Pa. viewer calls about “obnoxious” theme music: gets a slap in the face

A Pennsylvania station’s news music has been the source of viewer complaints in the past — but now one of its hosts is offering up the “real” reason the station plays it.

WNEP, ABC’s Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania affiliate, has used the so-called “dance version” of the legendary theme music “Move Closer to Your World” used by WPVI in Philadelphia for decades.

Technically, the package is a separate package originally assembled for WPXI in Pittsburgh, but WNEP is now the only station in the country to use it (and no station other than WPVI uses “MCTYW”).

Anyway, at least one WNEP viewer doesn’t seem to care what the history of the music is.

“Every time I hear that obnoxious music you use as filler that starts a story or ends a story, ‘bah bah bah ba boom’, ‘bah bah bah ba boom,’ I switch every time you they start, just the channel,” explains what could only be described as a quarrelsome old man from Old Forge, Pennsylvania.

“So we’re losing you with the music?” asks a faux-shocked host Scott Schaffer, who hosts a weekly segment called “Talkback Feedback,” which often humorously responds to a selection of calls made at the Talkback 16- The sender’s call-in-line was made. Calls from the line, which can range from commentary on the day’s news to the more obscure and strange, are usually played daily at the end of the station’s news at 5:30 p.m.

“You know this is no coincidence, Old Forge. We play this music every time we want someone to leave. Nothing personal,” Schaffer says jokingly, before showing a clip of someone, presumably Schaffer, based on the matching watch, dancing to the music and wearing the head of the station’s quasi-former mascot, the Newscat.

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Schaffer has similar responses to callers complaining about foreigners winning the lottery and bingo halls letting in underage players — as well as to another popular topic of discussion on talkback lines, morning meteorologist Joe Snedeker, whom many viewers love. hate relationship to.

Each complaint is treated to a different clip of the dancing newscat, music blaring.

“Old Forge” seems to incorrectly refer to the “bah bah bah ba boom” part of the music that “leads into a story” or “ends a story” when it probably really meant, at least in TV news parlance, that it leads in or out of a block (those portions of a newscast that are framed by either another program or commercials). Most stations use part of their theme in these instances, often what is known as a vamp.

Vamps are typically simple sequences of repeated notes designed to be played over and over again, seemingly in a loop. They often lack a specific melody, making them better able to perform under a voice-over, instead relying more on a repeating beat to define themselves.

Compared to signatures, the more prominent, melodic sequences of notes that often help “define” a news music theme, they’re not quite as memorable (WNEPs is a “dah dah dah dah dum”), but they can still serve as an audible cue to the viewers that the news is restarting or preparing for a break.

Many news music packs have an extended vamp option with a prominent ending, often including elements of the signature that can also be played at the conclusion of the news broadcast. These vampires can be part of a clip that is offered in a fixed length, e.g. B. for a few minutes, and traditionally when the newscast has that many minutes to the outcue, a member of the production team responsible for audio will start playing the clip, but with the track “muted” to allow viewers can’t hear it.

As the newscast draws to a close, the team member can fade in the music so that the closing notes play out in the last few seconds of the show, bringing everything to a proper sonic conclusion.

This ending can also sometimes show up when a news show offers an extra-long series of banter, which can sometimes also be combined with quick weather segments and information like lottery numbers, prime-time lineups, or stock market updates, when the music is essentially “fading out.” ” due to the runtime.

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