Lee Abrams' Latest Mad Ramblings
People wonder about what kind of strange and awful mind is behind WSFL's new morning show. Well, it's been here all along. The Pulp has been publishing Tribune Innovation Chief Lee Abrams' "think pieces" for months. I'm not going to expend the brain power right now to try to explain them. Don't need to, they speak for themselves. The latest, which mentions the new WSFL morning show launch (which Abrams writes "defined AFDI" -- if you don't know what that means by now, you need to be reading more), comes after the jump. You know, I forgot Tribune is also redoing WGN, which he wrote about in length a little while back. Yes, this silly, silly man has a bit of reach. I don't actually read these things anymore either, so if there's something particularly outrageous in there, make sure to let us know. Enjoy!
THINK PIECE: FROM AROUND THE TRIBUNE NATION AND THE LAUNCH OF WSFL AND WGN AMERICA!
Firstly, you REALLY need to watch this:
"Content precedes design. Design in the absence of content
is not design, it's decoration."
--- Jeffrey Zeldman
...A good quote as amazing design is there to support amazing content. In fact, "average" or dated design hurts amazing content.
Speaking of amazing design, I sent this note to the WGN-AMERICA creative army. I think they're really creating something special:
Carrie & Televisionaries:
UNBELIEVABLE work on the new WGN-AMERICA stuff you showed Sean & I today. You nailed (again) the vision for WGN-AMERICA.
Cerebral...moving...powerful...completely original. Makes any other TV station look and sound tired. It is TV for the mind and body.
The soundtrack...the logo...the images...the vision--It's wonderful. Tell your creative army they rule. They have the guts to RE-INVENT.
...and don't forget Wagner and other German composers...the violent music they create is a lot more powerful than a puking VO guy cramming WWE down your throat! (this is about using Classical music to frame wrestling promos...sounds strange, but it works).
There are NO V/O's on the channel. It's all done with music and graphics. And everything is complete and noticable. The audio logo is everywhere, there's no yelling and selling. It's all simple, clear, direct, colorful both graphically and sonically, and BS-free.
Please look it this stuff!---
Here's the yousendit file of yesterday's WGNA presentation. Enjoy! -william craig
Sent by: firstname.lastname@example.org
File to pick up: WGNA Re Brand Presentation 2.mov
File will remain active for: 14 days
Link to file:
File too big for email? Try YouSendIt at http://www.yousendit.com
SCREW IT, LET'S RIDE: Harley has the right attitude! Click on the ad on this link:
Rich Garziano sent this over. Strikes me as Classic "Public Television"...SO incredibly disconnected from mainstream thinking. I did like some of the comments, but The sad thing is that public TV speaks poorly for intelligent broadcasting...they are SO professorial that they alienate everyone but the other professors. Rich looked good though!
"In this environment, we just have to hit the turbo," Rich Graziano told his new charge, the Courant". is fantastic. And, Mr. G. was also the guy fearless enough to change anchor photos (a personal pet peeve as they are so slick they undermine news credibility I reckon)
THE COLOR BLACK DOESN'T WORK ON TV: I got that comment. Maybe it's true...but MAYBE it's not. I'll bet it's a remnant of some focus group in 1988. Take "Who wants to be a Millionaire"---Insiders said it would never work. It's too dark instead of looking like a Denny's at 4am...no leggy blonde showing prizes and numbers...too slow, game shows need to be fast...no snappy music not a dirge...a set that looked like the bridge of a Klingon warship...a host who wasn't cute. I believe it went to #1 in about a week.
YOUTHFULNESS ON TV: Think U2 and Coldplay not Paris & Brittney. Often when I see attempts to youth-ize, it gets into this Pop Celeb thing that often cheapens. In one market we had a discussion about younger skewing content and sometimes there's a tendency to go the wrong kind of young.
FROM WALT MACIBORSJI, ANCHOR AT KDAF/DALLAS---
I just saw your THINK PIECE this morning. I agree. I profiled the rapping flight attendant, David Holmes, about three weeks ago. News Director David Duitch and the team here at KDAF-TV The 33 News thankfully was not afraid to give the story a high profile and have fun with it. Take a look.
http://tiny.cc/aLnsR or http://www.the33tv.com/pages/content_landing_page/?STORY-Rapping-Flight-Attendant-Has-Quite=1&blockID=239218&feedID=460
CNN, Youtube, CollegeHumor.com and newspaper websites in Norway picked up the story from our website and the raw version. It's exciting to get the green light to do TV like this.
I encourage TV stations to run viral videos on their BROADCAST stations.
I THINK THIS CAN BE HUGE!:
How about this:
(assuming its logistically possible)
Every hour at:00, WGN-A presents:
AMERICA'S VIRAL VIDEOS
And run the "hot" viral video of the day.
Every hour so it becomes a WGN-A TRADEMARK!
Why "give it up" to YouTube...lets CLAIM this red hot phenomenon. I'd assume you can SELL A SPONSORSHIP
BASEBALL'S GREAT SHOWMAN: Take a look at page 39 of today's TRIB mag (The GOLF edition). It's a thing on Bill Veeck. A hero of mine. Most who aren't baseball fans or Chicagoans never heard of him--but he was the MASTER showman. He invented 99% of the things that are common in baseball today--but the tight ass owners tried to drive him out of the league. He created:
Putting NAMES of players on uniforms
Promotions at ballparks (Ladies Day, Smith Day (free admission for Smiths) Half Price Beer Day, anything "day" ...and of course Disco Demolition
Colorful scoreboards that were fun to look at Luxury Boxes and the list goes on...AND the old guard hated him for this stuff (of course then used all of his ideas in later years)
A chain smoking , beer drinkin' doesnt own a tie kinda guy.
In '59 when he bought the Sox they won the pennant.
We need more marketing folks to activate their Veeck gene when it comes to innovative promotion!
The newly re-invented WSFL launches TODAY! Hard core congratulations to EVERYONE on that remarkable staff that has defined AFDI.