Although the word “rundown” is used in baseball and in common US English as a “quick summary of main points of information”, its very unique meaning in radio and TV production has been (up until very recently) unknown beyond media professionals. In fact, many media professional who haven’t worked in live production (especially live news) haven’t even heard of it in this context. Ahead I’ll define its media production meaning, use in other countries, in TecnoTur, TWiT, and how MSNBC has now mainstreamed the term.
What’s a rundown in live radio/TV/podcasting?
A rundown is a document which contains the contents of a particular show (episode). It can often have a time indicator in front of every item. It might include items like Tease, Intro, Sponsorship, Lead Story, Headlines, Packages, Bumpers, Commercial Breaks, and a Kicker (optional story, to be included or excluded in order to time out at the designated hour).
When I first learned the term “rundown” in this context, I was a student at Ithaca College’s communications school in Ithaca, New York, more specifically at WICB-TV 13, the student-run cable TV station, which included live news. At that time, both the rundown and the teleprompter were on paper (pieces of dead trees). Nowadays, media professionals write, read, and continually modify their rundowns on their laptop, tablet, or handheld mobile device. Some (i.e. TecnoTur and TWiT) create and continually modify their rundowns with GoogleDocs, while others use a dedicated news system like Avid’s Interplay. Both allow for continuous and instanteous updates for all for users
I have heard many podcasts where references is made to an “outline”, especially those who have remote co-hosts. However, so far, the only ones where I have heard the term “rundown” has been those from TecnoTur (mine) and those from TWiT, including All About Android, iPad Today, MacBreak Weekly (where I have been a guest), and TWiG (This Week in Google). That’s probably because Leo Laporte and I both have a traditional media/broadcasting background, while many other podcasters have quite different backgrounds, so they may have never been exposed to the term in this context.
Use of the media term “rundown” in other countries and languages
For many years, I have been curious about how the radio/TV use of “rundown” is used in other countries and in other languages. I know that in Colombia (South America) where the official language is Castilian, the term in this context is continuidad thanks to Colombian media professionals (and friends) Alessandro Angulo and Alejandra Montenegro. In the UK, the term is “running order” according to this article about ENPS (Electronic News Production System), a software application developed by the Associated Press’s Broadcast Technology division for producing, editing, timing, organizing and running news broadcasts. If you live somewhere it’s called something different in live radio/TV (in any language), please let me know.
How MSNBC has mainstreamed the term “rundown” in the radio/TV sense (or have they)?
MSNBC has mainstreamed the term by creating The Daily Rundown, and its subdomain rundown.msnbc.com (see details about subdomains in the next section). I have never actually seen The Daily Rundown program so far, but saw a promo for it on the TV in a coffee shop. It caught my eye, especially since I have had to translated the term “rundown” in the past, and therefore had done prior research about it. According to Wikipedia:
The Daily Rundown with Chuck Todd is an hour-long weekday morning political talk show on MSNBC aired live from 9:00 to 10:00am, hosted by NBC Chief White House Correspondent and Political Director Chuck Todd. The show premiered on MSNBC on January 11, 2010, and features news, interviews, and analysis relating to politics from the MSNBC Washington D.C. Bureau. The show is billed as showcasing the depth and experience of the NBC News Washington bureau, led by Todd. The show primarily focuses on the top political stories of the day.
Or did they really mainstream our version, or are the simply using the common term meaning as a “quick summary of main points of information”?
Review about subdomains
Back in November 2011, I published the article 11 things I love about Vimeo Pro. In that article, I included a sidebar which I’ll borrow here:
SIDEBAR: What's a subdomain, and why I love them
A subdomain is a word, words, number, or numbers in front of a domain. A subdomain can be a true web address (as in the case of videos.TecnoTur.us or it can be a pointer to a different page which is complex to dictate, as in the following examples, which all point to long and complex URLs:
As you'll see, USA Network uses a subdomain for each show, instead of acquiring a domain for each one. I don't know about all hosting providers, but mine offers unlimited subdomains. Unlike sending people to something like MyDomain.com/topic (where the forward slash can be misinterpreted when dictated), there is never any doubt with a dot. That's why I prefer subdomain.MyDomain.com instead of MyDomain.com/topic.
Upcoming articles and reviews
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Si deseas suscribirte a mi lista en castellano, visita aquí. Si prefieres, puedes suscribirte a ambas listas (castellano e inglés).
My latest ebook
My most recent ebook is available in two languages. The format is Kindle, but even if you don’t have a Kindle device, you can read Kindle books on many other devices using a free Kindle app. That includes iPad, iPhone, Android phones, Android tablets, Mac computers, Windows computers, some Blackberry phones and Windows 7 phones.
In English, it is currently available in the following Amazon stores, depending upon your region:
- At Amazon.com (for all of the Americas and the Republic of India)
- Amazon.co.jp (Japan)
- Amazon.co.uk (United Kingdom)
- Amazon.de (Germany)
- Amazon.es (Spain, pero a lo mejor lo prefieres en castellano, a continuación)
- Amazon.fr (France)
- Amazon.it (Italy)
If you’re going to buy a Kindle book as a gift, you must do so via the Pan-American Amazon store (the first one listed above), regardless of where you live or where the recipient lives.
En castellano, está disponible actualmente en las siguientes tiendas Amazon, según tu región:
- Amazon.com (todas las Américas y la República de la India)
- Amazon.co.jp (Japón)
- Amazon.co.uk (Reino Unido)
- Amazon.de (Alemania)
- Amazon.es (España)
- Amazon.fr (Francia)
- Amazon.it (Italia)
Si vas a comprar un libro Kindle como regalo, debes hacerlo vía la tienda panamericana de Amazon (la primera de la lista) sin importar donde vivas tú o donde viva la persona que recibirá el regalo.
Allan Tépper’s books, consulting, articles, seminars & audio programs
Contact Allan Tépper for consulting, or find a full listing of his books, articles and upcoming seminars and webinars at AllanTepper.com. Listen to his TecnoTur program, which is now available both in Castilian (aka “Spanish”) and in English, free of charge. Search for TecnoTur in iTunes or visit TecnoTur.us for more information.
Disclosure, to comply with the FTC’s rules
No manufacturer is specifically paying Allan Tépper or TecnoTur LLC to write this article or the mentioned books. Some of the other manufacturers listed above have contracted Tépper and/or TecnoTur LLC to carry out consulting and/or translations/localizations/transcreations. Many of the manufacturers listed above have sent Allan Tépper review units. So far, none of the manufacturers listed above is/are sponsors of the TecnoTur programs, although they are welcome to do so, and some are, may be (or may have been) sponsors of ProVideo Coalition magazine. Some links to third parties listed in this article and/or on this web page may indirectly benefit TecnoTur LLC via affiliate programs.
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The articles contained in the TecnoTur channel in ProVideo Coalition magazine are copyright Allan Tépper/TecnoTur LLC, except where otherwise attributed. Unauthorized use is prohibited without prior approval, except for short quotes which link back to this page, which are encouraged!