I just want to go on record as saying I can’t stand writing teases.
A tease is that little nugget the anchor reads right before the commercial to keep you tuned in through the commercials. Or that enticing little verbiage that I include with the post to get you to check it out. They are usually the last thing written in a newscast because they are the least important, and the biggest pain to write. Consultants will tell you the tease is everything. In big markets they have people that write nothing but teases… power to them… but not for me.
When I started producing newscasts. I loved the teases. I would spend a great deal of time trying to come up with just the right wording. Usually something pop culture that was a wink to those in the know. One of my favorites was a tease with video of a car jumping through the air. I had my editor freeze the video of the car in mid-air. The anchor read the script.. “Just like on the Dukes of Hazzard, you’re going to have to wait through the commercial to see what happens.” BOOM. Killer. The anchor loved it.
Several years later I had the chance to use the same tease for a different video. This time my anchor didn’t get the reference and didn’t ask, so they changed it to, “Just like every bad science fiction movie, we’re going to pause it, and be right back.” WTH?
So I have been trying to write compelling teases for the stories we have been posting on this website. I hate to admit it, but clearly the better the tease, the more views we get. Example, there is an interesting story about the Paragon statue downtown. I could not get my head around something cool to say, so I gave it a standard lame tease. Not many hits. Another example, on one of the cemetery visits I mentioned there was a hot Jesus involved. Lots of views to see Jesus with an 8-pack. I also think the title helps. For example, “An Usher and a Gentleman” got a ton of hits.. The “Redbud Trail” not so much. “Fast Times at Planeview High” a hit, “Idlewild Park” not really a success.
I will try to put my creative mojo back to work and write some more interesting teases and titles… now that I don’t have to worry about an anchor changing the meaning. Feel free to check out the stories with lame titles… they’re still pretty good.
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