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September 1, 2019 8:55 pm  #1

Teasers Aren’t Pleasers: Do They Belong At The Top Of Newscasts?

There’s been a tradition in local TV newscasts that’s been there as long as I can remember. And it’s hard to miss because it happens at the top of almost every single one of them. The show begins with a long list of what's called "teasers," previewing what’s coming up, and it often sounds something like this:
“A man is murdered in broad daylight on a Toronto street as kids play nearby.”
“Fury at Queen’s Park as the government tables its new budget. How much it will cost you.”
“The surprise that awaits you at your grocery store this week.”
“And - Meet the local man who’s defying the law – of gravity!”

That’s followed by 10-15 seconds of a musical intro and only then does the show actually start. By this point, up to 90 seconds have flown by.
This used to be the way every single newscast began in the city, and it’s a format still used by City and Global. (Not sure about the CBC, since I rarely watch them.) All the American nightly newscasts do it, too. 
But it’s no longer part of CTV Toronto’s news. Instead, right after the station stinger airs, the anchors come on, give a one or two sentence intro and it’s straight into the top story.
Teasers are designed to keep you tuned in, waiting for that feature that airs 20 minutes from now. But they're long, tiresome and take up valuable airtime. And I wish they’d all follow what CFTO does. While the other guys are still telling me what’s coming up later, CTV is already halfway through their first – and by extension – most important story of the day.

And somewhat ironically, that’s generally one of the reasons I end up watching them longer.