Thursday, October 26, 2006

Apartment X
The Real Truth

If you've been driving around the Piedmont Triad and seen these signs you may wonder what in the world they are all about. I'm here to tell you. I'm going to spill the beans. I'm going to break the silence. I can do that because they are the competition and I don't answer to them. Of course anything I say will be purely speculation but it's fun to talk right?

Apartment X

The pricey billboards aren't the only gag in this heavy ad campaign wrapped seemingly around ONE story that's supposed to get viewers to watch for the whole month. On WFMY you can see promos during primetime shows that may get lots of viewers that we all know don't watch that channel for news. (I'm smiling now)

The thing is, a lot of times the promo department really goes the extra mile to sell potential viewers on these stories and then the story airs and it's such a let down. That's a good thing when it's the competition. It's never happened to me. (bull$H!#!!!) I digress.

It's just unusual to have so much hype around ONE story. I mean, billboards, vague promos promising answers and warning that "Viewer Discretion is Advised!"

It's the only story I've heard they're doing for the whole month of November. Hell I'm working on 7!

Of course, they've done a good job, they got my attention and I'll probably watch, or at least DVR it. I would advise you to do the same, but I can't, my bosses wouldn't like that. (But if you can keep a secret I'll tell you can watch it if you'd like if you don't participate in this cult activity because if you don't you don't count.)(smiling again)

If you don't feel like watching it and want to know what it is right now keep reading. Here's what I think.

After using my DVR to save them, my $300 (not so)fancy cam to play them and my (sort of)high tech(but not like CSI) computer to and view the latest vague, dark video, audio mutilated promo forward and backwards and with the latest and greatest (or not) digital enhancements I have dicerned the following...

Well nothing really because I didn't really do any of that.

I watched the promo twice and thought about what I saw and heard and I think they are going to pull a cheesy knock off of the highly popular "To Catch a Predator".

They will have "Johns" coming to Apartment X thinking they are going to meet a young teeny bopper and instead it will be a room full of TV cameras and stiff haired talent.

That's what I think. If I'm wrong I'm pitching it for February.

I think we'll call it "You Can't keep Secrets with Apartment Sex"

You heard it here first!


Anonymous said...

Anything to do with this?

"GREENSBORO, N.C. A three-month sting in Guilford County targeting sexual predators in Internet chat rooms has resulted in the arrests of ten men.

Twenty-six others are being sought by the Guilford County Sheriff's Office.

Sheriff B-J Barnes says the 36 men sent sexually explicit materials by e-mail to deputies who were posing as 14- and 15-year-old girls. He says the law officers did not initiate the chats.

The arrests were made when the men tried to meet the decoy deputies in person to have sex. Four of those men are from Guilford County, while the other six are from elsewhere in North Carolina.

They were charged with solicitation of a child by computer for purposes of unlawful sex acts.

The other suspects face charges of attempting to disseminate harmful materials to a minor and exhibiting harmful performances to minors."

Unknown said...

Beth - Pretty Likely.

I didn't cover this story on Wednesday and was out of the loop shooting other stuff and then this morning I was talking to a co-worker who was at the presser with BJ Barnes told me about the extra emphasis the duece seemed to be placing on shooting this story.

Seems there were a couple to several WFMY cameras covering this presser with Ms 2 Wants to Know also in attendence.

I guess that's just another clue.

Anonymous said...

"...a lot of times the promo department really goes the extra mile to sell potential viewers on these stories and then the story airs and it's such a let down."

It's called anticipointment. A reporter coined that term when he saw a promo for his story that was way better than the actual story.

Anonymous said...

I agree with this guy. I've watched a few of the Apt X stories and can say I was totally disappointed considering all the hype.

A.)The creative services dept. likely knew if they showed segments of the story in the tease, fewer viewers might have tuned in because they would have known it was a not an original idea.

B.) I have a problem with Apt X - natured stories in general because the reporter comes across as self-righteous. Has anyone looked into the backgrounds of the talent or crew? I can assure you, their records are likely not free of blemishes. There is no argument that these people are sick. But any mental health professional will tell you that the way to help a person with mental illness or personality disorder is through counseling and medication, not shame and embarassment. BUT THAT DOESN"T MAKE GOOD TELEVISION. The higher road would have been for News 2 to have arranged with the Sheriff's department to provide help for these individuals in lieu of jail time. (GREAT TAG INFORMATION) That would have been dependable local coverage!

Everyone already knows predators exist and that officers lure them on line. It's old news. A true sign of a good story and credible branding is how well you deliver on your promise. What News 2 delivered was an unoriginal idea with a lot of fancy shooting and editing. What will likely happen is that News 2 will submit this for and Emmy. I know Tanya had the support and backing of the company's legal department and management so she alone isn't the irresponsible one. In my opinion, everyone who signed off on it should be rethinking their journalistic motivation. Are they shaming these individuals as a public service? Or are they trying to win an award?