Entries Tagged as 'tv'

New O’Connell TV Affiliate SHOW Promo Demo

Peter K. O'Connell Television Affiliate Show Demo

Affiliate promo voiceover work is one of the best parts of this business for a voice actor…it’s always new, the evolution of it is fascinating if you ever study it (even over just the past few decades), new shows, new news teams…the change keeps it interesting, I think.

Match that constant change with some really smart Creative Services Directors, who always come up with new promotional ideas for shows and events, and the voiceover work doesn’t feel so much like work.

My new television affiliate show promo voiceover demo includes not just my voiceover work (which I think is pretty good) but it also includes some of those great promo concepts that I mentioned, including shows like Ellen and Family Feud. The concepts and my reads are show-friendly, advertiser-friendly and overall…very brand-friendly for the stations.

The television affiliate news demo that I recently produced has a different feel – still promotional, but news is often times more serious than entertainment programming and so news promos need to have a more serious edge.

Both types of promo are right within my wheelhouse. If you’re a CSD looking for a new show or news promo voice for your television station (no matter the market), listen to the demo BELOW, please get in touch with me and let’s talk. Thanks.

LISTEN TO THE NEW PETER K. O’CONNELL TELEVISION AFFILIATE SHOW PROMO DEMO:

New O’Connell TV Affiliate NEWS Promo Demo

Peter K. O'Connell Television Affiliate News Demo

Besides the fact that it has been a while since I updated my TV Affiliate News Promo Demo, it never hurts when a TV station inquiries about my affiliate voiceover services to force me to get my butt in gear to make the demo update.

For those not in the industry, the TV affiliates are the local stations in your local TV market where you watch your ABC, CBS, CW, FOX, NBC & PBS network shows as well as national newscasts like World News Tonight, CBS Evening News, NBC Nightly News and PBS Newshour. These TV affiliates have local newscasts with name like Eyewitness News, Action News, NewsCenter, News 4 and have news slogans like “Live, Local & Late Breaking” or “On Your Side”.

I really enjoy voicing affiliate news promos but sometimes we voice talents forget that we need to actually update our voiceover work via our demos for prospective stations.

It’s like advertising agencies that are always busy working on client work and forget to update the agency’s marketing on their web site.

I also recently updated my TV Affiliate Show Promo Demo, more for the Programming department than the News department…I am equally comfortable in both genres.

When producing this new VO demo, I felt like less is more. So I kept the demo to 4 really strong segments that best represent the versatility of my affiliate news promo voice. I hope you agree. 🙂

If you’re a Creative Service Director at a network affiliate television station, I REALLY hope you agree.

Let me know what you think. Thanks!

LISTEN TO THE NEW PETER K. O’CONNELL TELEVISION AFFILIATE NEWS PROMO DEMO:

 

 

The FCC Begins 2018 By Failing To Protect Local Communities

FCC LogoOn January 8, 2018, the Federal Communications Commission will remove the almost 80 year-old rule that required broadcasters to have a physical studio in or near the areas where they have a license to transmit TV or radio signals.  With that rule no longer in place, the FCC has issued a likely fatal blow to the tradition of local broadcasting in radio and TV.

I’m not talking about the syndication of a program, which has been a profitable and long standing broadcast practice (that’s how the world first heard about Oprah Winfrey). Rather, with the elimination of the rule requiring broadcast owners maintain a main studio in or near the local coverage area of their license …owners can rent an office somewhere, sell ads locally, while all non-network broadcasts emanate from one central location…some place else, anywhere else really.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, who took a leadership role on this ruling, said “Continuing to require a main studio would detract from, rather than promote, a broadcaster’s ability and incentive to keep people informed and serve the public interest.”

Chairman Pai’s professional background is that of a lawyer, administrator and bureaucrat. He had only a brief career as a lawyer in the telecommunications industry. His resume references no work in broadcasting. None.

The only winner with the elimination of this rule is anyone with a large broadcasting company (about ½ dozen or more companies) who can now create centralized hub studios any single place in the country and simply send out a signal to a city or town’s transmitter.

If you go to the web site of your local TV and radio station, you’ll see the station’s corporate owner name. Click on the web site link…see how many other stations they own and where.

Then think about how much money they will save their company by shuttering all their local TV and radio stations, laying off a sizable portion (if not all) of their local staffs at those stations, putting their stations’ local sales departments in small rented local buildings while all broadcast operations emanate and are transmitted from a far-away US city.

They will try and make the broadcast look and sound local, maybe, but (as an example) a Los Angeles broadcast hub for scores of stations isn’t going to be able to truly share the local news and community feel of (say for example) Sioux Falls, SD or insert your town or city name here.

Cost cutting at local stations has been happening for some time at broadcast stations. Some radio stations broadcast only satellite programming, with maybe someone reading local news in the morning and a local TV meteorologist pre-recording a weather forecast throughout the day (or just using a national weather service…again, not local).

Many TV stations within an ownership group have their news programs actually directed from a regional production hub nowhere physically near the station. And in some markets, a TV station in one city or state will actually create a newscast in their city for a station and viewers in totally different and unrelated city…sometimes fairly far away. Or TV stations just forego a news operation all together. Too much time, effort and money….you understand.

Some will ask why it matters to have a station physically in a market. The Internet, YouTube, and iPhones have changed how we all consume news and programing. Satellite radio is more popular than ever as are Internet radio outlets.

I understand all that but…BECAUSE of those new channels — the need for local coverage is more important than ever and cannot be executed effectively by well-meaning people in a building hundreds or thousands of miles away who have no ties to a community.

A Winter Storm Whips Across Lake Erie South of Buffalo, NY

If you’ve ever been through a tornado, blizzard, forest fire, flood or other horrible disaster, that would be just one prime example of how news…live and local, will be almost completely lost either immediately or over a slow, imperceptible transition to viewers and listeners. Local meteorologists? Oh, they can just put those weather computers any place and see the readouts.

Oh, and the job losses at all these local stations? Well those are a big part of how ownership groups will save money, which is why broadcast lobbyists put immense political pressure on the executive and legislative branches of the US government (and thus the FCC) to get this rule eliminated. Just because they own broadcast outlets doesn’t necessarily make these TV and radio station group owners true broadcasters. Owners answer to revenue and profits and it matters little how those are achieved.

I understand and respect cost savings as a business owner. I get it.

But as a broadcaster, who understands the immense value that a radio and TV station bring to a community, I see a dangerous and probably irreversible change. Change whose resultant problems will be dramatically felt at a local level while its national implementers are safely ensconced in their vaults.

It may be a slow demise, but it will likely be local broadcasting’s demise nonetheless.

check your mail, you may already be a winner

Peter K. O'Connell Voiceover Want Ad 2017Ok, well there’s actually nothing to win but certainly check your mail!

And maybe you already have, which is why you’re checking out this page. Welcome to my voiceover blog.

If we haven’t properly met yet, hi, I’m Peter.

Yes, I sent out a new direct mail postcard this week to about 900 of my media production peers who work in audio production, TV and radio production, TV promo, explainer video production, documentaries and darn near every other kind of electronic production worldwide that uses voiceover.

I hadn’t done a mailer in a while, and with this year being my 35 anniversary in voiceover, I figured that’s something to talk about on a big postcard.

Why direct mail?

People still love getting unique stuff in the mail, even an oversized postcard. It’s a reminder to those I’ve worked with before that I’m still around (give me a call). It’s also an introduction to folks who may have heard of me (or may not have heard of me) but might need some professional voice talent help – the card is a friendly hello (give me a call) to them as well.

I’ll still do email blasts every now and again but I fear those don’t get read as much as they used to…my open rates are still good and I keep the message short and sweet!

So if you’re just finding me for the first time, hi (welcome!), and if you’re returning, hi again and thanks for coming back.

Oh and if you do need to call me, I’m on +01 716-572-1800.

so, about dave….

 David Letterman announces his retirement Photo copyright Associated Press

David Letterman announces his retirement
Photo copyright Associated Press


As a broadcasting nut (mostly because of my personal and professional addiction) I have been fortunate enough to hear and see some amazing things on television. Each makes you feel something whether it was the horrible OSCAR telecast with Rob Lowe and Snow White, the Challenger Disaster which I watched live in my dorm room as it happened or even the final shows of countless TV programs that I used to watch.

Many of us watched the last Tonight Show with Johnny Carson (and Jay Leno – twice- and Conan O’Brien- also twice). Not so much for today’s generation but for mine, Late Night television has been something special (even when it was bad).

But Johnny- as great as the show was- was not of my generation. I caught that train somewhere in the late 70s when it was already established but still in its 90 minute format.

But then came this fellow that Carson mentored, David Letterman. I remember first seeing Dave on something like Don Kirschner’s Rock Concerts as a stand- up comedian. I didn’t think he was particularly funny.

Then somehow Letterman ended up with a morning show on NBC. I caught that for a while and just thought the whole episode was awkward, although towards the end some of the bits were funny because clearly they didn’t care any more.

But Carson decided he wanted Letterman as part of the new 12:30 am slot. Given lots of rules that would differentiate it from The Tonight Show, Late Night with David Letterman debuted and television was not quite the same after that.

It was unique mostly because Late Night had to twist the talk show format to suit Carson. It was a wise move for Carson and ultimately for Late Night. Dave and his writers came into their own in a time slot where really nobody cared much about what you did as long as it didn’t mess with Johnny.

Elevator races, top 10 lists, viewer mail, Velcro suits and Larry Bud Melman soon became television staples. What today’s generation of late night viewers take as standard operating procedure was, at the time, an inventive and modern twist on what Steve Allen and a few others had done in television’s infancy. But Dave made it ours.

I was standing in my kitchen one Friday evening in the 80’s and The Tonight Show had ended another program. In a cold open, for the next show on NBC, we see a shot of the Grateful Dead’s Jerry Garcia in his dressing room with a guitar trying to play a song but not getting it. In walks David Letterman who reaches over, adjusts Jerry’s fingers on the guitar. After which Jerry proceeds to start strumming “Proud Mary”.

It was hysterical. I was hooked. I had MY Johnny.

Through college my roommates and I always watched Dave. The NBC debacle between Dave and Jay was high drama for me (for no good reason except my peculiar fascination with the situation) and I was so pleased when Dave got the CBS deal.

I have been to a taping of the original Arsenio Hall show and Late Night with Conan O’Brien and even a rehearsal of The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. But I never made it to the Ed Sullivan Theatre. I guess watching on the TV (and avoiding the cow herding aspects of being in a long studio audience waiting line) was good enough for me.

These final shows have been terrific mostly because Dave seems so relaxed that he’s almost like the old “Late Night” Dave. If you haven’t been watching them, you’re missing some great TV.

So far, this clip with George Clooney and Tom Waits with Dave (after Clooney handcuffed himself to Dave – hilarious because Dave was so uncomfortable – which makes him so funny) is my favorite for everyone’s great reactions and spontaneity. Watch this…

None the less, I’m watching these final shows with the kind of sadness I should reserve for people I know – and in spite of the TV relationship, I do not know any of these folks. But I’m sad for them and me none the less. It’s the kind of end of high school “we will never pass this way again” thing we’ve all been through.

I will be sadder than when I watched Johnny’s last show because Dave was my guy and he’s leaving. It may be time, but you never want to say goodbye even when you know you should.

So Dave, you’ll never read this, but thanks. You are a broadcaster’s broadcaster and an excellent entertainer in your own right.

Thanks for sharing your talents.

Good night!

3 reasons why this such a good tv commercial

It’s hard for a TV commercial to get my attention, hold my attention and make me remember it. That’s because I’ve not only seen so many commercials but I’ve also been a part of so many commercial productions that I think I’m a little jaundiced about spots.

So the other day while just changing channels, I came across this Bayer Aspirin commercial having never seen it before. It totally drew me in and got my attention and I’ll tell you why I think it worked so well.

GREAT WRITING IN 7 SECONDS
You innocently watch a guy at a sporting event, enjoying himself. Some paramedics come towards him, which confuses him because he has no medical issues. But as they tell him, he soon will. WHAT?! That’s a great commercial hook. Bam! 7 seconds!

GREAT COMMERCIAL ACTING
Make no mistake, it’s not the voice-over that impresses in this spot, it’s the actors. Our protagonist not only delivers his set-up line well but his facial expression after he’s told he’s about to have a heart attack is spectacular, it’s real and it’s honest. But let us not ignore the great simple performance of the paramedic who firmly but calmly informs her soon to be patient that he’s going to have a heart attack.

SIMPLE EDITING IS NEVER SIMPLE
From the establishing shot to paramedics entry and conversation shots, it all flows really nicely and innocently until the viewer is as smacked awake as the protagonist when the heart attack line is delivered. The editing is simple because there seems to be nothing especially dramatic unfolding. Until it does.

Maybe you saw the ad and it didn’t grab you like it grabbed me but it was so impactful to me as the viewer I wanted to share it with you. There enough NOT so impressive spots out there that I think we should celebrate the really good ones.

What do you think about this spot? Great? Or did it seem like just another TV spot?