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items tagged with WQAD

A Prescription for Local Television News: What Ails Our Newscasts, and Some Suggestions to Fix Them
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: News/Features

Category: Media

2014-02-06 15:09:56

(Listen to Jeff Ignatius discuss this article on WVIK’s “Midwest Week” here.)

I come to praise local television news, not to bury it.

Okay, there won’t be much praise, and there will be some burying. But I bastardize and invert the famous line from Julius Caesar for a reason: My goal isn’t to criticize and mock the newscasts of the four Quad Cities television stations; I want instead to help make them better.

But before one can prescribe, one needs to diagnose what ails the patient. And before diagnosis, one needs to establish the basic state of health.


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Has WQAD’s Sweeps Ploy Made a Better Newscast?
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: News/Features

Category: Media

2011-02-17 15:53:42

In October, I took a snapshot of local television news by watching and analyzing four nights of 10 p.m. newscasts by the four primary commercial Quad Cities stations. I was, admittedly, harsh on WQAD, saying that the ABC affiliate was “stunningly weak in local news.”

So when WQAD announced that in February, its Monday late-night newscasts would feature “35 minutes of news, weather, and local-sports content with no interruptions,” I was intrigued.

At the outset, it’s important to note that this is clearly a stunt for the February sweeps. If WQAD can attract more viewers – on Mondays specifically, but with the hope that they’ll stick around the other six days of the week – it can charge more for advertising, which over the long haul would more than make up for the lost revenue on four Mondays.

But as sweeps stunts go, this is a ballsy and encouraging gambit. Rather than sensational coverage or giveaways, WQAD seemed to be promising a better newscast.


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The Best Local TV News: KWQC Is Still King, but Surprising WHBF Is an Underdog Worth Watching
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: News/Features

Category: Media

2010-10-28 11:21:07

Most of us like to root for an underdog, so here’s a story that our local television news stations should eat up.

When the River Cities’ Reader analyzed Quad Cities newscasts for four days earlier this month, there was one major surprise: The fourth-place local station at 10 p.m. – CBS affiliate WHBF, whose newscast has gotten trounced in the ratings by a syndication sitcom on Fox 18 – might just have the best local television news in the Quad Cities.

In just about every objective and subjective measure, WHBF’s late-night newscast beats or presents a strong challenge to established power KWQC, the local NBC affiliate.


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The Return of Terry Swails: How WQAD Scored the Biggest Name in Quad Cities Weather, and What It Means
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: News/Features

Category: Media

2009-07-08 12:08:16

Terry Swails

When the National Weather Service issued a Particularly Dangerous Situation tornado watch on May 25 last year, Terry Swails was in an unusual position: He could chase the storm - and not via a radar from the confines of a television newsroom.

He was in Iowa City that Sunday, coming home from a storm-chasing trip in Kansas during which he saw three tornadoes.

That Sunday storm produced the EF5 tornado that hit Parkersburg, Iowa - the strongest tornado in the state since 1968.

His wife Carolyn dissuaded him from chasing it - she'd had enough of storms - but for the first time in nearly three decades, Swails has been able to indulge his love of weather directly instead of through the technology of a television station. "When the storms came, I had to work," Swails said last week. "I was always inside."

On Monday, Swails returns to the airwaves after an 18-month absence, doing weather on WQAD's 6 p.m. weekday newscasts. It's a part-time gig, meaning that Swails can devote more time to the actual weather and to his Web site.

For WQAD, this is a bold partnership that will almost certainly erode KWQC's local-news dominance and could start a sea change. Channel 8 will allow Swails to directly promote TerrySwails.com on the air, and in exchange it will get the Quad Cities' most recognizable weather personality.


Read More About The Return Of Terry Swails: How WQAD Scored The Biggest Name In Quad Cities Weather, And What It Means...





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