While the evening newscast used to be known as the primary revenue generator for a local station, the morning news block has begun to capture that crown.
The challenge has now become: How do local stations properly promote that block of news?
Stephen Arnold has an idea.
With its new morning news package, “Waking Up My Day,” the music production company wants to make it easier for local stations to effectively brand and market expanding morning programming.
“Daytime blocks are very heavy revenue generators for the stations and have become really important to station promotions,” said Stephen Arnold, president of Stephen Arnold Music. “This is one tool in their arsenal to better brand their content each day in a very consistent way.”
Some local stations might have one or two hours of local news in the morning, but some have up to five or six hours to fill and properly promote. Either way, that morning block – news, weather, local programming – is vital to communicating a station’s brand to its viewers.
“People start their day wanting to look at traffic, weather, what’s going on in their town, what’s going on in the world,” said Chad Cook, VP of creative at Stephen Arnold Music. “The challenge is that every station wants innovative, cool ways to get new viewership, get their numbers up through promo products.”
The package, an answer to that challenge, began to roll out to stations last month, with the last elements completed April 10. So far, about 20-25 stations have already staked claim on “Waking Up My Day.”
The videos can be edited according to the market, the station and its talent, then used in a way the station needs it – on air, online, through social platforms.
“This gives them an anchor to be able to use with their marketing,” said Arnold. “They’re having to work with so many different media platforms, from on-air promos to push notifications, social, online. All these little components tie in with this one package.”
The “Waking Up My Day” package serves as a marketing tool for stations to adapt to their respective markets and relate to viewers on a daily basis.
“Stations brand differently,” said Cook. “Some are investigative, some are weather, some are emotional. One thing they have in common is that everyone has a morning routine to start their day. Many people ingest some kind of news or information, whether on the TV in the den, tablets, checking news on their phone. This is a vibrant, fun morning anthem about starting your day.”
Cook says that “Waking Up My Day” gives stations a basis for an emotional connection with their audiences, standing out in each market by adapting the package to what matters to them – whether that’s phenomenal weather, a standout news team or a highly designed set.
The graphics use images of “people in Anywhere, USA with sights from that local town,” according to Cook, where stations can seamlessly drop in their anchors, their set and their morning show brand at large. “What appeals to everybody regardless of the name of their show that anyone can associate with how they start their day,” he said.
Specifically, the package includes male and female versions of the music with video elements as instrumentals, IDs, :10s, :15s, :30s and minute-long pieces.
Cook views it as a “creative road map” for stations, each sold as a market exclusive and adapted for each station’s priorities.
“Our goal is to be genuine with an emotional message and lyrical quality that lends itself to cool visuals” he said. “We’re fortunate with good timing and good marketing for a good product.”
The “Waking Up My Day” package is available now, with 20-25 stations already signing on.
Find out about what Stephen Arnold is doing and more about local station trends at Station Summit 2015, June 23-26 in Las Vegas.