If only news organizations today were more like this '80s TV promo...


59 Responses to “If only news organizations today were more like this '80s TV promo...”

  1. Anonymous says:

    I like how there is an interview with a firefighter while the house is still burning!!!

  2. jahknow says:

    It’s the 6chan Party Van!

  3. Anonymous says:

    I hate the 80s. It represents everything I hate about mankind. Greed. Corporation. Climbing the ladder. Backstabbing. Profit over ethics. Overspending to defeat evil empires. Reaganism.

    • Jason Rizos says:

      “I hate the 80s. It represents everything I hate about mankind. Greed. Corporation. Climbing the ladder. Backstabbing. Profit over ethics. Overspending to defeat evil empires. Reaganism.”

      –I dearly suggest you remain under the rock you’ve hidden yourself.

    • Marchhare says:

      “I hate the 80s. It represents everything I hate about mankind. Greed. Corporation. Climbing the ladder. Backstabbing. Profit over ethics. Overspending to defeat evil empires. Reaganism.”

      Great music, though.

      • Anonymous says:

        Anyone know what the music is? It must be some stock music; I have heard it on other 80s-vintage things before, but I would be curious if anyone has more info on it.

    • elizo says:

      Anon. #37: The 80′s bit, no doubt, but what does that have to do with the quality of this promo and the feeling it gives that it actually has *reporters* and might be worth watching? Gad, those are ugly lady anchor outfits, though…

  4. Anonymous says:

    Probably the most “retro” thing in that clip is the RCA(!) video camera. My how times have changed!

  5. rookling says:

    “Foxy newsdames.” I often love your phrasing re our sex, Xeni – like that one, fun and chicly classy – I would expect “newsbabes” more generally. Stylin’!

  6. VagabondAstronomer says:

    Wow… makes you wanna move to Milwaukee… what a swank, happenin’ place…

  7. Anonymous says:

    My family always watched WTMJ, but I remember this ad!

  8. jeaguilar says:

    The house is still on fire and the reporter is trying to interview the firefighter?

  9. cmuwriter says:

    @ RedShirt77: Until you’ve actually covered a house fire a day before Christmas, where a father of four lost everything – where right before he was getting ready to take his wife to the hospital to have child number five – don’t knock local news.

  10. Anonymous says:

    I wish news organizations today were like this, where they actually went out in the field and report it. Now we have news stations like FOX that imagine stories and get their audiences angry about it.

  11. Capissen says:

    It’s the pull-backs in time to the music that really make it.

  12. Anonymous says:

    This short video shows us singlehandet why the 80s were the most awesome decade ever.
    I miss the 80s. :(
    To honor them I wear a nice stache and I consider buying a DeLorean.

  13. Nadreck says:

    What are those funky word processors with the fan-fold paper coming out of the (literal) desktop!?

    Erv Weinstein, you’re really a pro!
    You got all the news that we wanna know!
    You tell it like it is and never throw us a curve!
    Nobody tells it like Erv!

    EyeWitness Noooooose!

  14. Antinous / Moderator says:

    Was Quinn Martin reduced to producing TV news promos?

  15. nhayes5 says:

    I’m proud to say my late, great grandfather, Earl, was the sports anchor for this station and in this fantastic clip. I can only imagine his Ron Burgendy-esk stories he never shared with his grandchildren. If you enjoyed this, check out these other gems from the same station…








  16. Anonymous says:

    If you liked it, checkout some of the 600 odd others on that guy’s youtube channel.

  17. tweeders1 says:

    Yes WITI was great back in the day. They also reported local news pretty well. They still do actually. Granted the station is owned by FOX. They do broadcast the national morning shows, but the local news isn’t as biasd as they are. As a matter of fact it’s WTMJ of NBC who promotes Charlie SYKE’s, an extreme right wing local commentator. As far as I can see, WITI is very white bread with mayo in thier reporting of local news and commentary. No opinion on anything. They just report local stuff that’s happening while its going on. The other thing is that when other station’s go out on my Direct TV , somehow channel 6 stays on. It could very well be that FOX has bought the better satatlites and towers. Therefore forcing all of their stuff to be moved through more than the other’s. Oh well.
    As for fashions, I find it interesting that Women with big hair have alway’s been in fashion. Blonds, Brunettes, Redheads. Not a fat chick in the bunch. Men with flat hair or toupes are still in. Also it still doesn’t matter if a local newsguy is chunky or skinny. They are both. Not a sixpack abs guy to be found on the local news. Why is it all of the women have to look fit and not men?

  18. stegodon says:

    more than anything, i want to jump in that van, slam the door, and shout, “follow that car, and fuckin’ step on it!”

  19. narddogz says:

    Looks like the text was blazing across the terminal screen at about 1200 baud! A very good speed for reading… The commercial all looks cheesy now, but more real and exciting than modern local news. The 80s were a lot of fun.

  20. danback says:

    Makes me proud to be from Milwaukee.

    Check out this Milwaukee promo from the 70′s – ONE OF THE BEST NEWS PROMOS OF ALL TIME (According to Kanye):


  21. cmuwriter says:

    I want that van, paint job and everything.

  22. Zaren says:


    That’s a teletype, or teleprinter. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teleprinter

    • Nadreck says:

      I dunno – I’ve used actual TTYs (hooked up to systems with actual iron-donut “core” memory!) and I don’t recall anything with an electric (as opposed to mechanical) keyboard and a green-screen monitor over on the side.

      If you freeze at 0:32 it looks like the guy is typing into it while looking at the results thereof on the screen while paper is (or has been) coming out of the slot on top.

      • umeboshi says:

        Oh I know that one! That thing is a Mead Data Central UBIQ terminal for the Nexis news service, the database service from Before The Internet (http://www.infotoday.com/SEARCHER/apr04/ardito_bjorner.shtml) If you sort of squint at :35 you can make out the Nexis logo. You paid to retrieve old newspaper stories, wire copy, etc. out of it using search terms. This was from the time before information knew it was ok to want to be free, possibly because it traveled at 1200 baud.

  23. Anonymous says:

    fightin’ crime, savin’ the world.

  24. Anonymous says:

    This is so funny. I get this station. I was seven when that preview would have been out. What made me laugh the most is that the reporters in the “molesty” van have all moved up to anchor positions. I guess they’re molesting on a much higher level now.

  25. monkey_pirate says:

    That’s a promo for a tv station? Wow. I thought it was a preview reel for the A-Team spinoff series B-Roll Team.

  26. Anonymous says:

    Is it just me, or does the guy reporting on the fire at the end look suspiciously like NPH? A bit of makeup, and instant twin.

  27. Nadreck says:

    Another reminder that, if something isn’t done we’ll all be missing old-style new media. Especially newspapers:


  28. pyrotmaniac says:

    I didn’t see a single mustache in this! You lied to us all! But it was still pretty entertaining.

  29. regeya says:


  30. MasterSauce says:

    Actually, once you get beneath all the pungent layers of 80′s nostalgia, there’s a fairly well made ad underneath. If nothing else it succeeds in at least one area: Making Milwaukee look exciting. Regular Woodward and Bernstein of Television at :40.

    And they’re better than the god awful promos local news channels do today. They just might want to take out those stuttering zooms.

  31. jaypee says:

    stegodon, right? I had the urge to yell, “It’s GO time, motherfuckers!”

  32. westy48 says:

    @monkey_pirate – very good!

  33. neurolux says:

    Digging the choppy zooms.

  34. paz says:

    Fascinating; I keep expecting it to cut to Ron Burgundy.

  35. annoyingmouse says:

    What do you mean “if only news organizations today were like this”?!?!?! Nevermind “news organizations” and “today”. When I saw this, the first thing I thought was “if only everything in the universe ever was this awesome!”

  36. apoxia says:

    In New Zealand we had to wait till the 90s to get cool technology like that.

  37. cinemajay says:

    You stay classy San Diego!

  38. Anonymous says:

    Isn’t this the station that, only a couple of years earlier, had a cat puppet doing the weather?

  39. mn_camera says:

    I promise you, I do NOT miss huge, heavy tube cameras with umbilicals to 3/4″ field recorders.

    I’m beginning to not miss Betacam.

  40. Anonymous says:

    Eh, I remember IBA had an advert in a faux-interview style where everyone would finish each other to announce the imminent launch of Channel 4 – annoyed me then, still annoys me today.

    Still, though, the opening montage they reeled out on opening (evening) is one of the best things I’ve seen on and for TV.

  41. Anonymous says:

    I kept expecting to see the cast from SCTV.

    “Excuse me, sir, can you take a break from putting out that house fire to answer a few questions? It won’t take long.”

  42. Ocker3 says:

    And interesting use of women both as reporters, and camera crew.

  43. busydoingnothing says:

    Holy crap, that’s one of the best things I’ve seen in a long time. Modern video needs more zooms that are timed with the horn hits.

  44. Anonymous says:

    Yes, but can they play Jazz Flute?

  45. Anonymous says:

    I think about 1/2 of those people in the promo still work in the Milwaukee market.

  46. Dr.Arthur says:

    All news would be better if it was a series of awesome crane shots.

  47. EH says:

    yeah, they only need the simultaneous jump-and-freezeframe. that would be more appropriate for the newsteam promo, not one for the whole operation as this appears to be.

  48. dolo54 says:

    I would give anything for a real news show here in LA. Coming from NYC, I used to watch NY1 every day. The best local news ever. Here? Nada. The news is pure entertainment coverage, most of the breaking stories come from TMZ. When I got here I turned on the news and the top story was about a couple of guys who shoplifted a lab puppy from a pet store (caught on surveillance cam of course). These guys looked like bill and ted, just 2 stoned surfer dudes. I’m like “that’s the top story? no politics? no murder? wtf!”

    I would give anything for a news show like this, with actual reporters going out and covering actual news. If they didn’t have surveillance cams there would be no news footage at all these days.

  49. dole says:

    I do believe that’s award winning new music for my alarm clock.

  50. capl says:

    Speaking of promos… Whenever I feel low, I go back and watch the classic ASU promo. Hot hot hot!
    (boingboinged 2006, btw)

  51. RedShirt77 says:

    Oh, local news. So many house fires and high school sporting events to cover and so little time.

    We only watch for the weather! Stop calling yourself News!

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