The Local News Cliches Viewers Most Abhor

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has a funny piece on the tried-and-true cliches that come out of local anchors’ mouths, such as “Check it out,” “You’re not gonna believe…” and “We can tell you.”

TV critic Rob Owen takes it a step further, bouncing the hackneyed newsspeak off Pittsburgh’s various news directors. The results might surprise you!!!

Here’s what WPXI’s Mike Goldrick says about “Details just ahead.”

“Of course they are. We’re supposed to have details,” said Mr. Goldrick, who arrived at WPXI as news director in December. “It’s a tease. We’re teasing you with the most obvious information. A lot of that stuff is easy or it’s [done] by rote. You fall back into those old traps, but it’s certainly not anything we encourage.”

Goldrick says he’ll aim to tone down the teases on WPXI.

“We’re not going to try to do something obvious like ‘We’ve got details.’ We’re going to try to make a promise of some coverage that has some significance,” Mr. Goldrick said. “It should be something we can own, ‘Here’s what we did and why you need to watch our version of it.’ But the reality is sometimes those are the last things written, and when you’re going on the air in five minutes, you go back to the old standards. But by fall, I don’t think you’ll hear that again.”

Michael Malone

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.