Why take a Road Trip?
So I bet you are wondering, why do we at WCNC-TV broadcast a Road Trip only certain times of the year? Why is it not a part of our regular newscasts year round? And what is up with this Road Trip Extra starting a 4:30pm…thirty minutes before our regularly scheduled newscasts? All good questions, and hopefully I can shed some light on these posing questions. All questions that even we as employees ask ourselves in an attempt to re-affirm our commitment – or goals – when it comes to this major production.
So let us start with the first question…why broadcast the Road Trip on certain times of the year? Get ready for the million dollar answer to the multimillion dollar question, so buckle up! November is one of our four ratings period during the year – February, May, July, and November to be exact. We are in the business to bring content to our viewers in the hopes to gain a big enough audience to convince advertisers to pay us for ad time. But that is just the small picture, or the short term investment perspective.
I am a journalist not an MBA. The long term, bigger picture answer is simply this…we know that every television station in the market is promoting their television product in the hopes to also gain viewers. Even the biggest primetime shows are promoting to gain viewers during these monthly time periods. So, we are hoping to capitalize on those viewers clicking the remote to see something new and different, to gain someone that is willing to invest in a long term relationship with a quality news product. And now the bigger picture, we are on the biggest PR campaign a station can put together. We are out on the streets trying to meet our viewers, hoping that a one-on-one relationship will be yielded by some good ole fashion grass roots, city-to-city campaign.
So this leads me to the next question…why not put on the Road Trip year round??? Well, I go back to one of my earlier blog entries. We pull resources from many parts of WCNC-TV – from Special Projects, News, Production, Engineering, and Creative Services. We spend months getting ready for a month of broadcasts by planning and getting our regular jobs ahead so when we pull ourselves from our daily commitments, our station doesn’t fall apart! Our managers spend months and months budgeting, forecasting, promoting, and planning just to get ready for these month long campaigns. Logistically we would have to hire a staff to put this on every month of the year, so if you like the Road Show…you could email Belo Corporation to increase our budget for a staff to put this show on for your viewing pleasure!
And this leads to the final question, what is up with the Road Trip Extra starting at 4:30pm. Well, about a month ago…our regular 4:30pm show – A Current Affair – folded and went off the air. So we wanted to find a replacement that would be a good transition into our 5pm newscasts. So, we had already planned to do bring you the Road Trip for the month of November, well our brilliant minds decided to expand the Road Trip into a thirty minute show that would give you a better taste of each stop along the way.
So the point of this little thesis discussion is this…we want to find every opportunity to get out into the public to meet you – our audience. This is done in the hopes that we can forge more relationships while meeting our faithful viewers. This little discussion also provided perspective for our faithful crew…the reason why we are here, on the road. It isn’t about departmental territory, the ever present lighting discussion, or even who is working the hardest; it is about you the viewer! If we as the crew are creating a place where you as the viewer can enjoy a few minutes of fun, thought provoking content…then we have met our goal. See you tomorrow at 4:30pm…the Road Trip rolls on to the Merchandise Mart!