Jack TenneyExtra Point

by Jack Tenney, Publisher

April 2017

Did you know it’s nearly impossible to discuss a news program you’re watching if the person with you is reading the chyrons?
A chyron is the script running across the bottom of the screen. On my favorite early morning show, there are often two chyrons running, neither of which is synched to the picture. The program commentators could be talking about the latest unemployment rate while one chyron is streaming stock prices and the other has NBA scores.

It isn’t a problem unless you’re interested in the opinion of the person watching the TV with you, who comments on the chyron about a weather event in Ohio while you’re following the discussion of the latest Fed rate-hike analysis. Neither of you will have a grasp of the other’s reaction to what you’re talking about because neither of you is watching the other’s program.

A friend recently posted a picture on Facebook of a group of students sitting around a curved bench in a museum with their backs to an enormous Rembrandt oil while each was hunched over staring at phone screens. To me, it was as if each person has access to a personal chyron — whatever is streaming or pictured on his/her smart phone.

Maybe, if like my friend, your chyron really floats your boat, you can share it on Facebook, or email it to a friend or text it to your posse or Twitter feed to your followers. And, have you checked out Snapchat? It allows you to dress up your selfie with bulging goo-goo eyes while unfurling an American flag out of your mouth.

But it’s all a bit solitary, don’t you think?

I have found a better way. It’s an app I’m creating, of course. It allows you to watch the pictured screen but record the chyron. Because you read words faster than the chyron streams, you can replay the chyron during commercial breaks and get both programs’ content without the need to rely on a fellow watcher’s take.

However, you’ll never be able to purchase my app because I plan to license it to a consortium of cable networks by guaranteeing them I would never release it. You see, my app would turn the cable channels into Twitter-like content providers unable to monetize their program offerings.

If any of you would like a taste of the fruit of my app, contact me for a prospectus.

Thanks, and have a happy April.