Continuity (broadcasting)

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Continuity or presentation (or station break in the U.S.) is a term used in broadcasting to refer to announcements, messages and graphics played by the broadcaster between specific programmes. It typically includes programme schedules, announcement of the programme immediately following and trailers or descriptions of forthcoming programmes. Continuity can be spoken by an announcer or displayed in text over graphics. On television continuity generally coincides with a display of the broadcaster's logo or ident. Advertisements are generally not considered part of continuity.

A continuity announcer is a broadcaster whose voice (and, in some cases, face) appears between radio or television programmes to give programme information. Continuity announcers tell viewers and listeners which channel they are watching or listening to at the moment (or which station they are tuned to), what they are about to see (or hear), and what they could be watching (or listening to) if they changed to a different channel operated by the broadcaster. At the end of programmes, they may read out information about the previous programme, for example who presented and produced it, relay information or merchandise relating to the show, or to provide details of organisations who may offer support in relation to a storyline or issue raised in the programme. Continuity announcers may also play music during intervals and give details of programmes later in the day. If there is a breakdown, they make any necessary announcements and often play music for its duration.

Usage[edit]

Television[edit]

Television continuity announcements typically take one of two forms:

  • Out-of-vision, where only the announcer's voice is heard, either over the end sequence of a programme or on-screen graphics. With appropriate training in sound and vision mixing, this can be achieved with a single person acting as both voice and controller.
  • In-vision, where the announcer is seen delivering the announcement on-screen. This typically requires a number of people in a small studio, including sound engineers, vision mixers, and occasionally camera operators. Modern installations with motorised cameras can reduce this to two — the presenter, and a technical assistant to perform the "backstage" functions such as adjusting the camera and mixing. Typically, in-vision announcers are utilised today in smaller television markets, usually where private commercial channels were introduced late.

Currently, the following European television channels use in-vision announcers:

Radio[edit]

With most radio stations now broadcasting only music, few networks retain continuity announcers.[citation needed] Exceptions include talk stations such as National Public Radio in the United States, BBC Radio 4 and the BBC World Service in the UK and Swedish SR P1 : in the case of Radio 4 they have the extra tasks of reading the Shipping Forecasts and gale warnings. Many also serve as newsreaders.

Continuity around the world[edit]

Canada[edit]

In Canada, CBC Television used in-vision announcers to 'host' primetime programming from 2001 to 2006. As the credits rolled, the announcer would describe upcoming episodes of the series, then introduce the next program at the top of the hour. The evening's host changed daily. Usually, the host was appearing in a major upcoming program the same week, giving the appearance that the host is promoting not only the next program in the evening but his or her own upcoming show. Sometimes CBC Radio newcasters or program hosts would appear as the evening TV hosts. The initiative, sometimes known as "Hosted Prime", only covered the CBC's core evening block (8:00 to 10:00 p.m. local) as opposed to programs in the 7:00 hour, and would not normally appear during the summer.

CBC Radio One has used continuity announcers in recent years. Originally, a number of staff announcers shared the duties, however, in 2004, the service began employing actress Shauna MacDonald as its primary continuity announcer. Her identity remained a secret for more than a year, leading her to be dubbed "Promo Girl". MacDonald has since been replaced by Jeremy Harris,[19] serving in a similar capacity for both Radio One and Radio 2.

Omni Television in Toronto has used in-vision continuity announcers for the past 10 years or so. These "interstitial" segments fill in the time left in programming due to the different break structure of American TV programming, that cannot be filled by commercials in Canada due to Canadian broadcast regulations regarding the number of minutes of commercials allowable per hour. The segments range from 30 seconds to 2 minutes, and in addition to announcing the station and the programs coming up, the announcers will talk about other programming, station contests, quirky news or celebrity gossip.

Continuity announcements on Citytv have been voiced by actor Dan Aykroyd and journalist Mark Dailey.

Other Canadian stations will fill this time in by a news update or a teaser about news stories.

Flanders, Belgium[edit]

één, VRT's main television station in the Flanders region of Belgium uses a team of four staff announcers (as of January 2014), who perform in-vision and out-of-vision continuity links. VRT's children's station, Ketnet, also utilises in-vision continuity with announcing staff known on-air as Ketnetwrappers. As opposed to één and Ketnet, the highbrow station Canvas uses live out-of-vision announcers.

vtm, the main commercial television channel in Flanders, uses live out-of-vision announcers. The station utilised in-vision continuity until January 2008. vtm's sister station, 2BE, only utilises pre-recorded voiceovers.

Both of SBS Belgium's television stations, VIER and VIJF no longer use any continuity announcers following the rebranding of the networks from VT4 and VIJFtv.

China[edit]

CCTV had offered in-vision continuity. However, this kind of segment has been withdrawn in recent years.

Germany[edit]

In German television, in-vision continuity has been withdrawn until the mid-1990s. Some stations still use pre-recorded voiceovers.

Ireland[edit]

All domestic terrestrial channels in Ireland make use of continuity announcers, mainly to introduce programmes, promote forthcoming programmes, provide information relating to the programme just broadcast and, in the case of stations with sister channels, cross-promote programmes on the other channel (such as linking between RTÉ One and Two, or TV3 and 3e).

RTÉ One used in-vision continuity announcers until at least 2000.[20][21] and in-vision continuity was briefly reprised in the late 1990s for overnight programmes.[22][23]

RTÉ Two used in-vision continuity announcers from its launch in November 1978 to at least 1986.[24][25][26][27] In-vision continuity links were reprised on the channel, then known as Network 2, during the evening schedule, from 1997 to 2001.[28][29]

From January 2008, the daytime schedule on TV3 launched with two new in-vision continuity annnouncers, Conor Clear and Andrea Hayes.[30]

TG4 makes regular use of in-vision continuity during its evening schedule.[7] Currently, TG4 employ six continuity announcers:[31]

The station's announcers also present weather forecasts in-vision, and often mention forthcoming programmes during the weather bulletins.[32]

Italy[edit]

Continuity announcers still appear in-vision on the three main RAI channels, where female continuity announcers are known as signorine buonasera (or 'good evening ladies'), although their role is much more marginal than it used to be. Past continuity announcers such as Nicoletta Orsomando or Rosanna Vaudetti are regarded today as cultural icons of the 1960s, particularly because of their impeccable elegance and perfect pronunciation of Italian. Since 2003, all in-vision links on Rai Uno, Rai Due and Rai Tre have been pre-recorded by a smaller team of station announcers.

Other Italian channels such as Retequattro,[33][34] Canale 5[35][36] and Italia 1[37][38] also used their own team of signorine buonasera in the 1980s and 1990s.

Japan[edit]

In Japan, NHK offers in-vision continuity segments on their TV services.

North Korea[edit]

Korean Central Television still offers in-vision continuity.

Sweden[edit]

In Sweden, a continuity announcer (or programme presenter) is informally known as a hallåa, which roughly means "helloer". This comes from the early days of radio when the main station in Stockholm contacted the other stations around the country by calling "hallå, hallå". Continuity announcers have been present on Swedish public television since November 1957. Initially, Sveriges Radio employed a team of both male and female announcers, but in the 1960s, the announcers became almost solely female.[39] Male announcers returned in the 1970s.

Both Kanal 1 and TV2, as well as the educational television service UR, continued to use in-vision announcers from the 1970s through to the 1990s, except for a few years in the early nineties when Kanal 1 (now SVT1) switched to out-of-vision continuity. In a cost-cutting exercise, SVT decided to drop live in-vision announcing from SVT2 in January 2005 and introduced pre-recorded voice-overs by SVT's announcing staff. The educational broadcaster UR dropped in-vision announcers by the end of 2006. A further review of SVT presentation led to the end of in-vision continuity on SVT1 on Sunday 4 March 2012. All SVT stations now use out-of-vision announcers.

The largest commercial channel, TV4 has utilised in-vision announcers since it began broadcasting in 1990. Most other commercial channels broadcast from London and use out-of-vision announcers. Private channels with out-of-vision announcers include TV3, Kanal 5, TV6, Kanal 9 and TV4 Plus.

Southeast Asia[edit]

Today, in-vision announcers are used in Southeast Asia, especially in Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam.

This list is Southeast Asian channels still using in-vision announcers:

Taiwan[edit]

Pre-recorded continuity announcements are offered on the TV channels in Taiwan.

United Kingdom[edit]

Continuity is used heavily in the United Kingdom. In general, continuity announcers are broadcast live on terrestrial television channels (BBC One, etc.), whereas pre-recorded announcements are used most of the time on digital and satellite channels.

United States[edit]

From the late 1970s until the mid-1990s, Ernie Anderson was known as "The Voice of ABC-TV", serving as the promotional voice and continuity announcer for that network.[40]

See also[edit]

See bumper music for a similarly functioning idea used in talk radio in the United States.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "één in-vision continuity". YouTube. Retrieved 25 February 2008. [dead link]
  2. ^ "één in-vision continuity". YouTube. Retrieved 25 February 2008. [dead link]
  3. ^ "Eva Daeleman TV announcer VRT één 29-7-2011 Maiden presentation". YouTube. 29 July 2011. Retrieved 3 January 2013. Eva from Haacht (Flemish Brabant) on her debut at 13.30 h. (In vision continuity annoucer [sic] VRT Belgium Dutch language) 
  4. ^ "VIJFtv in-vision continuity". YouTube. Retrieved 25 February 2008. [dead link]
  5. ^ "VIJFtv in-vision continuity". YouTube. Retrieved 25 February 2008. [dead link]
  6. ^ "VIJFtv In-vision Announcements (2007-2009)". YouTube. 27 August 2012. VIJFtv temporarily brought back in-vision announcements during this era. They were shown right before the next program started, in place of the "Now/Next/Later" announcement. This video has been restored digitally by cropping the picture to fullscreen and normalizing the audio. 
  7. ^ a b "TG4 Christmas Presentation 2007". The TV Room. 2007. Retrieved 25 February 2008. [dead link]
  8. ^ "TG4 – September 1999 - January 2004, In-Vision Continuity [1]". The TV Room. Retrieved 3 January 2013. 
  9. ^ "NRK1 presentation". TV Ark. Retrieved 26 February 2008. 
  10. ^ "Hallåa på TV4 / Continuity announcer on TV4 December 2004". YouTube. 16 August 2007. Retrieved 26 February 2008. 
  11. ^ "TV4 ident Hiro + Hallåa". YouTube. Retrieved 26 February 2008. 
  12. ^ "CBBC in-vision continuity". YouTube. Retrieved 25 February 2008. [dead link]
  13. ^ "CBBC in-vision continuity". YouTube. Retrieved 25 February 2008. [dead link]
  14. ^ "CBBC in-vision continuity 1992 with Toby Anstis". YouTube. 22 April 2010. Retrieved 3 January 2013. 
  15. ^ "CBBC on BBC1: In-Vision Continuity - 28th March 2001". YouTube. 29 December 2010. Retrieved 3 January 2013. 
  16. ^ "CBeebies - In-Vision Continuity: 11th February 2012". YouTube. 14 February 2012. Retrieved 3 January 2013. 
  17. ^ "UTV In-Vision Continuity - Julian Simmons (2007)". YouTube. 17 August 2007. Retrieved 25 February 2008. 
  18. ^ "UTV In-Vision Continuity - Marc Mallett (2008)". YouTube. 17 February 2008. Retrieved 25 February 2008. 
  19. ^ "CBC radio reconsiders its audience, reinvents itself and cues up 'Q'". Ottawa Citizen (Friends of Canadian Broadcasting). 22 April 2007. Retrieved 10 July 2009. 
  20. ^ "RTÉ One Presentation 1993-1995". The TV Room. Retrieved 26 February 2008. [dead link]
  21. ^ "RTÉ One: September 1993 - September 1995, In-Vision Continuity [1]". The TV Room. Retrieved 3 January 2013. 
  22. ^ "RTÉ One Presentation 1998-2000". The TV Room. Retrieved 26 February 2008. 
  23. ^ "RTÉ One: September 1998 - September 2000, In-Vision Continuity [1]". The TV Room. Retrieved 3 January 2013. 
  24. ^ "RTÉ Two Presentation 1978-1984". The TV Room. Retrieved 26 February 2008. [dead link]
  25. ^ "RTÉ Two: November 1978 - 1984, In-Vision Continuity [1]". The TV Room. Retrieved 3 January 2013. 
  26. ^ "RTÉ Two Presentation 1984-1987". The TV Room. Retrieved 26 February 2008. [dead link]
  27. ^ "RTÉ Two: 1984 - January 1987, In-Vision Continuity [1]". The TV Room. Retrieved 3 January 2013. 
  28. ^ "Network 2 In-Vision Continuity 1997-2002". The TV Room. Retrieved 26 February 2008. [dead link]
  29. ^ "RTÉ Network 2: October 1997 - May 2002, In-Vision Continuity [1]". The TV Room. Retrieved 3 January 2013. 
  30. ^ "TV3 follows strong 2007 with more Irish programming than ever in 2008". Media Room (TV3 Ireland). Retrieved 28 June 2008. [dead link]
  31. ^ "Sa Stiúideo - Aimsir". TG4. [dead link]
  32. ^ "An Aimsir Láithreach". TG4. Retrieved 28 June 2008. [dead link]
  33. ^ "Annunciatrice Rete 4 -...". YouTube. 1985. Retrieved 26 February 2008. [dead link]
  34. ^ "Rete 4 in-vision continuity". YouTube. 1990. Retrieved 26 February 2008. [dead link]
  35. ^ "Annunciatrice Canale 5 ...". YouTube. 1985. Retrieved 26 February 2008. [dead link]
  36. ^ "Canale 5 in-vision continuity". YouTube. 1993. Retrieved 26 February 2008. [dead link]
  37. ^ "Annunciatrice Italia 1...". YouTube. 1990. Retrieved 26 February 2008. [dead link]
  38. ^ "Italia 1 in-vision continuity". YouTube. 1990. Retrieved 26 February 2008. [dead link]
  39. ^ Hvar fjortonde dag - Hallåor, SVT, 1969-11-28 
  40. ^ Seibel, Deborah Starr (1991-10-24). "Deep Words From The Voice Of America". Chicago Tribune.