March 2009

Digital Transition Moves TV Sweeps to March

Across Atlanta this February confusion reigned as millions of TV watchers, expecting their usual rating “special series” found instead … ordinary newscasts.  No exposes.  No special investigative reports.  With the impending transition to the digital TV format, the sweeps were instead moved to March.

Many of these sweeps specials offer much needed oversight for our local government or spend quality time on important issues.  Of course, we’ll probably have at least one series on weight loss tips or germs on hotel room beds.

Moves & News

Atlanta – Bill Addison has joined the magazine as Dining Editor and Restaurant Critic.  Longtime restaurant critic Christiane Lauterbach will continue to contribute to the magazine and will work on the Best of Atlanta and the annual Restaurants issue.  Thomas Lake has joined the magazine as senior associate editor.

Atlanta Business Chronicle – The Chronicle has overhauled its web site.  Lots of new features, plus they’ve launched two new blogs off the site.  “AtlanTech” by tech and healthcare writer Urvaksh Karkaria and “Dollars and Sense” by finance and banking writer Joe Rauch.

Atlanta INtown – The paper now has four blogs they keep up to date either on a daily or three times weekly basis:  In the Loop, News You Can Eat, Go Green, Atlanta Real Estate.

Atlanta Journal-Constitution – Brian Feagans has left the paper. He’s now working for CARE.  Staff writer Jill Vejnoska is writing “milestone’ stories for the Sunday edition.  Former business writer Bill Hendrick is writing for the Newsmakers column for the Sunday biz section and is looking for info on new hires, promotions and awards.   He’s also looking for items on an ongoing basis for the Sunday business calendar section.

Atlanta Tribune – The magazine has relaunched its web site and recently held its 10th Annual Hall of Fame Ceremony at Turner Field.

Business to Business – Drew Ermenc is the new editor of the magazine and continues to edit Catalyst magazine as well.

Creative Loafing – Struggles continue at the Loaf, with editor Ken Edelstein being let go recently.

Project Q – Project Q Atlanta (www.projectqatlanta.com) is a new web site offering a gay perspective of news and information.  Matt Hennie is the founder and managing editor.

SNAP Roswell – SNAP Roswell is expanding into Alpharetta, Marietta, Sandy Springs and Buckhead.  Scott Kenefick is now publisher and Tamara Lowery is now General Manager.

WSTR – J.R. Ammons has been named program director of WSTR-FM (Star 94).  He succeeds Dan Bowen, who left the company in August.

New Arrivals

  • Prensa Alterna – A new Latino newspaper.
  • “Objetivo Atlanta” – ”Objetivo Atlanta” a local Spanish-language show, on the New Telemundo Digital Channel 47.1 Atlanta.  The weekly show airs Saturday mornings 10 a.m.

Departures

  • La Prensa
  • La Voz del Pueblo
  • Impacto Latino

PR Tip of the Month – How to Write a press release

This month we’re going to talk about how to write a press release.  A press release is something designed to deliver news.  Keep it in mind, because we’ll come back to that.

Your first task is to decide what your news is.  You should be able answer that in two or three sentences.

Press Release Structure – Think of the release as a pyramid, with the most important information presented concisely at the top, and widening to include all the details by the time you get to the base.  That’s important because you should assume a reporter or editor will read only a little bit of your release before making the decision to continue reading.

First, they’ll read your headline, the most important part of your release.  Spend a lot of time on it.  Keep it short, but make sure it’s complete and compelling.  Make sure the most important, most compelling information is at the top of the release. The supporting details and less important info continues as you move toward the bottom.

Length:  Keep the release to no more than two pages.  Trust me.  You don’t want to make it longer. It just makes the reporters tune out.  Write a short release that gets them hooked on the story idea and you can fill in the details later.

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