Our first speaker today was Helen Masterson of Masterson & Friends Communications and Guest Guide Publications in Arvada, Colorado. Today Helen didn’t do her usual talk about writing, she had an interesting conversation with her grandson the other day that gave her pause. Her grandson said to her that he didn’t mind watching the news… he just hated all the commentary around the news. She looked at him and said “Blame the Gulf War.” From there Helen took us on a history lesson about how the news has evolved in to what we have today.
We all know that Lowell Thomas hosted the first ever news broadcast on television in 1940 and the first regularly scheduled television news broadcasts started in 1950. But Helen wanted to jump ahead to the 1980’s.
Do you remember Walter Cronkite and the CBS Evening News. Did you realize that in the 80’s we only had 15 minutes of National news and 15 minutes of Local news at 6 and depending on where you were 10pm. Thirty minutes of news and it wasn’t as if we didn’t have news, Reagan was president – he took down a wall – Iran Contra hearings and as well the Challenger exploded. At the time the news anchors reported the news and we went back to watching our sitcoms the last episode of MASH or the high jinks of The Golden Girls and who could forget – who killed JR?
Then on August 1, 1990, Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait. President George HW Bush formed a coalition to defeat the occupying Iraqi forces. As the US deployed thousands of troops to the region, the military correspondents followed. Ted Turner had founded CNN 10 years prior but was having problems getting viewers with his attempt at 24/7 news. Who wanted to watch news all the time, the public asked?
But with the live coverage of the Gulf War CNN gained viewers. Do you remember Arthur Kent – I remember writing wedding copy on my computer and watching the war on my TV. That was the first time that we had cameras on the scene in a war. During the Vietnam War there were cameras, but it usually to 24 hours for the film to get from Saigon to the United States. With the Gulf War there was live satellite coverage and people found that they could watch a war unfold live. And they did.
The networks noticed and started beefing up their news coverage, because of CNN’s success other 24-hour cable news stations started up. So today we have not just CNN but as well Fox News, MSNBS, HLN Fox Business Network, Bloomburg Television and CNBC all compete for viewers in the national arena. Earlier ABC, CBS and NBC all changed owners. Capital Cities Communications with Warren Buffet’s Berkshire HathawayCorporation bought ABC. Laurence Tisch, who was already heavily invested in CBS, took over as CEO and General Electric bought control of NBC. These new corporate leaders found the properties losing audience and revenue.
So they developed new strategies, the big three expanded their news offerings, moving into late evening, then overnight, early mornings and weekend mornings they began building on the strengths of their morning news. Through this the news departments became profit centers, producing moderately rated prime time programs which are profitable because they are relatively inexpensive to produce.
The 911 attacks significantly change how our news is covered. Ever since the color-coded terror alert system was changed, rumors of violence or attacks are reported if they have even the slightest inkling of credibility; even after the system was retired in 2011. Because of this, journalists have had to re-interpret their classification of reportable news versus rumor – this issue remains a problem to this day.
TV newsrooms are changing their priorities to become information providers across a variety of platforms. Websites are only part of the delivery system, Facebook, Twitter and other forms of social media have become important ways to reach potential viewers where ever they are hanging out. Mobile devices – from cell phones to tablets are forcing the strategy to be developed to reach people on the go.
The future focus on what has gotten them to this point – solid and accurate reporting that isn’t influenced by outside sources, creative visual presentations and credible TV personalities who can form long lasting relationships with their audience.
Which all leads to what is real news anymore? If you need a writer who will get your point across clearly with no distraction – give Helen Masterson and Masterson & Friends Communications a call.

Helen Masterson * Masterson & Friends Communications * 303.467.9680 * helen@guestguidepublications.com
Our second speaker today was Ginger Kaiser of Willows Floral in Golden, Colorado. When Ginger was trying to figure out what to talk about today – she came across a paper that she received when she was in floral school. It was an article about Horatio Alger, the famous writer, who wrote fictional rags to riches stories about small town poor youths who rose to become successful and achieved great things in life. Mr. Alger believed that successful people possessed these traits:

1.      A feeling of being lucky

2.      A dreamer

3.      Hard Worker – long hours and persistence

4.      Always enthusiastic

5.      A risk taker and not afraid to fail

6.      High self esteem

7.      A sense of urgency and a go getter

8.      The belief in God or some other higher power

Ginger brought this to our attention because as she was reading the article she thought of all of us, as well as herself – we all possess these qualities. When Ginger started Willows Floral 8 years ago she was so enthusiastic and brought her passion into her business – she loves what she does and she never gave failing a thought!
Ginger brought in some flowers to remind us that spring is coming up fast and had them for sale for 15.00 each – they were beautiful and not one was left behind. She also wanted to show us pictures of events, wedding and funerals that she has done. Mainly because we never truly see the full scope of the services the Ginger and Willows Floral offer. She brought pictures of the many bridal bouquets she has done – Ginger loves to do weddings and all of her weddings are by word of mouth, because she really wants to make sure that there is a good fit with the bride. The bouquets that she showed us were so beautiful and perfect for the brides. When taking on a wedding, Ginger says that good communication is the key and so important – all Ginger wants is for everyone to enjoy the day and the flowers are a huge part of that. The other photos she brought in to show us also showed her dedication to her art – each of the funeral pieces she has done show that Ginger really tries to bring in the personality of the person that passed whether it is a fishing hat for a fisherman or knitting needles for the grandma who spent her days with knitting needles. Ginger will work that into the design and make it look wonderful and a total representation of the person who passed.

If you are looking for a local florist who can work with your budget and what you need whether it be the beginning of a new life together or the passing of a loved one and anything in between give Ginger Kaiser and Willows Floral a call!

Ginger Kaiser * Willows Floral * 303.989.6446 * flower_queen@comcast.net