Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Former Tribune officer Lee Abrams wants news to be more cinematic

Former Tribune Media Chief Innovation Officer Lee Abrams writes a piece on TV news for Television Business Report. He talks about revolutionizing the news product with a cinematic approach:

The problem: The eye is over-focused on news sets and cute people instead of what really can turn people on: taking the world into your living room. Visually. Pop culture works of course, but there are far better places to get it than on TV news. News photography is often unimaginative or clich├ęd. The problem is that every station seems to follow the same path. Change is usually so subtle and still within the “80’s focus group” M.O. that it registers as more of the same. Tribune has very talented news and news support people throughout the company. My concern is that they’re so framed within the 80’s “Ultra Action Super News In It For You At 10 On your Side” thing that they and the news itself are undermined. If a station is #1 doing this---please disregard for now. If you're not #1...there lies the issue.

The solution: Treat news like a movie with the story line being the news of the moment. Sexiness can be an ingredient, but the whole show is focused on visual stimulation which is a timeless characteristic of TV. And thinking! If a story really doesn't have a strong visual component, create one! READ THE REST

In full disclosure I worked with Abrams at Tribune's KIAH 39.

A look at the Tribune Company board of directors


  1. No, you SAW Lee Abrams at KIAH... I moved half-way across he country because of the bafoon. He has no idea what TV does. Good for him helping MTV to mediocracy... I'm glad it's progressed to the point of "The Situation," rather than Aerosmith videos. I'm REALLY happy about Clear Channel doing... well, whatever it is it does. Mostly, I'm glad Lee's offensive behavior finally led to his departure from our company. People like him don't understand the idea of "Fair and Balanced," which is what has happened to FOX National "News." If it were up to Lee, there would be little room for actual news creativity, and a whole lot of Lee's false creativity which basically amounted to glorified racisim and sexisim...and I say that as someone who talked to him many times. Never once did I find him less than offensive. PEACE lee.

  2. P.S. An exact quote from Lee's version (pilot of the new news by Lee called "News Fix"), "The Muslims are at it again." - refering to terrorism in a video "news" piece. I found it more offensive than real terrorism!


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