Um, you might want to know this

not teaching, still THINKING … Um. It’s a word that fills time when someone is thinking while speaking. We hear it so often — and use it so often — that it can go unnoticed. Other filler words, however, are not so subtle, particularly when used as a transition of sorts, at the start of […]

It’s true — there’s only one ‘only’

not teaching, still THINKING … If you listen carefully to what people say, you’re likely to hear this phrase: “one of the only …” It doesn’t make sense. Something can be “one” of a specific number, such as one of three, or it can be the “only” one, meaning just that. Words take up valuable […]

How to get attention for your content

Teases. That’s what they’re called in the broadcast industry. They are bursts of just five seconds or so that promote or refer to what is coming next. Positioned right before commercial breaks, these teases are important. Why? Because if they are not done well — if they are confusing or simply uninspired — viewers and […]

ESPN must monitor itself, more openly

When ESPN came along, no one was happier than me, a “sports nut” all my life. It was definitely a “pinch me” moment. “A network just for sports? Are you kidding me?” What’s happened in the more than quarter-century since then has been surreal. I’ve watched the network become so much more than game broadcasts: […]

Much to learn from tale of Te’o

It’s the perfect time to post about Manti Te’o, the Notre Dame football player. You probably think I’m kidding. Aren’t most of us too sick of it to even think about it? We were duped by a once-in-a-lifetime story; let’s just learn our lesson and move on. But it’s not once in a lifetime, really. […]

Did John King act alone or alert peers?

The Republican presidential debate Thursday night in South Carolina brought up a basic principle in interviewing: Don’t start with the hard question, or the bombshell question. In his first question of the evening, John King, the CNN political reporter and moderator of the debate, asked Newt Gingrich about ABC reports that he’d asked his second […]