that gives us clarity concerning how much news you actually miss on 7, just because you live outside of Brisbane.

We now can reveal the first results of the Lexicon News survey. These results will be out within the same night, unless it is impractical to do so, as these will not require ratings data (unlike the five 10's surveyed last week.)

Now, we have a chronological overview of the BTQ bulletin as it aired in Brisbane between the opener and sport. Stories shared with the regional cut, are marked in bold and red.

(Opener) Check in QLD failure/borders, Desk live cross (Pfizer boost), Tweed Heads protest aftermath, live cross from the QLD border at Coolangatta, Canberra press conference r.e. vaccination targets, promo for kids vaccination story for after sport, Afghan story, Townsville burglaries (with the clean shaven Dave Last for the LNP, at a Logan press conference whose real purpose (hospital ramping) didn't even make 7's 6pm news), Hervey Bay murder, Merle breakthrough for CRR project, flagbearers for the Paralympic opening ceremony. (End of segment 1)
(Start of segment 2) NRL expansion pitch, Melbourne road rage, IVF breakthrough (end of segment 2)
(Start of segment 3) Cracking footpaths, coronial inquest into a accidental shooting, Tennessee flood story, southerners speculating on Queensland property. (end of segment 3)
(Start of segment 4) Fuelcast/Finance, Toll delivery strike, CSIRO weight study, Qantas vaccine campaign, promo for post-sport (intro to sport).

That timing in Brisbane, added up to 31 minutes, even.

We then watched the regional cut (from a recording we had on standby): we timed it, and it added up to 10 minutes, even.

Therefore, Seven lexiconed (get used to that word by the way) from their Brisbane news hour, a grand total of 21 minutes even.

"Hey: if we lexiconed any more from this bulletin, all we'd end up with is..."

From Sage Antone on Youtube

See you tomorrow, for another edition of Lexicon News... taking news presentation to new lengths!

Lexicon News Week:

No comments:

Post a Comment