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No compete clause and TV news decline article
Two items: First is no compete comment. If you have clout, you might be
able to reduce it to 3 to 6 months during contract negotiations. Otherwise
you have a 6-12 month sit out period. All are negated in Mass. with the new
AFTRA sponsored law IF you were let go. Yes, it is easier for talent to
have this law as they don't have to contest (at their expense) an employer's
claim to their name/image. Many people are forced into these clauses
because if you don't sign, you don't get the job. And there are many
wannabes standing in line to sip from this dying trough. Per that, see the
article pasted below from Shoptalk.
SURVEY FINDS VIEWERS INCREASINGLY TUNING OUT LOCAL TV NEWS
With Complaints About Repetition, Sensationalism and
Misleading Promotions Reaching Record Highs, Nearly One Out
of Four Adults No Longer Watch Any Local Evening Newscasts
TV viewers are increasingly dissatisfied with local
television newscasts, according to a new survey by
Insite Media Research. Findings reveal that viewer
dissatisfaction with local TV news is so strong that it is
making a serious impact on audience behavior, causing 22
percent of the adult population, almost one out of four, to
completely avoid the local evening news. Viewers cite story
repetition, sensationalism, and misleading news promotions
to be at the core of their discontent.
The survey, developed by veteran news consultant Scott
Tallal and available at www.tvsurveys.com, was designed to
give viewers a chance to explain why they're so
dissatisfied with local TV news and help TV stations listen
directly to their audience and respond to viewer
complaints. Insite surveyed viewers nationwide for their
opinions on local news coverage via its exclusive "voice
capture" PC-based telephone interviewing system, which
uses digital audio to record actual soundbites from
"The public's attitude toward local television news has
reached a crisis point," says Scott Tallal, president of
Insite Media Research. "The trends are alarming - avoidance
of local news has doubled during the past ten years, and
complaints among those still watching are at an all-time
high, suggesting that even more audience erosion is
possible. The number of viewers who have tuned out their
local evening newscasts has jumped up to 22 percent, and
avoidance among younger viewers has climbed even higher,
topping 40 percent."
Among the survey's key findings are:
* 10 percent of those surveyed no longer watch any local
newscasts in any time period; in some markets, the figure
is as high as 33 percent for the primary 5:00, 6:00, and
10:00/11:00 p.m. shows.
* Of those who do watch local news, more than half of those
surveyed no longer care which station they watch. In fact,
the percentage of local news "discriminators" has declined
steadily for the past three years because viewers
increasingly feel that all stations are becoming more and
* Station satisfaction and loyalty scores continue to drop
right along with viewer discrimination, yet many viewers no
longer bother searching for alternatives. In many markets,
up to half of those surveyed are now resigned to watching
just one station for local news, not so much because
they like that station but rather because they're unable to
find one they like better.
* 52 percent of those surveyed feel that most stations
spend too much time covering the same stories over and over
again, presenting the same information they've already seen
and heard countless times before.
* 45 percent feel stations are too sensational in the way
they cover or present the news. 38 percent think stations
should provide a better balance of "good" and "bad" news,
and 31 percent also want coverage of crime which
focuses more on bringing suspects into custody (and less on
sensationalizing their exploits).
* 28 percent find most local news promotion to be
irritating and/or intentionally misleading. An identical
number of viewers want more coverage of the "real" issues
facing their community, while 27 percent also think
most stations should show viewers more respect and stop
underestimating their intelligence. Another 25 percent also
want a broader scope of coverage (in every respect).
"Too often the audience feels its intelligence is being
insulted," says Bill Brown of Coaching Company, a broadcast
industry consultant working with Insite. "People are
telling us loud and clear that there's not enough about the
issues that actually have an impact on their lives. With
all the increased competition, some stations are trying to
manipulate the audience with sensational coverage or
misleading promotion, alienating many of the viewers
they're trying to attract. Competition also leads many
stations into copycat tactics which not only perpetuate
many of these problems, they also result in newscasts which
look so much alike that the audience can no longer tell the
In an effort to help the TV news industry combat viewer
dissatisfaction, Brown and Tallal have drafted a "Local TV
News Viewers Bill of Rights" and circulated it, along with
the results of the Insite survey, to over 60 TV client
stations in the hope that they will present coverage that
is more substantive than sensational, particularly in the
reporting of crime stories. Its points include:
* The right to more updating and less repetition.
* Freedom from sensational news coverage.
* The right to a balance of positive and negative news.
* The right to meaningful crime coverage.
* Freedom from misleading newscasts promotion.
* The right to coverage of "real" local issues.
* The right to more respect.
* The right to coverage of all the day's news.
* The right to coverage of the entire viewing area.
* The right to down-to-earth involved personalities
"The good news is that we've found 10 specific ways that TV
stations can stem the losses and bring more viewers back to
local news," Scott Tallal added. "In fact, 63 percent of
all news viewers we surveyed say they'd definitely watch a
station more often if it committed to these ideals, with
most saying they would do so even if that station wasn't
their current favorite. And 54 percent of those who've left
the audience say they would in fact come back to local TV
news just to watch that kind of station. Client stations
that have adopted this 'Bill of Rights' have already seen
some very promising results in their ratings."
The survey is based on the results of 402 interviews with a
representative sampling of adults (18+) living in the
continental United States, contacted using random-digit
dialing (RDD) techniques to ensure a proportionate reach
of both listed and unlisted residential households. Sex,
age, race, and geographic sampling controls were imposed to
within +5% of Census-based population projections. To
ensure their adequate representation in the
overall sample, non-English-speaking Hispanics were asked
for basic demographics, but were otherwise not asked to
participate in the rest of the survey.
Founded in 1988, Insite is a broadcast industry research
and consulting firm based in Malibu, California and Dallas,
Texas. The company uses state-of-the-art research
techniques to give its clients key information about their
markets and works closely with its clients to build
customized questionnaires designed from the ground up to
fit individual client's needs. Insite is headed by Scott V.
Tallal, who has provided audience research and strategic
development services to television stations and
programming organizations both domestically and abroad for
the past twenty years. Prior to becoming a broadcast and
marketing consultant, Mr. Tallal spent almost ten years in
news, programming, production, promotion, and management at
several top-rated radio and television stations. For
complete information regarding Insite Media Research survey
and the "Local TV News Viewer's Bill of Rights," visit