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W C B S   D A T A S H E E T

Excerpted from a radio news documentary by Martin Hardee, Fall, 1978.  

In-House Reporting Resources...

Reporters: 8 reporters
21 writers/producers
Specific beats: All generalists
Telephone interviews: Yes, through engineers
Do you duplicate coverage of the wires? Yes
Police info: No regular rounds.
Check police wire, then call
Bureaus: Long Island,
New Jersey,
Stringers, freelancers? One part-time anchor
Versions of voicers: Up to 7, plus raw tape
Tape library: Informal.
Obit file, plus top 10 stories of '78
Long distance budget: Yes
Influenced by competitors? “No”

Outside Sources...

Subscription services: 2 weather wires
Police wire
UPI: A, C, Br
AP: A, C, Br
Sports ticker
Alternatives: None
Audio services: UPI
Line 1000
PR, politicians: “No outside edited material”
Daybooks: “Quite a bit”
Newspapers: “Absolutely critical”
Will attribute a story if one paper has it exclusively, otherwise it's considered public domain
Traffic/transit: WCBS Helicopter
Office worker traffic “tipsters”
MTA tunnel
Transit phone


Open reels: 25 or 30 Ampex 300s & Ampex 440s
Cart machines: 25 or 30
Different makes
Timers: Digital clock
Event timer
Stop watch
Phone: From desk to engineers
Cassette portables: Sony TC-110s
Sony TC-150s
Cassette decks: No.
On-street mikes: EV 635a
Equalizers: Yes
Broadcast lines to bureaus:
Cart machines at each desk? Yes
Separate news studio? Yes

Writing Style...

Stylebook? No, use memos
Sound bite limits: Informal:
Actuality: :30
Wrap: :60
Voicer: :45
Story line limits: Informal, 15 lines
Grammar: “Conservative enough”
Use of 'straight wire copy': A lot – edited while reading live

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About this report
This research documentary is Copyright 1979, 2002  Martin Hardee - All Rights Reserved. (read more...) Material may be quoted or excerpted for non-profit research purposes without additional special permission. For additional information email martin @ hardee.net.