Media consultant Frank Magid dies at 78

Television news consultant Frank N. Magid died in hospital in California, The Washington Post reports.

Magid worked with CBC News, most recently on its 2009

Magid had worked with television news stations for more than forty years. He was known for the “action news” style, which included banter between anchors, fast-paced graphics, live shots, sports tickers and an emphasis on crime stories and light-hearted segments.

The Post article noted:

“Magid-style changes were criticized as both a uniformization and a dumbing-down of news coverage. ‘Thanks to him, local newscasts throughout America are like airports or fast food joints; they lack all traces of indigenousness,’ wrote Tom Shales of The Washington Post in 1982.

“Supporters noted that Mr. Magid consistently emphasized the importance of local news, sharpened his clients’ newswriting and forced them to pay better attention to the impressions of the audience. His research said viewers wanted hard news mixed with health, consumer and lifestyle stories, presented in a highly visual, fast-paced broadcast by people whom viewers liked. Shorter stories, urgent tones and better dressed and coiffed news staffers were just part of the bargain.”