The Medialink Broadcasting Glossary was prepared by and used with permission
from Richard Weiner from his book, "Webster's
New World Dictionary of Media and Communications" -- a 678-page book
with 35,000 definitions of slang and technical terms from advertising, film,
journalism, printing, public relations, radio, telecommunications, television,
theater and other fields. To receive an autographed copy for only $31 (including
shipping), call 212-601-8005 or E-mail [email protected]
and mention Medialink for a 10-percent discount.
This glossary is being updated on an ongoing basis. Please forward all additions, comments or feedback to [email protected].
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
A and B roll editing: The production of a master tape by assembling segments from two tapes, A and B rolls, on the same input machine.
A and B rolls: Two separated reels of video on which scenes are alternately placed to perform special effects.
across mike: Referring to the technique of speaking sideways to a microphone, rather than directly into it, to reduce hissing, popping, and explosive sounds.
across-the-board: A program or commercial scheduled at the same time each day, generally Monday through Friday; also called strip.
actuality: A live or taped news report broadcast from the scene, containing the voice(s) of the newsmaker(s), as well as of the reporter.
ad hoc network: A group of stations that is formed for a special purpose, such as the showing of a one-time TV program or series. Ad hoc is Latin for "for this."
ADI: Area of Dominant Influence.
adjacency: A commercial or program preceding or following another on a radio or TV station or network, or the time period itself.
affidavit: A notarized record of commercial and public service announcements aired by a station, listing broadcast date and time, provided to advertisers; also called an affidavit of performance.
affiliate: A station that contractually agrees to carry programs of the network with which it is affiliated. The station may be owned by the network but generally is independently owned.
air: The medium for radio and TV broadcasting. A station or program, when broadcast, is on the air or airing.
air check: An audio or video transcription or recording, made from an actual broadcast, of a radio or TV commercial or program. Technically, a typed transcript is not an air check, although it sometimes is called that.
air date: The time of a broadcast.
air master: A print of a film or a tape from broadcast use; also called an air print.
air ready: Describing a commercial, program, or other material completed and available for broadcast use.
air show: A TV program as actually broadcast; if taped, the final edited version.
airable: Suitable for use on a radio or TV station (uncommon slang).
airplay: The broadcast of a record or tape. One measurement of a hit recording is the number of airplays it receives.
airtime or air time: The scheduled day or period of a broadcast, described by the beginning time; the length of an actual broadcast of a program or segment, such as an interview.
air-to-air: Filming or taping of one moving aircraft from another.
airwaves: The medium through which broadcasting signals are transmitted; their pathways through the air.
alligator: Slang for a metal spring-clamp with serrated jaws used to attach lights and other items; also called a gator grip or bear trap. It is used by gaffers (electricians) and called a gaffer grip. The spring-loaded clamp has serrations along the edges and resembles the jaws of an alligator.
AM station: A station that broadcasts with an amplitude-modulated signal. An AM signal is a long, direct radio wave that travels the earth's surface, whereas a frequency-modulated (FM) signal is a straight broadcast signal that travels only as far as the horizon.
American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA): An AFL-CIO union of broadcasting workers. Headquartered in New York, near the offices of the major networks, it is the primary organization of broadcast talent, with 30 locals. Performers who appear in TV and radio commercials are required to be members of this union and/or other unions. However, spokespersons and others who are retained by public relations practitioners for talk shows and other radio and TV programs are not required to be union members, since they are generally not paid for their services. The acronym, AFTRA, is pronounced af-tra.
American Women in Radio and Television (AWRT): An association in Washington, DC, of women who work in all areas of broadcasting.
amplitude modulation (AM): The encoding of a carrier wave (such as the sound waves or audio signals of a radio station) by variation of its amplitude, or power (not its frequency).
analog: A method of data storage and transmission by continuous or wavelike signals of pulses of varying (greater or lesser) intensity; in contrast to digital transmission (on or off).
anchor: The key narrator of a newscast or other program; also called anchorman or anchorwoman. Two or more individuals sharing these functions are co-anchors. A local anchor works at a local station; a network anchor, at a network. Specialized newscasters include sports anchor, weather anchor, and weekend anchor. A field anchor reports from a studio outside the studio headquarters.
animatic: A "rough" of a TV commercial, resembling an animated cartoon, produced on film or videotape from drawings that show the stages in the storyboard.
animation: The process of creating static figures that appear to move and seem alive, such as cut-outs or puppets filmed a frame at a time, each slightly different in a sequence.
animator: An artist who produces animation drawings, or the person in charge of an animation production.
announcement: A printed notice or a message during a broadcast. It may be paid (commercial announcement) or free (public service announcement), perhaps made by a performer (announcer) in an announcer's booth (small studio).
antenna: A metallic device for sending or receiving electromagnetic waves, formerly common on rooftops,now built into radio and TV sets for receiving. The origin of the term is the sensory appendages on the heads of insects and other animals.
antenna farm: The location for the transmitting antennas for most or all of the TV stations in an area; sometimes also a cluster of radio transmitters.
applause: Approval, commonly expressed by clapping. An applause meter in a broadcast studio measures the sound volume of the applause, and it also can be used to intensify the sound or provide canned applause (the recorded sound of applause for a taped or filmed program). Applause mail is fan mail commending a program or performer. An applause line in a script, such as a speech, indicates a pause in anticipation of applause.
appointment television: A process in which TV viewers plan to view specific programs, as if they were making appointments on their weekly calendars, a habit that was common in the 1940s among listeners of network radio programs and in the 1950s among audiences of network TV programs.
AQH: Average quarter hour rating.
Arbitron: A firm in New York, owned by Ceridian Corp., that measures the size of broadcast audiences. Formerly called American Research Bureau, Inc., it is famous for its use of an automatic electronic meter device (called Arbitron, a name loosely based on the original corporate name) attached to the TV sets of a sample of viewers. The TV service was terminated at the end of 1993. Radio reports are provided for more than 2,200 counties in the United States, based on diaries maintained by listeners. An Arbitron market, called an area of dominant influence (ADI), was a cluster of counties representing TV markets.
arc: A mini-series within a regularly scheduled program, such as a two-parter, a three-parter, or several episodes with the same plot.
arcing: A curved movement, as in the circular motion of a TV pedestal camera, for which the instructions are arc left and arc right.
Area of Dominant Influence (ADI): The geographic boundaries of TV markets. The term ADI was coined by Arbitron to indicate the cluster of counties in which TV stations have a greater share of viewing households than those from any other area. A non-ADI market is a county in which the preponderance of TV viewers is not watching the local station or stations. For example, viewers in Akron, OH, are more likely to view Cleveland stations. An ADI rating was the percent of people viewing a specific TV program. Arbitron terminated its TV service at the end of 1993. The A.C. Nielsen Company has a similar concept called Designated Market Area (DMA).
A-roll: The primary material, as opposed to B-roll. In film and tape editing, alternate scenes are arranged on two reels (A-roll and B-roll) and then assembled.
assemble edit: The recording of all tracks (audio, video, cue, and control) simultaneously. It is different from insert edit.
assignment: The designation by the Federal Communications Commission of the holder of a radio or TV frequency or of a broadcast license; the designation of a photo or writing task by an editor. The assignment editor is the person at a publication or broadcast station who is in charge of assigning reporters or broadcasters to attend or cover a specific event. The daily assignments are listed in an assignment book (print media) or on an assignment board (broadcasting), or instructions may be given on an assignment sheet.
audience: A group of spectators, listeners, viewers, or readers of a performance, program, or work. Average audience is a number or rating calculated by the Nielsen and other research services, based on specific conditions.
audience accumulation: The addition of new audiences to a publication, television program, or other medium, as successive issues or broadcasts are produced.
audience composition: The number or percentage or characteristics (demographics) of the men, women, children, or other groups of viewers of listeners of a specific TV or radio program or station; also called audience comp, audience profile, or profile.
audience duplication: The number or percent of individuals or households exposed more than once to the same message through the same medium (publication or broadcast) or different media over a measured period of time.
audience flow: The extent to which listeners or viewers remember the events on a radio or TV show from one program to another.
audience format: A type of programming on a station (generally radio, which is more segmented than noncable TV) to appeal to specific listeners.
audience holding index: A minute-by-minute or other detailed analysis of the number of listeners or viewers of a program.
audience turnover: A measurement of the frequency with which the audience of a radio or TV program changes over a period of time; specifically, the ratio of the net unduplicated cumulative audience over several time periods to the average audience of one time period; also, the number of announcements required to reach half of a station's cumulative audience in a specific time period. It is also called turnover or T/O.
audio: The sound portion of a broadcast, film, tape, or other medium. Audio, from the Latin audire, meaning "to hear," literally means "I hear."
audio billboard: An identification at the beginning of an audio tape, including a brief description of the event recorded, the name of the reporter, and the number of the take.
audio news release (ANR): A tape sent to radio stations by a public relations source.
audio operator: The person responsible for the technical quality of a program's sound. The audio operator works in a control room or an audio room and communicates by headset with the assistant audio operator and others on the floor of the studio.
audio receive only (ARO): A small dish antenna used by radio stations to receive sound from a satellite.
audiotape: A magnetic strip on which are recorded electrical signals that can be converted to sound.
audio/video (AV): Sound and sight, as in a script with the text of the dialogue and a description of the accompanying visual action.
audiovisual (AV or A.V.): Involving both sound and sight.
Auntie: A somewhat derogatory, though affectionate, slang term for the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).
automatic dialogue replacement (ADR): A technique for recording a replacement dialogue track in which the performer is cued by electronic beeps and other techniques. The ADR editorsupervises the post-production alterations of the dialogue tracks.
average audience (AA): The number of households tuned to a radio or TV program during a minute or other period, as expressed in an AA rating.
average quarter hour (AQH): The audience during a typical (average) 15-minute period of a
radio or TV program, the smallest unit of time used by rating services. AQH Persons is the
estimated number of individuals who listened to a station during an average quarter-hour. AQH
Share represents the AQH Persons of a station expressed as a percent of the total persons
listening to radio or TV during that time period. Average quarter-hour audience is an average of
the number of people listening to a specific station or network for at least five minutes in each
quarter-hour over a specified period of time, such as a day or week. The AQH rating is the AQH
persons divided by the population in the listening area.
back announce: A recap or summary by a disc jockey or announcer of the records, tapes, or discs broadcast during the preceding period.
background: 1 Background action: a part of a picture or scene that appears in the distance or rear, a position of relative inconspicuousness or less importance than the foreground. A background plate is a rear projection slide or film against which foreground action is photographed. 2 Background music: subdued music or other sound faded to a lower or background level. To background the sound is to reduce or fade it, as with a music background for a voice-over.
backtiming or back timing: A technique in live news, variety, or other programs in which the last segment is rehearsed and timed. Thus, in the actual broadcast, as the time to begin this segment approaches, the director is prepared to stretch it, speed it up, or replace it. In TV news programs, backtime is the clock time (the actual time) at which the last segment should begin if the program is to end on time.
band: 1 A thin strip; grooves on a record or disk with an entire song, movement, or other section. 2 A range of radio-spectrum frequencies (broadcast band), including AM, FM, UHF, VHF, VLF, ham, police, commercial, and CB. The use of letters for these bands was started by the military during the second World War. Letters, as in K and S bands, are not designations of the Federal Communications Commission, though the letters are commonly used in the broadcasting and communications industries.
bandwidth: The amount of information that can be transmitted over a computer network at a given time. The higher the bandwidth, the more data can pass over the network.
barker channel: A cable TV channel used to list or promote programs on other channels.
bars: A reference signal recorded on the beginning of a videotape for the purpose of aligning the playback of that tape. Most often, an audio reference (tone) is usually recorded at the same time as the bars.
basic cable service: A cable TV company's package of channels, including the broadcast channels, which excludes certain "premium" or pay channels.
basic set: A film, TV, or stage set with furniture and scenery but without props.
bay: An editing room.
bcu: A big close-up of a picture in photography, film, or television. ECU is an extreme close-up.
beep: An audio signal used for alerting or warning, as on the soundtrack of a videotape for editing or notice of the forthcoming beginning of a scene, program, or commercial.
beeper: A telephone interview. Radio stations used to be required to insert a beep (audio signal) on recorded interviews to indicate that they were not live. Though this is no longer necessary, the term still is used to describe an interview conducted over the telephone rather than in the studio. It is also used to describe any long-distance interview. With the use of satellites, it is now possible to conduct long-distance interviews over television. A beeper line is a phone line connected to a tape recorder.
beginning of tape (BOT): The place on an audiotape or videotape at which the leader ends and the sound and/or picture begins; also called the load point.
Beta: A type of 1/2-inch videotape and videocassette recorder (Betamax) made by Sony and others, primarily for home use but also used at TV stations.
Betacam: Brand name of Sony broadcast-quality half-inch videotape and recorders. A standard in news and low- to medium-budget video productions, the camera and recorder are contained in one lightweight unit. The recorder also has a Dolby encoder, an audio limiter, and the ability to record address track time code. Even slow-motion playback of this format is available.
big fat wide shot (BFWS): An instruction to a photographer or camera operator for a wide angle.
billboard: The opening or closing credits or an announcement of a forthcoming program or segment, as on a news or interview program; an announcement related to a sponsor or advertiser, perhaps not paid for, such as "this portion of the program is brought to you by ..."
billing: A listing of performers and others on a program, marquee, sign, or advertisement, with position and size of type as indications of importance. Top billing is the number-one position; bottom billing is the lowest.
bird: A communications satellite. Birding is slang for radio and TV transmission via satellite. The news value of a potential story for satellite transmission, especially overseas, is called its birdability. To lose the bird is to suffer an interruption of transmission.
birdie: A tweeting noise due to malfunctioning sound equipment.
birdseye: A spotlight with a reflector back invented by Clarence Birdseye (1886-1956), who is better known for developing methods for quick-freezing foods.
bite: A short segment, or a take, such as a 15-second sound bite that is repeated on network radio and TV news programs. The major excerpt from an interview, a very quotable sentence or two, is called the news bite or bite-of-the day. A strong bite, the opposite of a weak bite, is dramatic. To pull a bite is to find a usable short section in a longer tape.
bite off: The premature cutoff of a commercial, record, or program.
black (BLK): Very dark. Pitch black or pure black means totally without light. Television black reflects a very small amount of light from the screen, about 3-percent reflectance. Blank tape is not black tape.
black and coded tape: A videotape on which a video signal of black (7.5 IRE units) and time code has been recorded.
black clipping: A video control circuit that regulates, or clips, the bottom, or black level, of the picture signal so that it does not appear on the transmitted picture.
blanking: 1 Suppression, as of a video signal. Line blanking, or horizontal blanking, is a standard procedure in television transmission in which the video signal is suppressed during the brief interval while the electron beam, or scanning spot, is retracing its path, that is, returning from the end of one line to begin another line. Field blanking, or vertical blanking, is the suppression of the video signal during the brief interval when the beam finishes scanning one area, or field, and returns to the top to begin scanning the next area. The interval during which the signal is suppressed is the blanking period. The pulses added to the video signal to suppress it are the blanking signals. 2 The interval between picture frames. The standard TV signal transmits 30 frames per second, with intervals so brief that the eye merges them to produce an illusion of motion; the same concept applies to film (moving pictures).
blast: A sudden rush or explosion. In broadcasting, blasting is excessive sound through a microphone.
bleeble: A brief segment, such as a musical transition.
bleed: A small amount of space at the edges of a shot to compensate for any loss between the picture as it appears on the studio monitor and on the home screen.
bleeder: Audio from an unwanted source.
bleed-through: The bleeding through of the high-pitched whine of time code onto the production track of three-quarter-inch tape.
blink: To flash. A blinker is a light that flashes to convey a message or warning, such as a signal to people in a studio. The off-and-on speed is the blink rate.
blip: A brief interruption of sound on a program or tape; to interrupt or delete sound, as in blipping an expletive from a TV program.
block: A group of consecutive time periods. Block programming is the scheduling of programs with similar audience appeal. Air time set aside for special programming or deliberately not sold is blocked out. A news block is a segment devoted to news, such as a one-minute segment in a TV program.
blocking: The planned movement of performers or the camera.
blocking tape: On film, stage, and TV sets, tape affixed to places on the floor to indicate where a performer should stand.
bloom: A halo or flare on the screen caused by reflections from a shiny object such as jewelry or lights, or a whitening in an overbright area; also called blooming, blossom, or puddling.
board fade: Lowering of the intensity of music or other sounds, the board being the audio or video console or control panel. It is also called a production fade but is different from a studio fade, in which the sound is reduced in the studio.
body brace: A camera support that attaches to the shoulders and waist of a camera operator.
bookend: A radio or TV commercial with an open area in the middle for insertion of a local dealer tie-in or other material; also called a doughnut (it has a hole in the middle). A bookend commercial also is a split, usually 30 seconds before one or more other commercials and 30 seconds after.
booking board: A calendar posted on a wall or bulletin board on which is written the names of interview guests and other information about forthcoming programs.
boom: A long movable stand, crane, arm, or pole for mounting and moving a microphone (boom microphone) or camera. The boom arm is the circular arm on a camera platform that controls the vertical position of the camera. Thus, to boom up is to raise the dolly boom arm and camera in order to obtain a tilt down, or downward shot. The opposite is a boom down, or tilt up, shot, in which the dolly boom arm is lowered. A boom shot is a continuous single shot involving various movements of the camera boom. These shots also are called crane shots. The boom operator(formerly called boom man) handles the microphone boom and associated equipment.
bounce: 1 Signals bounced off the ionosphere, satellites, or other bounce points. 2A sudden, unanticipated brightness in the picture.
box set: A film or TV setting in which a complete room or area is realistically reproduced except for one wall and the ceiling, to allow for the camera to enter.
Bozo box: Audio equipment linked to a TV camera, so simple that even Bozo the Clown could operate it. A Bozo filter eliminates or reduces the priority of incoming E-mail or voice mail.
break: 1 Intermission; a time segment--a few seconds or minutes--before, during, or after a radio or TV program or other activity; an interruption, as in a station break. 2 To move or relocate a camera.
breaking news: Currently happening or impending news; also called a breaking story.Late-breaking news is even more "of the moment."
broadcast: A single radio or TV program; the transmission or duration of a program. Any message that is transmitted over a large area, not necessarily by a broadcast station, is said to be broadcast. For example, facsimile transmission of a document to more than one fax machine is called broadcasting.
broadcast day: The period between the sign-on and sign-off of a radio or TV station.
broadcast editor: A member of the editorial staff of a publication who provides a report on a radio or television station, such as a health news report based on material from a health magazine.
broadcast home: A household with one or more radio or TV sets.
broadcast hours: The total number of hours broadcast by a station during a year.
broadcast quality: The technical specifications of the video signal and the actual look of that signal. A technically perfect video signal might look terrible. For instance, a VHS tape, properly doctored through a digital effects generator, might meet a station's technical requirements but might be rejected because it is not a broadcast-quality picture. Each broadcast company, network, or station has its own level of quality.
B-roll: Supplementary or backup material. With video news releases, the B-roll generally follows the primary material on the same cassette. In film and tape editing, alternate scenes are arranged on two reels, an A-roll and a B-roll, and then assembled.
BTA: Best time available.
BTS: Behind the scenes interviews and other filmed or taped material about the production of a film or TV show, for publicity use.
BTV: Business television.
bulk eraser: A large electromagnet that demagnetizes and wipes--erases--an entire tape without running the tape through the recorder, a degausser.
bump: 1 To cancel a guest or segment. 2 A photo or brief segment to announce or tease a forthcoming segment of a program, usually with the words "coming up next." 3 A sound bump is a blip or other irregularity, perhaps due to poor recording or editing. Bumping up means transferring from a narrow tape, such as 1/2", to a wider one, such as 3/4".
bumper: A transitional device, such as fadeout music or "We'll return after these messages," between story action and a commercial; also called a program separator.
bumper list: A list of musical selections to be played before a break, such as to lead into (bump) commercials.
burned-in-time code: Time code is made visible or "burned-in" to a dub. A dub with a burned-in-time code can be provided to a client so that they can choose the exact location of a shoot or soundbite in advance of an edit saving substantial time and money. Frequently recorded on VHS so you can "pencil edit."
bus: A central connection for several audio sources or a row of buttons on a video switching panel; also spelled buss.
business television (BTV): Videos and TV programs sponsored by companies, generally about their business and transmitted free via closed circuit or other distribution.
button: A strong musical or sound effect, such as the end of a commercial, or a bit of music between segments of a program; also called a stinger.
buy: A purchase, such as of time or space in the media; approval or acceptance of a proposal.
buy rate: In pay-per-view TV, the percentage of subscribers that purchase a program.
bye-bye: A transition phrase used by a broadcaster to indicate a locale change, such as "That's all
from here in Chicago, and now a report from Los Angeles."
cable penetration: The percentage of homes that subscribe to cable television, generally within a specified area.
cable puller: A person responsible for setting up and handling power, sound, and picture cables. Generally one cable puller is allocated to each camera.
cable television (cable tv or catv): A television distribution system whereby TV signals are transmitted via cable (insulated wire), rather than through the air, to TV sets of subscribers in a community or locality. Cable television systems are generally called cable systems; the companies that own and operate them are known as cable system operators or cablecasters.
cablecasting: Programming carried on cable television, as opposed to over-the-air broadcasting; also called cable origination.
call letters: The name of a radio or TV station. Most stations east of the Mississippi River have call letters beginning with W; west of the Mississippi, call letters usually begin with K. Canadian stations begin with C; Mexican stations, with X. All U.S. radio stations except a few of the oldest ones have four letters.
camcorder: A combination TV camera and videotape recorder in one portable unit.
camera cue: A red light or buzzer indicating that a TV camera is shooting a scene for transmission, live or taped; also called a cue light, tally light, or warning light.
camera left (or camera right): The left (or right) as seen from the camera operator's or viewer's position, as opposed to that of the performer; hence, the left (or right) of the image when viewed.
camera original: A first-generation videotape from the original camera signal.
camera rehearsal: A full-dress rehearsal, one with costumes, at which the movements of the camera are blocked; more advanced than a reading or script rehearsal.
camera shot: That part of the subject matter that is viewed and photographed by the camera.
camera talk: A situation in which a performer looks directly into the lens to deliver a message to the audience.
captioning: The process of superimposing subtitles at the bottom of a TV screen.
cart: Short form of cartridge, a case containing magnetic tape. A cart machine is a tape-cartridge playback machine, used with a stack of perhaps a dozen cartridges, mostly to store and broadcast commercials and public service announcements on radio stations. In radio, a cart directory is a listing of cartridges in a rack or other storage, containing information about the cartridge number, title, artist, and running time. Television talk shows often post notices in the middle of a program to recruit participants for future shows; the announcement is called a cart, akin to a cart in an aisle.
cast commercial: A broadcast advertisement featuring the performers in the show.
chalk off: To mark (with chalk, or more generally, tape) positions on the stage floor for use as reference by the performers. Chalking off a scene is generally called blocking a scene.
channel (ch, ch, or ch.): A frequency band assigned to a radio or TV station. Radio channel names generally are referred to with the word station followed by the call letters, particularly with AM stations. FM stations typically use the frequency number as identification. TV stations are mostly referred to by their channel numbers.
character generator: An electronic typewriter that creates letters and symbols in video, usually available for rent in editing bays.
Chromakey, Chroma-key, or chroma key: An electronic process that alters the background scene without affecting the foreground, also called color-separation overlay (abbreviated CSO). In the Chromakey system, a saturated color (usually blue) forms a hole in the background picture so that a second video source (such as a camera) can fill this area.
chrominance: The portion of a TV signal that produces the sensation of color or hue, as distinguished from luminance (brightness).
Chyron Corporation: A major manufacturer (based in Melville, NY) of electronic image and character generators and TV graphics systems, particularly those commonly used by many TV stations and producers for lettering and graphics. The systems are so common that the company name sometimes is used generically or as a verb (to chyron an identification).
circle wipe: An optical effect in which an image first appears as a dot in the center and then grows to full size while covering (wiping out) the preceding scene.
circle-in: An optical effect in which a picture diminishes and disappears as it is replaced by a second picture that grows in a circle from the center; the opposite of a circle-out. It is also called iris in (whose opposite is iris out).
class (cl.): A division of broadcast time. Class A time is the prime time period, or the period of maximum audience, such as 8:00-11:00 p.m. on TV. Advertising during Class A time is charged at the highest rate, followed by B, C, and D.
clear-channel station: An AM radio station authorized by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to dominate its frequency. Such a station generally has the maximum power (50kW) and is protected (has no other stations at its frequency) for a distance of up to 750 miles. Many clear-channel stations can be heard at greater distances on clear nights. Clear channels are specific frequencies to which the FCC has assigned a limited number of stations.
client: The person directly responsible for paying for and/or supervising a session, project, or other entity.
clip: A short segment of a program.
close-up (CU): A tight photograph or shot, generally of the face and shoulders; a close shot.
closed circuit: A term referring to audio and/or video transmission for controlled reception, such as to theaters, hotels, meeting places for sports events, conventions, and other one-time transmissions. Closed-circuit transmissions are also regularly sent to stations for their own personnel or for reviewers. Closed-circuit television (CCTV) is transmitted over cable to specific sites or broadcast in a scrambled format to sites that are provided with unscramblers.
color bar: A strip of gradation of primary colors and black, used for TV testing and for color standardization and accuracy.
color burst: A reference signal transmitted with each line of a video between the end of the line's sync and the picture signal. The burst consists of a few cycles of chroma signal of known phase.
color correction: The changing of color shadings in a video picture. The process of color correction is time-consuming, so it is much wiser to get the color balance right during the production. Color correction can be as simple as changing the hue on a time base corrector or as complicated as using a machine that breaks down the video signal into its original components and then adjusts certain elements of those components. A video signal might require color correction because (1) the camera was not white-balanced; (2) one of the camera's color pickup tubes was not working correctly; (3) a playback was not properly set up to bars during an original edit, requiring the shot be fixed to balance the color of one or several shots; (4) a color shot must be made black-and-white.
color corrector: A machine that is capable of drastically altering the color levels of a video signal.
comet tail: A streak, generally caused by an overloaded camera tube. Comet tails can be prevented or minimized by means of an anti-comet tail (ACT) gun in the tube.
commercial break: An interruption in radio or TV programming for broadcast of one or more advertisements (commercials).
commercial load: The maximum amount of advertising time available during a broadcast time period, such as eight national minutes and four local minutes per hour; the total time of commercials actually broadcast during an hour or other specific time.
commercial pool: A selection of television or radio commercials that an advertiser has available for airing at any one time.
component video recording: A technical method of recording a color picture on videotape that separates the black-and-white portion of the signal from the chroma. This method is used in half-inch professional video formats such as Betacam, Beta SP, MII, and D1.
composite: The encoding of complete video information into one signal. Originally designed for broadcasting, this process was used extensively in postproduction until the late 1980s when component switchers, recorders, and other devices allowed for the creation of totally component signal paths. Component is a more accurate signal.
compression: A process of automatic adjustment of variation in audio volume.
computer edit: Either an edit performed by a computerized editing system or the generic term for a computer on-line edit.
computer editing system: A computerized process in which a time code locates specific positions on the playback and record tapes.
continuity: A quality of a script, giving the broadcaster a continuous flow of spoken words. A continuity acceptance department (or continuity clearance department) reviews programming and advertising to eliminate unsubstantiated claims and illegal or objectionable material. Also, the impression that events, scenes, and shots flow smoothly and naturally in proper sequence, without any inconsistent transitions (continuity flaws).
continuity book: A daily file of all commercials, in chronological order, to be broadcast on a radio or TV station.
control room: The room in which the director, engineer, and others adjust sound and/or video.
control track: A series of evenly spaced electronic blips or spikes (called sync pulses) on videotape that function like the sprocket holes of film. The control track is essential in editing videotape.
correspondent (cor., corr., or corres.): A reporter who is a full-time or part-time employee of one of the media (not a stringer or freelancer) and who is based elsewhere than the headquarters of the employer.
cost per point (CPP): The cost of purchasing or delivering one gross rating point (GRP). It is a measure of media efficiency and is determined by dividing the cost of the advertising by the gross audience rating points.
cough button: A switch used by a radio announcer to cut off the microphone during a cough.
countdown: A leader at the beginning of a program, which counts backward until two seconds before the program. At two seconds, a brief audio beep is recorded as part of the countdown.
cover shot: A wide or long-distance view, such as generally begins a sequence, to establish the location. Also, a video that covers, or replaces, as when the audio part of an interview continues and the video is of a relevant event; also called cover footage.
coverage (cvg): 1 [journalism] Media treatment, the extent to which an event is reported. 2[broadcasting] The geographical area (usually counties) in which a station is received by viewers or listeners, as indicated on a coverage map. 3 [film, television] The photographing of a scene from various views and using various exposures.
cow catcher: 1 A series of comments made before the introduction of a show or broadcast to capture attention. 2 A commercial preceding or at the beginning of a program.
crane: A vehicle with a movable arm or boom (generally hydraulic) that moves a platform on which are a camera and a crew; sometimes called a whirly. A crane typically has three seats, for the director, camera operator, and camera assistant or focus puller. The base of the vehicle is called a trolley. Cranes are ubiquitous on movie sets. A crane shot or boom shot is a shot taken from a crane.
crawl: A body of typed information, such as a news bulletin, promotional message, telephone number, or cast credits, that is transmitted in a continuous flow across all or part of a TV screen (often the bottom); also called a crawl roll. The effect is produced by mounting the text on a drumlike mechanism, the crawl roll. The crawl can be horizontal (across the top or bottom of the screen) or vertical (from the bottom, moving up). It is positioned in the crawl space.
credit: Acknowledgment of work done. Credits may come at the beginning of a program (opening or head credits) or the end (closing or tail credits). A pre-credits sequence starts a film or TV program before the title appears.
crew: A group of workers on a site or production, as distinguished from performers (cast).
cross-talk: Live conversation between broadcasters, as between an anchorperson and an on-site reporter.
cue: A signal in words or signs that initiates action, dialogue, effects, or other aspects of a production, such as an indication from a director for a performer or interview subject to begin or end. Exact timing is one cue. Cues may be given with a cue light, such as an On The Air sign or a warning light. A return cue is a verbal or other signal to return to the studio from a remote broadcast, such as a sports event. To cue ahead is to move a tape to the next broadcast or edit point.
cue card: A large card containing lines to be spoken by a performer, often used off-camera on TV; also called a flip card, idiot card, or idiot sheet.
cue channel: A track or channel on a tape for audio information related to the production and other signals that are not to be part of the soundtrack they accompany.
cue in: To begin or initiate action, music, dialogue, or effects.
cue track: One of the audio tracks on videotape, or a separate track for recording with cuing information to be used in editing; also called an address track.
cue up: To prepare and set in position a record or tape for immediate recording or playback.
cume: The total accumulated or cumulative audience (not total combined audiences, which would be duplicated repeatedly) of a radio or TV station during a broadcast day or time period, such as 6 a.m. to midnight, Monday to Friday.
cut: A transition (or transition point) from one scene to another (a visual cut) or one soundtrack to another (a sound cut). A late cut is made (generally unintentionally) slightly after the indicated moment, whereas a delayed cut is intentionally withheld so as to create suspense or for other effects. Also, an instruction to end a scene or to shift from one scene to another. The symbol for this command is an index finger drawn across the throat.
cutaway: A reaction shot or a shot of an action, object, or person not part of the principal scene; an insert, such as between two scenes of an interview subject, usually a brief sequence that shows the interviewer.
cut-in: The insertion of a local commercial or announcement in a broadcast.
cuts-only editor: An editor that performs only cuts.
daily electronic feed (DEF): A news service from a network to affiliated stations for possible subsequent broadcast. Also called delayed electronic feed, it may be a morning and/or afternoon transmission.
DAT: Digital audio tape.
daypart: A programming segment of a broadcast schedule, such as morning and afternoon drive time and night watch for radio, and morning, afternoon, early, and late fringe for television. Dayparting is the scheduling of programs at specific parts of the day, targeted to specific audiences that are predominant during those times.
daytime station: An AM radio station restricted by its FCC license to broadcasting between 15 minutes before sunrise and 15 minutes after sunset; also called a daytimer.
dead air: A broadcasting term for silence, perhaps resulting from a dead mike (inoperative microphone).
dead roll: A technique of starting a taped program or a film at its scheduled time on a station but not broadcasting it, so that the preceding program, specifically a live sports or news event, is continued. When the live program ends, the dead rolling tape or film is telecast at the point it has rolled to, usually with the announcement, "We now join the program already in progress."
dead spot: An area where broadcast reception is weak; also called dead space. A dead spot is also a broadcast commercial or program not aired, sometimes called black space.
deck: On deck is to be ready; an on-deck camera is a TV camera whose picture is currently not being transmitted despite its readiness to become an on-air camera.
delayed broadcast (D.B.): The broadcast of a radio or TV program at a time later than its original transmission, a common procedure in the Pacific time zone.
demo: Demonstration, as in a demo record, or reel of a record or tape produced for an audition.
demographics (demos): The external characteristics of a population, such as TV viewers, as related to age, sex, income, education, marital status, and other quantifiable descriptions.
Designated Market Area (DMA): A Nielsen Media Research term for a group of counties in which a TV station obtains the greatest portion of its audience. Each U.S. county is part of only one DMA. The Designated Market Area Rating is the percentage of TV homes within the area viewing an individual station during a particular time period.
detail set: A part of a set used for close-ups; also called an insert set.
digital: The primary method of data storage and transmission, in which each code is given a unique combination of bits and each bit generally indicates the presence or absence of a condition (on or off, yes or no, true or false, open or closed). A digital camera record images as pixels.
digital effects generator: A device that produces electronic optical illusions. Common brands are ADO and DVE.
digital video: A video picture that recorded digitally. Some machines can store single frames and short segments of video digitally on disks. There are also tape machines that can store large amounts of video digitally. Multiple generations of digital video look exactly like the camera original because the picture is recreated by digital signals rather than by copying the signal.
dim: Not bright; unclear. To dim or dim down is to reduce the light intensity; to dim up or dim in is to increase the light gradually, and to dim out is to reduce the light to blackout.
direct broadcast satellite (DBS): A high-powered satellite for broadcasting directly to homes.
director: A supervisor; generally refers to the person responsible for all audience-visible components of a program, film, or show, whereas the producer is responsible for the financial and other behind-the-scenes aspects. The production director selects and manages the suppliers.
dirty: Soiled; muddy, as a dirty tape.
dirty tape: Tape that has unwanted audio and other distortions under the desired recording. This usually happens when an engineer or producer fails to adequately erase the tape before using it.
disc jockey (d.j.): A radio or TV performer whose program consists mainly of records (discs) or other recordings; also called a jock or dee jay.
dish: A microwave transmitter or receiver with a concave (dishlike) reflector to concentrate and focus signals. A small dish can be attached to a microphone to pick up from a large area; a large dish can be set atop a tower or roof to transmit or pick up from a satellite. A communications satellite sometimes is called a skydish or big dish (in the sky).
dissolve: An optical technique to produce a gradual change in scenes. The progressive blending of the end of one shot into the beginning of the next is produced by the superimposition of a fade-out into a fade-in or by putting the camera gradually out of or into focus (a cross-dissolve). When the images are both at half-strength, they overlap; the effect is called a lap, lap-dissolve, mix, or cross-lap. An out-of-focus dissolve is a transition in which one shot is faded out of focus while another shot is faded in. Dissolve in is to fade in; dissolve out, to fade out. Dissolve-lapse is a series of brief shots filmed at different times and linked with fast transitions, similar to a time lapse.
distance shot: A view in which the subject is a long distance from the camera or appears to be far away; also called a long shot.
distant signal: In cable TV, a station "imported" from a market other than the one in which the cable system is located.
ditty bag: A small container, originally used by sailors to carry toilet articles; also called a ditty box. The ditty bag used by camera crews is a cloth or canvas bag containing small items, sometimes attached to a tripod.
dj copy: A record with a recording on only one side, for use by a radio disc jockey.
dolly: A mobile platform with three of four wheels for carrying a microphone, camera, or other items. A dolly shot (the process is called dollying, tracking, or trucking) shifts the viewpoint of the camera, often by a crew member called a dolly pusher or dolly grip, and is taken while the dolly is in motion. To dolly-in, dolly up, or camera up is to move the camera platform closer toward the subject; to dolly-out is to move it away and is also called camera back, dolly-back, truck back, or pull back.
donut: A commercial distributed to stations with a blank central section to be "filled" with a local advertiser's message, which generally is live; also called a doughnut commercial.
downlink: The portion of a signal from the satellite down to the receiving point, such as a dish (sometimes called a down link).
drive time: Morning and afternoon hours when many radio listeners drive to and from work. The hours vary depending on the area and time of year--generally 6 to 10 a.m. and 4 to 7 p.m. on weekdays.
drop frame time code: A system that keeps the time of a videotape accurate by dropping two numbers every minute to make up for the small error that results from assuming that video runs exactly 30 frames per second (video actually runs 29.97 frames per second).
drop-in ad: A local commercial inserted into a national program, or, more generally, an advertising message inserted into a larger advertisement, as for a local dealer or retailer, or a phrase, such as a public service slogan, or symbol; also called a hitch-hike ad.
drop-out or dropout: A defect in a tape resulting in a black flash, color loss, or other gap. This signal loss can be concealed by a drop-out compensator.
dub: A dupe or duplicate; an insert in an audiovisual medium; also used as a verb, as in to dub something into the body of a radio or TV program or motion picture. Material to be dubbed may consist of a different language soundtrack, new or updated material, or other editing, or combining. When a duplicate tape is made at a different speed or width from the original, the process is called dubbing down if the dub is slower or narrower than the original, or dubbing up if the dub is faster or wider. An editor may use a dubbing mixer.
dubber: A person who duplicates a film or tape (makes a dub); a machine such as an audio playback machine used to make a copy of a tape; a performer who lip-synchs or inserts dialogue into an existing film or tape, such as a translation (a dubbed version).
dubbing: The process of recording, such as making a duplicate of a film or tape or replacing dialogue or a soundtrack with new material, as in a different language or with a singer, actor, or other performer replacing the original. The process may require a dubbing cue sheet with the existing and new versions and be recorded at a dubbing session in a dubbing studio or at a looping stage.
Dubner CBG: A character background generator, a device that creates and manipulates characters and graphic images on TV, named after Harvey Dubner of Fort Lee, NJ.
dupe: Short for duplicate, a copy of a radio or TV tape or other audiovisual material, also called
a dub. Duping is duplicating.
ear prompter: A tiny ear plug connected to a small audio recorder, enabling a performer to hear a recorded script while on stage or on camera.
ear shot: A close-up of a person in profile.
early fringe: A time period in TV broadcasting, preceding prime time, usually 5 to 8 p.m. on weekdays.
earphones: A device, akin to a miniature loudspeaker, that reproduces sound and is worn over the ears; more commonly called headphones or a headset.
earth station: Equipment for transmitting or receiving satellite communications, such as a parabolic or dish antenna that sends or receives TV signals over the air directly from satellites or other sources. Owners of earth stations include cable systems and individuals, who thus bypass cable systems. Also called a ground station.
edit decision list (EDL): A record of all times on a video at which selections or other editing is to be produced.
editing room: The room in which a film is edited or cut; generally called a cutting room; also a room in which videotape is edited, often called an edit suite.
editor: A device for revising film, tape, or other materials, including the actual cutting and splicing, or joining, which is done mechanically or electronically under the supervision of a person also called an editor (or film editor, sound editor, or tape editor).
effect: A technique or device for producing a visual or auditory illusion, such as sound effects, special effects, or optical effects.
effects: Property, impression. Special effects are optics (optical effects) or visual effects to produce illusions. Sound effects are audio devices for simulation of a specific sound. The abbreviation is FX or sometimes, EFX, or as with video effects, E.
E-I-C: Engineer-in-charge, as of a TV production.
eight ball: A nondirectional, small, round microphone.
electret microphone: An electrostatic microphone, such as a small lapel mike.
electronic camera: A filmless camera in which images are recorded on a computer disk and instantly transmitted to computer screens; also called a digital camera.
electronic character generator (ECG): A typewriterlike machine that produces weather reports, sports scores, identifications, and other lettering as part of a TV picture.
electronic cue: An audio or video signal indicating the end of a tape or other instruction.
electronic editing: The use of a computer or control board, rather than manual splicing, for the editing, or cutting, of tape.
electronic field production (EFP): The use of equipment (generally portable, such as a minicam, or electronic camera) outside a TV studio to produce nonnews material, such as programming or commercials.
electronic journalism (EJ): Live transmission or videotaping from a location away from the television studio, by an EJ camera crew.
electronic news gathering (ENG): The use of an electronic, portable TV camera (minicam) to videotape or broadcast news from outside the studio. By eliminating film, ENG has produced considerable savings in time and personnel and added a mobility to the news operations of TV stations.
electronic setup (ESU): The prebroadcast time during which equipment is set up and tested.
electronic sports gathering (ESG): The use of cameras, mobile units, and other equipment to produce a telecast of a sports event.
electronic still store (ESS): An electronic still-frame storage device, with a storage area of photographic slides, titles, and other stills that can be selected instantly.
electronic viewfinder (EVF): A small screen for monitoring while operating a video camera. It may be built in or separate.
encryption: The process of encoding, as in the scrambling of TV signals. Pay-TV transmission often is encrypted, and subscribers have devices that decrypt, or unscramble.
endcue: The last few words--generally four--of a taped report or interview, an important guide to the engineer, producer, director, and newscaster; also called an outcue.
end/end: A notation at the end of a broadcast script or other item, similar to # # # and other notations.
ENG: Electronic news gathering.
engineering setup (ESU): A TV technique to freeze an image on the screen. It is most frequently used, by an ESU operator, to project an image over the shoulder of the anchor, or news broadcaster, during the lead-in of a news item.
equalizer: A process that attempts to enhance the quality of a recording by filtering out distortions and other undesirable elements.
establishing shot: An opening comprehensive view, a long or wide shot to set the scene or acquaint the audience with the setting, characters, or plot, followed by details and closer action; also called an orientation shot.
extreme close-up (ecu or xcu): A tight camera shot, close in and limited to one part of the subject.
eye bounce: A technique, recommended to speakers on TV programs, in which the eyes do not move horizontally. Instead, to achieve a side-to-side movement, the speaker looks down and then to the side. Eye bounce avoids a glaze or an appearance of being shifty-eyed.
eye contact: The practice of looking a person in the eyes. In film and TV, eye contact is achieved by looking directly into the camera.
eyeline: The direction the eyes are looking. In TV, a cheated eyeline occurs when a performer does not look directly at a subject, such as another performer, but turns somewhat toward the camera. Clear the eyeline is a cue to remove any people who are in the actor's line of vision, other than performers who are supposed to be in the scene.
eyewitness news: A TV news format featuring on-the-scene reporters, generally shot with a
minicam, a portable electronic camera.
face time: The amount of time that the head of a TV newscaster or other person is shown on the screen.
fade: To vary in intensity, as a gradual change of audio or video, as in fade to white (an instruction to change from dark to white), fade to black, or fade to red. A crossfade is the fading out of one element while fading in another.
fade down: To gradually decrease the audio level of a recording.
fade under: A direction, such as to reduce music or sound effects sufficiently that they're heard only in the background.
fade up: To gradually increase the audio level of a recording.
fade-in (FI): A shot that begins in darkness and gradually lightens up to full brightness; also called a fade-up. The opposite is fade-out or fade to black. In relation to sound, fade-in can mean the gradual heightening of volume.
fade bar: A video switch-control device to dissolve and fade the picture.
feed: Broadcasts sent by radio and TV networks to local stations or by a local station or medium to the headquarters office or other media. The origination point is called the feed point.
feedback: A loud noise, squeal, or howl from a microphone or speaker, caused by improper placement, circuit noise, accidental closing of the circuit, or another error or problem.
feedhorn: In satellite broadcasting, a part of a receiving antenna--a dish--that collects the signal reflected from the main surface reflector and channels it into a low-noise amplifier.
field: The part of a scene--called field of view, field of action or action field--that's visible at any given moment or the area of a video screen on which identification titles or other text or art may be inserted. A field pickup is a remote transmission, not from the studio. In TV transmission in the United State, 60 fields are transmitted per second, each one containing either the odd or even scanning lines of the picture (odd or even fields), so that one field equals half of a picture frame.
field producer: A person who works outside the headquarters studio--in the field--to supervise the production of programs or segments, as of a news program.
file film: Stock footage from the library, or file, of a TV station or other source. When used as background material in a TV newscast, file film generally is identified by a line at the top or bottom of the screen with the date on which it was originally taken.
fitting: An adjustment. A TV fitting is a type of rehearsal, generally of a forthcoming live news event such as a political convention, in which stand-ins are used to test camera angles and other technical details.
five and under: A TV role in which a performer has a maximum of five lines. A larger number requires a higher payment.
flagship station: The principal or showpiece station of a broadcast network or group.
flight: An advertising campaign, generally for radio or TV, that runs for a specific period, such as four weeks.
flip card: A board or card with a title, name, or message, used on TV or in a show or presentation; also called a cue card.
flipover or flip-over: A transitional optical effect, akin to turning over a page; also called a flip, flip frame, flip wipe, flipover wipe, flopover, optical flop, or turnaround.
foldback: A type of small loudspeaker commonly used in a TV studio or on a stage so that performers can hear music or other sound; also called playback.
follow shot: A movement of a camera to follow the action; also called a following shot, action shot, moving shot, running shot, or tracking shot.
footage: Length. A portion of a film is called footage, such as daily footage or news footage.
format: The general character of the programs, such as all-news, classical, or country-and-western music.
frame: A complete scanning of an image (525 lines in the U.S. system), requiring 1/60 of a second each for the odd- and even-numbered lines for a total of 1/30 of a second. A half-picture, consisting of either the odd- or even-numbered lines, is called a field. The frame frequency is the number of times per second the picture area is covered or scanned. In TV, it is 30 cycles per second (cps).
frame time code: A process, established by the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers, of identifying each frame of a videotape. The drop-in frame time code counts 30 frames per second, but omits (drops) two frames every minute as the actual speed is slightly less.
frame up: A director's command to adjust the picture.
freeze frame: A technique in which a single frame is repeated or reprinted in sequence to give the effect of frozen, suspended, or stopped motion. Also called hold frame or stop frame, the technique often is used at the end of a theatrical of TV film as a final scene that remains motionless for a short period.
frequency modulation (FM): The encoding of a carrier wave, such as the sound waves or audio signals of a radio or TV station, by the variation--modulating--of its frequency, resulting in little or no static and high fidelity in reception. FM radio stations, from 88 to 108 megahertz produce reception superior to that of AM or amplitude modulation stations, particularly of music in the high-frequency range.
fringe area: The outermost or weakest area of a broadcast signal or a publication's distribution.
fringe time: A transitional period of a broadcast schedule, immediately before or after the peak period (prime time).
from the top: From the beginning, a show-business expression. The opposite is from the bottom. The term originates from the days when each scene in a script started at the top of a page.
f/x or fx: Special effects, a motion-picture term for animation, objects, and other techniques and
devices that are not real; also, an abbreviation for sound effects. The name of the cable TV
channel FX is based on its owners, Fox Broadcasting Company.
gaffer: The head electrician.
gain: Increase of signal power, particularly sound volume. The control that regulates the volume or another level is called the gain, as in turn up the gain. To ride the gain is to monitor the control indicator. To gain-up is to increase; digital gain-up is a feature on video cameras that electronically stores an image for a fraction of a second to accumulate light so that a dark picture can be lightened.
gallows mike: A gooseneck microphone hung from a support base and used on a broadcasting table.
generation: A class of objects derived from a preceding class. In films and tapes, the master, or original, is the first generation. Any copy made from the master is second generation, called a copy, dupe, or dub, and a copy of a second-generation dupe is of the third generation.
genny: An electricity generator, particularly a portable generator on a film or TV set.
glitch: A mishap, error, or malfunction, as in mechanical, electrical, or electronic equipment.
go: A command to execute, such as go theme, an instruction from the director to the audio-control operator or sound engineer to start the theme music.
go to black: To let the image fade out entirely; a direction in film and television.
going off: Speaking while moving off-stage, off-camera, or off-mike.
green room: A room or waiting area for guests.
grip: A general assistant in a stage, broadcast, or film production. Originally, the person had to have a firm grip to carry or push equipment, though the job is made easier by a grip chain and a grip truck. Types of grips include dolly grip, key grip, and lighting grip.
gross rating point (GRP): A unit of measurement of broadcast audience size, equal to one
percent of the total potential audience universe.
half-inch video: Two types of half-inch video are available-video for home use and broadcast-quality video. VHS and Betamax are the two home use formats. They have been used for broadcast video, but they have very poor resolution and usually wide blanking. Betacam and MII are the two major broadcast-quality half-inch video formats. This term is commonly used to describe VHS dubs.
happy talk: A format of TV news programs, featuring light banter among an ensemble of newscasters.
hard news: Reports of events of timeliness and/or importance. A hard-news-show set generally has the newspersons, or anchors, at a desk; a soft-news-show set--such as the magazine-style daytime programs--often has a couch or other furniture suggesting a living room.
head: The projecting part--for instance, the head of a tape recorder, which records and plays back the magnetic signals; the designation of parts of a TV camera. The camera consists of the camera head (the lens, tubes, viewfinder, and cable), panning head or pan head (platform and handle, for turning), and mounting.
headline: The title or description at the top of a page in a book or atop a news release or article, as a synopsis or to attract attention; called a head, heading, or hed. Headlines are used in broadcast and other media, in addition to newspapers. For example, the lead item or indication of a forthcoming item on a broadcast may be referred to as a headline. The preliminary indication sometimes is called a billboard.
headphone: A radio or telephone receiver held to the ear or ears by a band over the head.
headroom: The field of vision between the top of a performer in a film or TV program and the top of the motion picture or TV screen. In a close-up, the headroom is diminished.
headset: An earphone, generally with an attached mouthpiece transmitter.
high-definition television (HDTV): A system with higher resolution, or pictorial clarity, and other qualities that are superior to techniques currently used by U.S. television stations. In HDTV, more lines per picture frame are transmitted than is standard (525 lines per frame in the United States), resulting in sharper, more vivid images.
holdover audience: That portion of a television or radio audience for one program who were tuned to the previous program on the same station; also called an inherited audience or a carry-over audience.
homes using television (HUT): A Nielsen Media Research term for the households, located in a specific area, that use one or more TV sets during a specific time period.
hot box: A box in which lighting cables are plugged; also called a junction box. Hot refers to electricity.
household: One or more individuals who live together in an apartment, house, or other dwelling unit, a common unit for classifying population data. A TV household is a dwelling unit with one or more TV sets.
HTML: HyperText Markup Language, the coding language typically used in the development of Web pages.
human interest (h.i.): A feature about a personality, a story with colorful details and emotional
appeal; any work that is not strictly hard news.
incue (ic or i.c.): The first few words--generally four--of a taped report or interview, written on a script to help the engineer identify the tape and use it.
independent station: A radio or TV station not owned by a national network.
industry standard: A machine, format, or other entity that is commonly used.
infomercial: An audio or video segment that combines advertising with information, sold as a commercial and available on some cable networks and other broadcast media.
infotainment: A combination of information and entertainment, such as that provided by some of the cable-television services.
inherited audience: The segment of the audience of a radio or TV program that stays tuned and is carried over to the next program; also called holdover audience. The inheriting program thus benefits from the preceding program.
in-house: Referring to a division or unit that is part of or within a company organization, as differentiated from a vendor or an outside agency.
in-point: The beginning, or first frame, of a video edit; also called in-time.
insert earphone: A small receiver that fits in one ear, as used by broadcasters.
insert edit: In videotape editing, the independent editing of the audio and video tracks, separately or together, without affecting the control track. Also, to put a scene between two other scenes.
insert set: A part of a set, or scene, used for close-ups in film and TV; also called a detail set.
insert studio: A small TV studio, sometimes used for interviews.
intercutting: A rapid series of shots, generally of the same scene, taken from different angles. A shot, called an intercut, of part of the scene may be inserted between two shots of the entire scene.
International Telecommunications Satellite Organization (Intelsat): An organization in Washington, DC, that owns and operates the international satellite system that provides the majority of telecommunications services outside the United States to over 100 member countries. It was formed in 1964. Comsat is the U.S. signatory.
interruptible feedback line (IFB): A telephone line for a producer or a director to talk to a newscaster or an interviewer during a broadcast.
interstitial programming: The placement of short programs between full-length programs. For example, Home Box Office (HBO) and other movie channels schedule programs of about 2 to 25 minutes between the full-length movies.
iris in: To begin a scene by opening the camera from a completely closed position, so that the scene appears within an expanding circle. The opposite is iris out. The terms are also called circle in and circle out.
ISDN: Integrated Services Digital Network - digital, high bandwidth telephone lines that can deliver data over the Internet. Data, including encoded audio and video, travels at 128K bits per second over an ISDN line.
join in progress (JIP): An instruction to a station to cut in and start broadcasting a program already started, such as live coverage of a news event.
jump cut: A transition in a film or TV program that breaks continuous time by skipping forward from one part of an action to another, obviously separated from the first by a space of time. Also, a transition in which an object moves (jumps) from one place to another.
junction box: A unit that connects several electrical sources.
key station: The station from which a program in a network or group broadcast originates; also called a master station.
kilocycle (kc): 1,000 cycles per second, or 1,000 alterations of current or sound waves per second; also called a kilohertz (kHz or khz). The number of kilocycles determines a radio station's frequency, and thus its position on the dial.
kinescope: A film of a transmitted television picture; also called kine, pronounced KIN-ney. Kinescopes, which have been replaced by videotape, are no longer common. Originally, kine-scope was a synonym for picture tube.
Ku band: An audio frequency in the 12-to-14-gigahertz range. Part of the K band, it is used by
radio and TV stations for satellite transmission. The communications satellite that operates in the
Ku band is the Ku satellite; its relays can be received with a relatively small dish, or microwave
transmitter, such as those next to small homes. The dishes are also seen atop TV news trucks--Ku
trucks--which are mobile units for satellite transmission. The vehicle is sometimes called a
12-14truck or 12-14 unit, after the gigahertz range.
lamppost interview: An interview in which the interviewee is unidentified.
lap dissolve: An optical effect or type of transition in which one scene is gradually replaced by a new image; also called a lap, cross lap, cross-dissolve, or mix.
lapel mike: A small microphone clipped to a lapel, necktie, shirt, or elsewhere, or worn hanging around the neck; also called a lavaliere.
laryngophone: A throat microphone, attached more closely to the neck than a lapel mike; pronounced la-RING-guh-fone.
last telecast (LTC): A term used at a TV station to indicate the last program of the broadcast day or the final time of a schedule of commercials or programs.
late fringe: The time period following prime time, usually after 11 p.m.
laugh track: The audio component of a TV situation comedy or other program on which audience laugher is inserted, from tape cassettes with various types of actual or artificial laughter.
lavaliere (lav): A microphone worn like a necklace.
lead off: The first item in a newscast, or the first program in a series.
leader: Non-magnetic strips of tape (either paper or plastic) at the beginning and end of audio cassette or reel-to-reel tape.
lead-in: An introduction, such as by a newscaster preceding a report or a brief segment at the beginning of a sitcom or other program.
letterbox format: The ratio of width to height (the aspect ratio) used in showing a film on TV so that the film has the same relative dimensions as it did when shown in a widescreen movie theater. Films shown on a TV screen generally do not have their original aspect ratio.
level: The degree of sound volume. A radio engineer or recording-studio technician may ask for a level--that is, request that the performers speak in order to determine a general setting of the volume controls.
lift: A portion of a radio or TV commercial for use as a shorter, separate commercial. For example, to save on production costs, a 30-second commercial can be produced with a 10-second lift within it, for use as a separate 10-second identification.
lift microphone: A directional microphone with an acoustical transmission line in front of the transducer, often with a pole at least 2 feet long. Commonly used in film and TV studios, it sometimes is called a shotgun microphone.
liner cards: Large index cards with typed copy, for use by radio announcers and disk jockeys. The cards contain slogans, information about current promotions and upcoming programs, and other on-air remarks, messages, and chatter.
lineup: The arrangement of items in a newscast; a group of stations broadcasting a specific program.
listener: A person in the audience of a radio program. The listening area is the geographical span of a station's coverage (the term applies specifically to radio, but sometimes is used to refer also to TV). A listener diary is the record, or log, of programs heard by a respondent in an audience-rating survey. Listener characteristics are the demographics of a typical listener of a program or station.
listening shot: A film or TV shot of an interviewer or performer listening, usually called a reaction shot or cutaway shot.
live: Referring to a real or actual performance that is simultaneously transmitted, as by a live action camera (LAC), as distinct from a taped or delayed broadcast.
live on tape: Referring to a TV or radio program of an actual performance, recorded and broadcast subsequently and therefore not really live.
liver: A live report without accompanying tape or other material.
location: An actual setting, as distinct from a studio, used for a film or TV show. To film or tape on location is to shoot a motion picture or to tape in such a setting.
locked in: A videotape or other recorder that is moving at its regular speed and is ready to accept a feed.
locking up: The brief period when a videocassette wobbles as it starts to play, before it is stabilized and runs smoothly.
lock out: The closing credits of a program.
long shot (LS): A camera view that takes in the full vista, or breadth, of a scene or that is taken far away from the subject.
long take: A film or TV camera shot maintained for an extended period.
lose the light: To have insufficient light for filming; a TV direction indicating that the tally light on a camera has gone off, meaning that the camera no longer is on.
louder: A broadcasting instruction, signaled by an upraised palm or a raised hand. The cue directs a performer or other individual to speak more loudly or an engineer to increase the intensity of the sound.
lower third: The bottom third of the TV screen, on which identifications and other captions generally are displayed.
low-power television (LPTV): A type of TV station, authorized by the Federal Communications Commission in 1982 in an effort to allow several thousand stations with secondary status to provide limited-range service in a small area.
luminance: Light; brightness. A TV signal is made up of luminance (which carries the
black-and-white portion of the image) and chrominance (which carries the hue).
magazine concept: In broadcast advertising, the scattered placement of commercials during a program on a participating or spot basis. The opposite is program sponsorship, in which all the advertisements aired during a program are from the same sponsor.
make local: To insert a station identification in a network program.
make system: To identify a network, such as the Columbia Broadcasting System.
man on the street (MOS): An interviewing technique in which the opinions of the general public are sought.
march on: Opening music titles, or other identification of a radio or TV program.
match cut: A quick transition, or cut, from one film or TV camera to another, or a smooth transition from one shot to another, with the action appearing to continue seamlessly.
match dissolve (MD): A film and TV technique in which a shot fades, or dissolves, into another of similar form or action, perhaps to suggest the passage of time.
media escort: A person who accompanies an interviewee to TV stations and other media and provides transportation and other assistance.
media tour: An itinerary of cities or markets in which a spokesperson or other publicity representative is sent, generally for a day or two.
media training: Counseling and rehearsal to prepare individuals for interviews on TV programs and other media, provided by a media trainer, often in a TV studio to simulate an actual interview.
medium close-up (MCU): A camera position that is between a medium shot and a close-up, generally showing a person's head and shoulders and part of the chest; also called a medium close shot (MCS) or loose close-up. A medium close-up generally does not show the hands or forearms.
medium shot (MS): A camera position between a close-up and a long shot--for instance, the view of a person from the head to the waist or lower; also called a midshot or half-shot.
medium-long shot (MLS): A camera position between a long shot and medium shot; also called a full shot.
middle break: An interruption in the middle of a radio or TV program for a commercial or station identification.
MII: A half-inch broadcast format devised by Panasonic; it uses helical scan component recordings, is capable of using address track time code, and has four audio channels.
mike: Microphone. A mike boom is a crane or arm that holds a microphone. A mike box is a unit connecting one microphone with others, as on a lectern or table at a press conference. A sitting mike is a table microphone. A rifle mike is a long narrow, directional microphone that can be aimed like a rifle. A roving mike is hand-held microphone, cordless or on a long cord, used by talk show hosts, reporters, and others to move through the theater or other sites.
mike mugger: A speaker who is too close to the microphone.
mike sock: A cover, such as a foam rubber sleeve, that fits over a microphone to reduce external sounds such as wind.
mike stew: Unwanted background sound picked up by a microphone.
miking: The setup and arrangement of microphones, such as their placement on a stage or on performers. Performers are miked when their microphones are attached and are overmiked when the amplification is too loud or artificial-sounding. Close miking is the placement of a microphone very close to the sound source; the opposite is loose miking.
minicam: A small, self-contained portable TV camera for videotaping on-site news events. When linked to a mobile transmission unit (minicam van), the minicam can provide live coverage at relatively low cost. It thus has tremendously changed TV news programs at all types of stations.
minimicrowave: A term for the transmission of a video signal from a nonstudio site--such as a news event--to a mobile unit or a transmitter on a nearby roof. The transmitter then sends the signal directly to the station or possibly to one or more intermediate points, such as atop a tall building or other high point.
miniseries: A short series or sequence of related programs, such as one every night for five consecutive nights rather than one a week over a 13-week or other extended period.
mix: To record separate soundtracks into a single track (to subdub), or to blend audio and visual components to produce a master (from which copies are made), an optical dissolve, a rerecording, or some other combination or mixture, called a mix.
mix minus: A feature that prevents a broadcaster from hearing his or her own voice echo back.
mixdown: A combination of two or more audio sources, sometimes produced with a complex mixer called an automated mixdown. To mix down is to create such a combination.
mixer: The unit that controls and blends audio and/or video signals; the technician who operates the unit (also called a rerecording supervisor or chief recording mixer). In a TV studio or on a film set,the work is done by a floor mixer. A music mixer edits recorded music. The mixing console (generally called simply a mixer) combines premixed tracks (as in the first phase of mixing) with signals from playback machines and other sources, including a mixing panel (a small mixer), based on instructions on a mixing cue sheet.
mobile unit: A vehicle for originating broadcasts from on-the-spot locations, away from the studio, or for carrying equipment for on-location film or tape production; also called a mobile production unit.
mock interview: A simulated interview, generally conducted by a professional communicator, to help develop the communications skills of the interviewee.
modulate: To change the frequency, phase, or amplitude of a carrier wave (as in radio transmission). A modulator is a device to change such a wave.
monitor (mon): A device for checking or regulating performance--for instance, an instrument that receives TV signals by direct wire rather than over the air, as in a TV studio or closed circuit, sometimes without the sound.
monitoring service: An organization that checks magazines, newspapers, and other publications for mention of a company or other client, or for other recording and evaluation purposes. A broadcast monitoring service checks the electronic media.
montage: A combination of items, photos, or scenes, often to indicate the passage of time, such as straight cuts (abrupt transitions) and soft cuts (gradual changes, with bridges or other effects).
moray: A video disturbance caused by flashy jewelry, brightly colored apparel, or other sources, commonly called a moray pattern, named after a type of brightly colored eel called a moray.
morning: The early part of the day. In radio, morning drive is a key period to reach listeners in their cars, such as 6 to 10 a.m. The announcer sometimes is called the morning man. Morning zoois a radio station format with one or more zany announcers.
morphing: A computer process that transforms one photograph or image into another, commonly used in videos and film. A morph is a form.
MOS: Man on the street.
move in (MI): A direction to move a camera or microphone closer to the subject.
move out (MO): A direction to move a camera or microphone away from the subject.
moving off: Movement by a subject away from the camera or microphone; also called fade off.
moving on: Movement by a subject closer to the camera or microphone; also called fade on.
moving shot: A filming or videotaping technique in which the camera follows the action; also called follow shot, running shot, or action shot.
mult box: An electrical device that combines and regulates the flow of electricity and distributes a regulated or consistent audio feed. It is used by radio and TV crews, particularly at events with considerable equipment, tapping into the speaker's lectern or other site.
multicam: The use of two or more cameras simultaneously to shoot a scene from more than one angle.
National Association of Broadcast Employees and Technicians (NABET): An AFL-CIO union in Washington, DC, of about 20,000 technical workers in broadcasting, at over 50 locals, including many engineers at NBC.
National Association of Broadcasters (NAB): A major organization of radio and TV stations and networks, based in Washington, DC.
National Television System Committee (NTSC): A unit of the Federal Communications Commission, Washington, DC, that establishes television standards in the United States, such as NTSC Color, a standard for color that also can be received on black-and-white sets.
NATPE International: An organization based in Santa Monica, CA, formerly called the National Association of Television Program Executives.
natural sound (or nat sound): Animal noises, weather conditions, and other actual sounds recorded for broadcast or other use, as contrasted with artificial sound or sound effects.
NEMO: A remote pickup, a broadcast not originated by the station transmitting it; pronounced NEE-moe. The acronym is for not emanating from main office.
net audience: The number of individuals or households reached by a medium over a specified period of time, such as those reading a single issue or tuned to a specific broadcast or broadcast period, such as a day.
net rating: A percentage of total potential audience to which a radio or TV commercial, program, station, or network is exposed, with duplications deducted or omitted. Each percentage is a net rating point (N.R.P.).
net weekly audience: The number of individuals or households tuned in at least once a week to a daily radio or TV program or to a program broadcast more than once a week. The net weekly circulation is the number of individuals tuned to a radio or TV station for at least five consecutive minutes during a week.
network: A group of radio or TV stations that broadcast the same programs. The stations can be owned by a headquarters company--the network--that is the source of the programs or can be independent--an affiliate or network affiliate.
network feed: The system of telephone lines, coaxial cables, microwave relays, satellites, and other means of transmitting a signal from a source to broadcasting stations. A program or program service provided by the network to stations also is called a network feed, such as the afternoon news feed transmitted to affiliated stations for subsequent broadcast.
network identification: The name or identification of a radio or TV network made at the beginning of each hour and/or the beginning and end of the network programs.
network promo: An announcement broadcast by a network to promote a specific program or the network itself, generally at the end of a network program.
network time: A time period, such as prime time, during which a local radio or TV station agrees to broadcast network programs; also called network option time, since the network has the option to use it.
news: Fresh information. Hard news refers to reporting of current events, whereas soft news is more likely to be human-interest features or less current or less urgent news. A news feature is an elaboration on a news report. The news department of a radio or TV station or network, headed by a news director, prepares and/or broadcasts news reports.
news envelope: A brief news segment, such as a 60-second news update on a local, network, or syndicated program, with its own local or national sponsor.
newsbreak: An event worthy of reporting, used in television to describe a brief segment, about one minute long, with a few news items.
newscast: A straight news program on radio or television with relatively few features.
non-air commercial: A commercial not intended for broadcast use, such as for presentations or testing.
O&O: Owned and operated, as with the radio and TV stations in New York and other major cities that are owned and operated by the networks.
OB: Outside broadcast; not in the studio, from a remote location.
O.C. or O/C: On camera; action in front of a TV camera, visible to the audience. In a TV script, it's a direction indicating on which person or scene the camera is focused.
octopus cable: A grouping of wires or cables with several jacks at one or both ends, used in television to attach equipment with dissimilar jacks.
off: Off-camera: outside the image field; off-mike: directed away from the microphone; off-screen or off-camera announcer: an announcer heard but not seen; offstage: not visible to the audience.
off air: A program received via conventional radio or television and not via cable. Off the air refers to the ending of the transmission of a program or the termination of a program.
off-line edit: A non-computerized, rough assembly of segments with abrupt transitions, followed by a computerized, on-line edit with smooth transitions and other improvements.
off-network: A program available for syndication after it has been broadcast on a network.
omnies: Crowd noises as picked up by an omnidirectional microphone that picks up sound from all directions.
on the air: A broadcast in progress.
on the fly: In a hurry, extemporaneous. On-the-fly editing of video is editing live or without stopping the tapes.
on-scene show: A TV program produced at the site of an earlier murder, accident, or other event, sometimes reenacted.
one up/many down: A television or teleconference format with a single origination site and many receiving sites.
on-line edit: Computerized assembly of segments, such as a prebuild session to create portions of the final show.
open mike: A live microphone.
open-end or open-ended: A recorded audio or video program, sequence, interview, or commercial in which a local announcer can participate to add a local or live dimension to the beginning or end, ask questions, or insert local information; a program with no specific conclusion time. The endpoint (outpoint) of an open-ended edit is determined during the editing.
opening billboard: The introduction of a radio or TV program, which may include highlights or names of the cast or sponsors.
opt out: The moment during a network news transmission or other live feed when a local radio or TV station has the option of discontinuing and returning to its own programming.
ordering: The process of deciding on the order of stories or segments in a news program; also called formatting or stacking (putting in order in a stack).
original: First; fresh; the initial source from which copies are made, such as an original master tape.
originate: To produce and transmit a program or other material. In broadcasting, the origination point is called the feed point.
out: The end; to remove, as in a script notation to remove a sound. The outcue is a signal that a program, scene, film, or tape is about to end. The outpoint indicates the end of a scene or sequence on a film or tape. Also, a completed communication, as in over and out. The out time is the time at which a program ends.
out of frame: A subject or action that is off-camera and not seen within the frame of the picture.
out period: A hiatus, as when a schedule for commercials is suspended.
outcue: The last few words--generally four--of a recorded song or a taped report or interview, an extremely important guide to the engineer, producer, director, disk jockey, and newscaster; also called an endcue. The outcue of a commercial or other taped segment is scripted, so that the live announcer knows when to start.
outro: The standard conclusion of a radio or TV program; an exit speech in a scene; a tag at the end of a commercial. Outro is the opposite of intro.
outs: Outtakes; rejected or unused film or tape.
overlap: The running of two projectors or tape machines in synchronization so that a changeover can be made from one to the other; a segment of a dissolve in which the images are superimposed and the shooting of scenes longer than necessary to provide leeway in editing.
overnights: The TV rating estimates, available within a day of broadcast and drawn from households in markets with audience-metering devices.
over-the-air-station: A TV station that transmits its signal through the air and thus can be received without a cable system.
over-the-shoulder shot (OSS): A camera shot made from behind a performer, sometimes including all or part of the head and shoulders, with the camera focused on the spot at which the performer is looking; also called XS, for across shoulder.
oxide: The easily magnetized, brown oxide of iron material onto which the video and audio
signals are recorded.
pack: A package, packet, or container; A mike-pack is a small package of batteries and wires, attached to a performer's body, and connected to a cordless microphone.
package: A radio or TV program or a combination of radio or TV programs or commercial spots offered to a sponsor as a unit, usually at a discount; a taped television report, generally :45 (45 seconds) to 2:30 (2 1/2 minutes)--a short package. A long package is a special report or a report to be edited and broadcast over a period of days (a two-parter, three-parter, four-parter, or five parter).
paid for: A line, required by federal law, spoken at the end of a broadcast political commercial or inserted at the bottom of a printed advertisement, indicating the source of payment ("Paid for by the Jones for Congress Committee").
PAL: Phase-alternation system.
pan: A direction given to the person operating the camera, so that camera eye moves slowly and evenly, vertically or horizontally, in a panorama (the source of the term). A pan shot also is called a blue pan, swish, whipshot, or wiz pan. The process of laterally moving the camera to photograph a wide view is called panning.
pan and scan: A technique for changing the aspect ratio of the frame of a wide-screen film so that it can be transmitted for TV.
partial sponsorship: The sponsorship of a TV or radio program by several advertisers; also called co-sponsorship.
participation program: A radio or TV program that has several sponsors. An audience-participation program involves the studio or home audience in the broadcast.
parting gifts: Products or services announced or advertised during (generally at the end of) TV talk or game shows, in return for promotional consideration from the manufacturer or dealer--such as hotel accommodations and airline transportation for the guests on the program.
pause control: A device on a machine, such as a tape recorder, that provides for a brief stop or interruption without the machine having to be turned off.
pay television (pay TV): Home television programming for which the viewer pays by the program or by the month; also called pay-television, subscription television (STV), or toll-TV. Pay television includes over-the-air transmission (with scrambled signals) and cable transmission (pay cable).
pay-per-view TV (PPV): A system in which payment is made for a single showing of a program. Subscribers of the pay-television company can phone in their "orders" prior to a showing, activate the system--that is, clear the scrambled channel--or press a button to utilize two-way equipment that activates the system.
peoplemeter: A device that is part of an audience measurement system of Nielsen Media Research. Introduced in 1987, the peoplemeter is used by about 5,000 selected families. It electronically records which person or persons in the household are watching a TV channel at a specific time and replaces the handwritten diary system.
persons using radio (pur): The percentage of the over-12-year-old population in an area listening to radio at a specific time.
persons using television (put): The percentage of the over-12-year-old population in households with television that is watching TV at a specific time.
phoner: An interview, as on a radio program, conducted via telephone.
pickup (PU or p/u): The reception of sound or light, or the apparatus used for the reception; a place (also called a remote), outside the studio where a program is broadcast or aired; also, the electrical system connecting the remote to the station.
picture-in-picture (PIP or P.I.P.): A feature of television sets in which the viewer can see one videotape or program inside a small window on the screen while watching a videotape or another program on the same screen.
pilot: A sample or prototype broadcast or other proposed project.
planning editor: The person in the news department of a network or major TV station who arranges for coverage of features or events in the future, not for today's programs; sometimes called a feature editor or futures editor.
play on: A brief musical passage to introduce a performer--usually music associated with the performer, as on a TV program or a variety show; sometimes hyphenated; music to begin a program or a performance. Playoff is music to end the performance. In television, a playoff is the last showing of a film or other program that was purchased for more than one broadcast.
playback: Reproduction of sounds, images, or other material from a recording or other source; the control for such reproduction on a recorder or other device. A playback operator handles the playing of prerecorded music, dialogue, or other sound, under the supervision of a production sound mixer A videotape player or other device that reproduces audio and/or video but does not record is called a playback machine.
pledgathon: An appeal for contributions or pledges conducted on a radio or TV station, a common fund-raising technique on public stations.
plug: A jack; an electrical device with projecting prongs fitted into an outlet or to connect circuits. A phone plug is a jack commonly used as a microphone connector, often with audio amplifiers.
pocketpiece: A nickname for the Nielsen national TV ratings report, issued weekly by Nielsen Media Research. The document is small, to fit into an inside jacket pocket, and is used by TV salespeople.
pod: A container; a group. A commercial pod is a group of TV advertisements, generally bunched together in a two-minute pod.
point (pt.): A unit of measurement of audience size, usually 1 percent.
point of view (POV): A camera shot seen from or obtained from the position of a performer so that a viewer sees what the performer is seeing.
pool: The full complement of radio or TV commercials--called the commercial pool--available for broadcast at any one time. The development of commercials to be added to the pool is known as pooling out or filling the pool; each new commercial is a pool partner.
pool-out: The ending of a TV commercial, often 10 seconds, produced in several versions so that a basic 30- or 60-second commercial appears different.
pop: An unscripted on-the-scene report, also called a stand-up, by a TV reporter; usually live, called a live pop.
pop-in: A brief paid announcement on a radio or television program, such as "Best wishes for a very happy holiday season from your friends at the Mail-Rite Company"; also called image liner.
pop-off: A sudden move, such as the quick removal of an object or the departure of a performer from the scene. A pop-on is the reverse; a sudden or quick entry, such as the appearance of a new image in an existing scene of a film animation or other work.
popping: Explosive sounds of microphones with high volume or speaker too close, particularly with a strong consonant such as p.
port: An opening, such as an air duct, in a ported microphone, which usually has many ports to control its frequency response and pickup pattern.
portapak: A self-contained, portable, battery-operated videocassette recorder.
position (pos.): The order of appearance. Top position is first in a variety show or other program or the best place in a sequence.
posthouse: A company that does postproduction work.
posting: A service of radio and TV stations in which advertisers are provided with the actual audience size of specific time periods, instead of past or projected averages, in order to determine the posted, or achieved, cost of commercials.
postproduction or post-production: Referring to the stages after the principal photography of a film, or other work, including editing, dubbing, mixing, and printing.
postroll: To continue to play a videotape after an edit point to determine the quality of the editing.
preamplifier: An electronic device that controls and selects signals for intensification (in an amplifier), as in a radio receiver; sometimes shortened to preamp.
preempt: To replace a regularly scheduled program or commercial. A preemptable may be sold by a radio or TV station at a reduced rate (preemptable rate); the program or commercial is subject to cancellation prior to broadcast if another advertiser pays a higher rate or if a pending news event replaces, or bumps, it.
prefade or pre-fade: To start the final part of a radio or TV program (the fade)--for example, music--at a predetermined time in order to end on time.
preproduction: The casting, scripting, and other activities prior to actual filming or production.
prerecord: To record a TV or radio program prior to broadcast or to record sound or part of a scene to be inserted later.
prescore or pre-score: To compose and/or record music or other sound before the dialogue and the visual portion of the film or tape have been produced.
presentational: A manner of speaking or looking at a film or TV camera as if it were the audience.
pressure-zone microphone (pzm): A type of small electrostatic microphone with a flat base plate, in which sound waves are in phase in its pressure zone. PZM is commonly mounted on a wall or other surface near the sound source.
preview or prevue (PV): The promotion of a forthcoming attraction; also called trailer.
preview light: The green warning light on a TV camera, which indicates that it is about to transmit.
preview monitor (PV): A TV screen used by the director to monitor and select a picture to be used from among shots by various cameras and other sources.
primary service area: The major or central area reached by a broadcasting station, as compared to the outer or fringe area, where the signal is weaker or erratic.
prime time: The time period that has the greatest number of viewers or listeners, generally 8 to 11 p.m., Eastern Time.
prize broker: An individual or company that arranges for products or services to be presented as prizes in contests or giveaways, such as on radio and TV programs.
producer: The manager of an event, show, or other work, usually the individual in charge of finance, personnel, and other nonartistic aspects in the development of commercials, plays, movies, and other works. In TV, the producer has more creative responsibilities and control than in the movie industry; it is the associate producer who is in charge of the business elements of production.
production assistant (P.A.): A person who aids a producer, director, assistant director, or others involved in film or TV production, such as the person who keeps passersby from waking into a location shoot.
production associate: A script supervisor in a taped TV production. The job includes timing each scene.
production music: Background and theme music used in broadcasting and film, often provided by a production music library under license.
program coverage: The number of individuals or households, or the percentage of a population, that is able to receive a program from one or more stations.
program delivery rating: The percentage of households within an area estimated to be tuned in to a radio or TV program at a given moment.
program director (PD or P.D.): A person in charge of programming at a radio or TV station.
program effectiveness: The degree to which a program meets expectations or achieves anticipated results.
program following: A radio or TV program that follows another on the same station or network; also called lead-out.
program opposite: A TV or radio program that is broadcast on another network at the same time as a competing program.
program package: A series of commercials to be broadcast on several programs of a station or network, offered in combination to an advertiser.
program preceding: A radio or TV program that precedes another on the same station or network; also called lead-in.
program profile: A chart or graphic summary of audience reaction to a program in terms of minute-by-minute viewing levels or other measures; the demographic or psychographic characteristics of a program's audience.
program separator: A brief announcement or other transition in a radio or TV program before the commercials; also called bumper.
program station basis (P.S.B.): A key system of rating based on the percentage of radio or TV sets in a coverage area tuned to a program at a specific time.
program-length commercial (PLC): A 30-minute (or other length) program that is devoted entirely to a commercial. It resembles an entertainment or information program but is produced by a sponsor, who purchases the broadcast time.
promo: Short for promotion (the short-form plural is promos). The term refers to the overall activity conducted by a radio or TV station, or any organization, designed to help sell a particular product or service. More specifically, the word refers to the preliminary advertisement or announcement of a radio or TV program, broadcast earlier in the day of the program or on the preceding day or days.
promotional spot: A commercial advertising a program, station, or network.
prompter: A device to enable speakers and performers to read a script while looking at the audience or at the camera. In video prompters, the prompter copy is typed on ordinary 8 1/2" x 11" sheets of paper that are taped to become continuous rolls, or is typed on rolls of paper called computer video prompters. In professional prompter systems, the prompter copy then is scanned by a vidicon camera and transmitted to one or more prompter/monitor readouts that are mounted on or off a TV camera. The prompter script can be superimposed over the taking lens of the TV camera so that it is visible to the speaker but not transmitted to the home viewer.
pronouncer: The phonetic spelling of a word, particularly important in helping announcers pronounce foreign names. The Associated Press issues a pronunciation guide twice a day for broadcasters.
PSA or P.S.A.: Public service announcement.
public access: The availability of broadcast facilities for use by community interest groups, a key condition of most cable TV franchises.
public access channel: A channel reserved by a cable company for community or other public service programs. It is generally available to nonprofit organizations and others.
public broadcasting: Nonprofit radio and TV stations that are supported by individual subscribers, foundations, government, and other funding sources, including corporations.
public service advertising: Time or space provided by a station or a publication at no charge to non-profit organizations. Such advertising is common in broadcasting and magazines, less so in daily newspapers.
public service announcement (PSA or P.S.A.): A message, usually broadcast free by radio and TV stations. The announcements usually are provided by government agencies and non-profit organizations and are considered to be in the public interest.
push technology: The means of automatically delivering information via the Internet to a pre-selected audience through audience membersí Web servers.
PUT: Persons using television, the number of viewers watching television programs during a time
period, expressed as the PUT-level.
Q-rating: A qualitative evaluation of performers, companies, brands, and TV programs, a technique developed by Marketing Evaluations, Inc., of Port Washington, NY.
quad split: A TV switching effect to produce four different images on the screen at the same time.
quarter-hour persons: Individuals who have listened to a radio station for at least five minutes
during a 15-minute period.
radio wire: News reports, prepared in terse broadcast style, provided on teletype machines and computers by wire services, such as The Associated Press, to radio stations.
raster: A single image field or single TV frame, the scanned illuminated area of a TV picture tube.
rating: The popularity of a program, abbreviated as RTG. The AA rating is for Average Audience, which Nielsen expresses in four ways: (1) percentage of households tuned to a program in an average minute; (2) percentage of all TV households; (3) share of audience during an average minute of the program, expressed as a percentage of all TV households using TV at the time; and (4) average audience per quarter hour, expressed as a percentage of all possible TV homes. The key figure is the percentage of all TV households.
rating point: The size of a radio or TV audience expressed as a percentage of the total potential audience.
reach: The range or scope of influence or effect; in broadcasting, the net unduplicated radio or TV audience--the number of different individuals or households--of programs or commercials as measured for a specific time period in quarter-hour units over a period of one to four weeks; also called accumulated audience, cume, cumulative audience, net unduplicated audience, or unduplicated audience.
reach and frequency (R&F or R/F): The unduplicated cumulative audience--individuals or homes--of a radio or TV program or commercial and the average number of exposures over a period of time, generally one to four weeks.
reaction shot: A shot of a person in a film or tape showing a response to action or words in the preceding shot.
reality programming: Programming that is based on current events, such as a documentary.
reax: Reaction; a direction for a reaction shot, a common abbreviation in TV news.
record: To make a copy of video or audio on a video or audio machine. A recording can be from a camera original, a transfer of a camera original, or any other source of picture or sound.
recording supervisor: A person in charge of sound recording on a set or on location (but not in a recording studio, where it is handled by a recording engineer); also called a floor mixer or recordist.
record master: The record tape that is used in an editing session.
red field: A video test signal in which the screen appears entirely or mostly in a red color.
red light: The warning light over a door of a studio indicating that it is in use; a light on a TV camera indication that it is in use.
remote: A broadcast from a place other than the station's studio, often transmitted from a remote truck or van; also called remote pickup, pickup, field pickup, outside broadcast, or remo.
reporter: A person who gathers news and other journalistic material and writes or broadcasts it--the basic job in journalism. A street reporter works outside the studio and an on-air reporter is shown on camera, either from outside the studio or within it, whereas an anchor is in the studio.
residual: A payment to performers--talent--in broadcast programs or commercials for use beyond the original contract, according to a formula developed by AFTRA, S.A.G., or another union; also called a talent payment, re-use fee, or S.A.G. fee.
return monitor: A TV screen linked to a TV camera, so that an interviewee or broadcaster in one studio, for example, can see the interviewer or anchor in another studio. Ordinarily in such situations, the interviewee only can hear the interviewer.
ripomatics: A TV commercial made by an advertising agency or other producer as a demonstration, made from parts of actual commercials (ripped off) and not for broadcast use.
roll: A reel or spool of tape, film, paper, or other material; to move, revolve, or play a film or tape; the vertical movement of a film or TV picture. A roll-in is the insertion--cut-in--of a commercial into a program.
roll focus: A direction to begin or end a scene out of focus, simply by adjusting the lens while filming or taping.
rolling title: Credits that roll up from the bottom of the screen; also called a crawl title, creeping title, or running title.
rollover: The vertical movement, or roll, of a TV or film picture, the flutter or lack of vertical synchronization; a repeat of a radio or TV program immediately following the first broadcast.
roser: See rosr.
rosr: Radio on-scene report, which features a reporter's voice from a news scene, generally without background sound.
rostrum camera: An adjustable camera commonly used in TV and film animation to shoot artwork or other graphics on a table or other horizontal surface.
rotation: The random scheduling of commercials at unspecified times.
routing room: A room in a TV station with a wall of monitors on which are shown live feeds of remote transmissions for routing to tape decks or for broadcast.
rover: A portable camera, particularly the Sony Portapack.
run up: Film or videotape shown before the projector or recorder is running at full speed.
rundown: A summary; a schedule of scenes in a production or segments of a program; also called rundown sheet or timing sheet.
running shot: A shot in which the camera moves to follow a moving subject.
running time: The time from the start to the end of a program, segment, or commercial, or the minutes it takes to show a movie.
run-of-station (ROS): An instruction to broadcast a commercial anytime during a station's schedule.
saddle: The time slot or position of a weak program that is scheduled between two popular programs. The positioning procedure is called hammocking, an attempt to increase the audience of the middle program, so that it will become as popular as the programs in the outside, or tent-pole, positions.
safety: The outer area, of safety area, of a television film or tape, often eliminated and not visible on the screen of a TV set. Broadcasters therefore confine text and action to the centered area--about 90 percent--called the safe-action area.
sales department: The department at a radio or TV station that solicits and accepts advertising.
satellite: A relay station for audio and video transmission, orbiting in space or terrestrial. A satellite station is a radio or TV station used as a relay, broadcasting on the same or a different wavelength as the originating station. Almost all communications satellites are synchronous satellites that hover in the same place in the sky, 22,300 miles above the earth, in stationary orbit. A satellite loop is a sequence from a satellite, such as cloud movement in a TV weather report.
satellite feed: A transmission from a satellite. HBO and other broadcasters have east and west satellite feeds, three hours apart, so that a program can be shown at the same time in the Eastern and Pacific time zones.
satellite hit: Slang for a TV program that is successful because it follows a very popular program.
satellite media tour (SMT): Several interviews, generally on TV but sometimes in other media, during a specific period, such as one hour, which a celebrity or spokesperson in one location is interviewed via satellite by journalists elsewhere; also called a satellite tour or satellite press tour.
satellite news (or newsgathering) vehicle (SNF): A van or other vehicle with equipment for radio and/or TV transmission via satellite to a radio or TV station, usually including tape editing equipment and cellular phone; also called a star truck.
saturation: Sufficient coverage and/or frequency, via advertising or other techniques, to achieve maximum impact; an intense color or degree of purity of a color (its freedom from dilution by white or darkening by black).
scan: To move a beam of light or electrons over a surface to reproduce an image, as in printing or television. The TV system in the United States is based on a scanning time or rate of 1/60 of a second for each traverse, or movement, of a beam across the TV screen. Scanning frequency is the scan lines per second scanned in a TV picture tube; in the United States, it's 525 lines x 30 frames, of 15,750. In overscanning, the TV picture is expanded and its edges are lost. In underscanning, the TV picture does not occupy the entire screen. A scan is one sweep of the screen or of the target area in a camera tube.
scanning area: The part that the camera actually sees. It is larger than the essential area, or safe-action area, which is the central part of the picture received and seen on the TV set.
scatter: The scheduling of commercials throughout a broadcast schedule rather than at specific times, such as rotating throughout the day or night or both; also called scatter plan or scatterbuying.
schedule: A list of consecutive programs.
scoop: A light with a shovel-shaped reflector, generally a circular floodlamp of 500 watts or more, used in films and TV; sometimes called a basher. Scoops are the most commonly used floodlights in TV, particularly those with an 18-inch-diameter reflector and a 1000-watt lamp.
SCR dimmer: A silicon-controlled rectifier used in lighting control in TV.
script: The text of a speech, play, film, commercial, or program or simply a schedule or sequential account written by a scriptwriter.
scroll: A roll, especially for a document; a function on a video screen in which the lines move up and down for viewing. The process is called scrolling. To scroll up or down is to move the material up or down on the screen.
search engine: A tool for searching information on the Internet by topic. Popular search engines include Yahoo!, Hotbot, InfoSeek, and Alta Vista.
season: A period in the fall when new TV programs are introduced by the networks. Originally 39 weeks (from the days of network radio programs), the season now refers to the fall season of 13 weeks. Mid-season is between the fall and spring seasons or any time after the beginning of the fall season when a show is replaced (a mid-season replacement). A full-season show generally contains only 24 episodes; the balance are reruns.
second: A unit of time. A 60-second TV segment or commercial is written as :60, called a sixty.
second season: A period after January when unsuccessful network television programs are replaced or rescheduled and new programs are aired. In recent years, these schedule changes have been increasing to the point where as many are made prior to January as after, almost making the term obsolete.
second unit: A secondary or backup group, such as a film or TV production crew on location. The filming or taping generally is supervised by a second-unit director.
segment report: In TV news, a series, generally over a five-day period (a five-parter) and usually on a major topic or issue, such as an investigative report; also called a mini-documentary.
segue: To make a transition from one action, scene, or musical selection directly to another without interruption; pronounced SEG-way, from the Italian sequire, "to follow."
sequence: A series of single shots to form a unit or episode. A basic sequence in film or TV is a series of related shots, such as a long shot as an opening and establishing shot and a medium shot as a close-up and reestablishing shot. To shoot in sequence is to film in the chronological order of the story or the order in which the production schedule is set up; the opposite is to shoot out of sequence. A sequence shot or plan-sequence is a single shot, generally a long take of a minute or more.
set: The decor of a stage play or the location of a film, TV, or other production. To set is to write or fit, as with words to music or music to words; to place a scene in a locale, or to arrange sceneries or properties on a stage. A set designer or set decorator creates the decor of a play, movie, or show; a set dresser constructs and decorates it with set dressing--props, furnishings, and related items. An abstract set has a neutral background, as on a TV news program. A basic set is empty and without props.
set day: The day scheduled to erect a set in a film or TV studio; also called build day or setup day.
set-and-light: A director's instruction to a film or tape crew to prepare for shooting.
set-in: A command to enter an edit at the beginning of a section of videotape.
set-out: A command to enter an edit at the end of a section of videotape.
sets in use (SIU): A percentage of households with radio or TV receivers, or sets, turned on at a specific time, as expressed by a sets-in-use rating or tune-in rating.
set-up box: A container above or adjacent to a television set that controls the cable channels, VCR,and other functions.
shader: A nickname for a video control engineer, who is in charge of video but not audio; sometimes called a shaker.
shaky cam: Slang for a film or TV segment made by a hand-held (hence, shaky) camera, such as a minicam.
share (SH): Share-of-audience: the percentage of the total audience in a specific time period tune to a program or station.
shared identification: A commercial spot with the name of the station or program superimposed on part of it; also called shared I.D.
shoot: A session at which performances are filmed, especially on location instead of in a studio (to go on a shoot or to a shoot); to film, photograph, or record such a session or any scene; an instruction to start the camera. To overshoot is to shoot too much footage; to undershoot is to shoot too little. A shooter is a photographer.
shooting script: A script for a film or TV production.
shootoff: A piece of cloth that covers microphones, luminaires, or other devices, or serves as scenery, such as foliage; usually called a border.
shot box: An instrument panel attached to or part of a TV camera with control push buttons for zoom and other lens changes.
shoulder brace: A support for a film or TV camera to hold it on the shoulder of the operator; also called shoulder pad.
show runner: An unofficial title for a key person at a television drama or sitcom who supervises all aspects of the production, including writing and casting; the official title usually is executive producer.
Sigma: A system of Nielsen Media Research to track actual broadcasts of TV commercials, PSAs, and video news releases by stamping them with an invisible code, which is then read by decoders in all major markets.
sign off or sign-off: A slang term for the end or an ending; the end of a transmission, or of a station's broadcast day.
sign on or sign-on: The beginning of a transmission or the day's programming on a broadcast station.
signal: An electrical impulse representing sound, image, or a message transmitted or received in radar, radio, telegraphy, telephone, television, or other means, via wire or in the atmosphere. Signal area is the territory within which broadcast signals are received. Signal strength is its intensity. A signaler transmits or communicates to a receiver.
silks: Screens used for lighting and shading.
simulcast: A broadcast of a program at the same time on a television station and a radio station or on two radio stations, generally one AM and one FM.
single-camera production: The shooting of a program with one camera (as opposed to using multiple cameras).
sister station: Radio or TV stations owned by the same company.
sitcom: Situation comedy, a humorous TV show featuring the same characters on each program, generally once a week.
slant track: A videotape on which the signal is recorded diagonally--on a slant--in adjacent strips, as in a helix or spiral; also called helical scan.
slate: A typed sheet on a videotape with identifications and other information.
slot: The location of a program, announcement, news item, interview, or commercial on a broadcast schedule. Communication satellites are positioned--parked--in orbit in slots two or more degrees apart.
slow down: A broadcasting and theatrical signal to slow down action or to talk more slowly. It is conveyed by a movement of one's hands, as in pulling taffy.
slow news day: A day with relatively little hard news, or news of consequence; also called a light news day. The opposite is heavy news day (not fast news day).
slug: A section of blank film or tape that separates news stories or sequences.
snake: A cable that combines several cables, as on a stage or in a studio. A mike snake has several microphone connectors.
snow: Fluctuating spots on a television screen resulting from a weak signal.
soap opera: A dramatic serial TV program, originally sponsored on radio mainly by Procter & Gamble and other soap companies; also called a soap, soaper, or daytime drama (because they originated during the day).
Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE): An association in White Plains, NY, of engineers and technicians in film, television, and related fields. SMPTE standards include the SMPTE time code, an 8-digit number that specifies, on each videotape, the hour, minute, second, and frame number.
S.O.T.: Sound-on-tape: sound and video recorded on the same machine, as distinguished from sync-sound recording with separate video and sound tape recorders.
sound: The programming format or orientation of a radio station. A sound engineer is responsible for the audio portion of a broadcast. The sound-effects person, generally called a sound man, is responsible for the sound effects, or sounds other than music and human voices, abbreviated as S.E. or S.F.X. Direct sound is from a source onscreen, as compared to offscreen sound, whose source is offscreen.
sound effects (SE, S.E., SFX, or S.F.X.): Animals, traffic, weather, and sounds other than dialogue and music, produced from an actual source or artificially.
soundbite: The audio track of a portion of a radio or TV interview. A 15-second soundbite is common radio newscasts.
sounder: A brief musical or sound effects sequence for network or station identification.
sparklies: A type of noise picked up by a TV receiver due to a weak signal, consisting of black-and-white dots that are sharper than the more common snow, or soft dots.
special: A single radio or television show that replaces regularly scheduled programming; a one-shot.
special feature: Weather, traffic, and stock-market reports, or other broadcasts of particular interest that may be sold at a higher advertising rate than run-of-station.
speed up: A signal to a performer to talk more rapidly. The nonverbal speed-up signal is both hands rotating in a circular motion.
spider box: A small, portable receptacle for several electrical outlets, such as for lighting units; also called a junction box.
splice: To join together, electronically or mechanically, with glue, heat, or tape. The connection itself is called a splice.
sponsor: A broadcast advertiser who pays for part or all of a program. The word now is used to indicate any broadcast advertiser, including a sponsor of an individual spot or commercial. Sponsor identification (S.I.) is the announcement at the beginning and/or end of a sponsored program or one with several participating sponsors. A single sponsor may own the program (sponsored programming) and seek sponsor identification with the program or performers on the program. A presenting sponsor is a major advertiser whose name is used as part of the title, such as "(Co.) presents." A title sponsor has the name of the sponsor as part of the name of the program or event.
spot: Advertising time purchased on an individual basis as compared to a multistation network or other national purchase. The broadcast commercial itself is called a spot or spot announcement.News items, public service messages, and segments of a program also are called spots. The first spot opens a show; the last spot closes it. A wild spot is a spot announcement of a national or regional advertiser used on station breaks between programs on a local station. A spot carrier is a syndicated program available to several advertisers. Spot programming, or spotting, is the purchase of time by spot buyers from local stations as indicated on a spot schedule, or list of spots, which is so extensive that local station advertising in general is called spot or spot sales on spot radio or spot TV. Spots purchased on network programs are called network participation or network spot buy. A spot program is a local broadcast.
spotter: A person who looks for something, such as an assistant to an announcer, particularly a sports announcer, who helps to identify the participants in a game.
spread: The part of a program taken up by unplanned material, such as audience laughter and applause. To spread a program or sequence is to stretch it to consume more time.
squeeze: Slang for a visual inserted in a window or on the screen, generally to the right of a newscaster to identify the subject of a news report. It is more commonly called a topic box.
stagger-through: A first TV rehearsal with camera.
standards and practices: A broadcasting network department that reviews programming and commercials for adherence to moral code and other self-regulation. At an individual station, this function generally is called Continuity Acceptance.
standby: A person or thing ready for use as a substitute, usually on an emergency basis. Standby weather is a script used by an anchor or announcer when the prompter fails or the feed from the weather reporter fails.
standby guest: A person who is available to be interviewed should there be a cancellation of a scheduled interviewee on a program.
standing set: A set that has been constructed and is ready to be used or is in place for continued use, as in a TV soap opera or a theatrical production.
stand-up: An on-site TV report or interview, as compared to in-studio.
standupper: A report at the scene of an event with the TV camera focused on the reporter, who is standing up and not seated. In a walking standupper, the reporter moves.
station (sta. or STN): A broadcasting facility. Broadcasting stations include original and relay, AM and FM radio, UHF and VHF television, commercial and public, and other types, supervised by a station manager and presenting a station format, the details of which are recorded in a station log. The station's call letters, or number and location--its identification or I.D.--are broadcast at a station break between programs or sequences A station's advertising time may be sold by a station representative or rep. A station-produced program is one prepared by the station and not by a network or other source. A station lineup is a group of stations that broadcasts a particular program or commercial campaign. A station promo is a promotional announcement made by a station on its own behalf or for an advertiser but at no cost. Station time is the period for local or non-network broadcasting.
step deal: An arrangement by which a proposed TV series or other project is developed and submitted in stages, subject to revocation at any stage.
still store: An electronic memory unit--storage or store--for retaining single "visuals," such as graphics and photos used in newscasts. A still store supervisor is in charge of this function.
stills: Slang for the still photographers of the print media, as when TV crews shout, "Down stills!," a request to still photographers at a media event to stoop down so that the TV cameras, generally behind them, can "catch the action."
stop set: A period of time, generally two minutes, during which commercials are broadcast.
storyboard: A series of illustrations (storyboard sketches) or layouts of scenes in a proposed TV commercial or other work, used as a guide prior to production. A storyboard artist does storyboarding; also called a production illustrator or sketch artist.
straight up: A broadcast signal, such as to an announcer, to start when the clock's second hand is at 12; not the same as stand-up.
stream: Data, in the form of an encoded text, audio and/or video, that is requested by a computer user and delivered via the Internet.
stripe: The process of recording a time code onto a videotape.
stripping: Preparing a series for reruns and syndication by reducing--stripping--or editing the programs, generally to permit more commercial time.
studio camera: A full-size camera with sound insulation and other accessories used to film or tape in a sound stage or studio.
studio-transmitter link (STL): A microwave radio system for audio and video transmission from a studio to a transmitter site. The STL band is the frequency assigned for transmission between a TV studio and its transmitter.
stunting: The use of unusual techniques to develop audiences or customers, such as starting the TV season with a two-hour episode of a program that regularly lasts 30 or 60 minutes or broadcasting a new program in a series at a more favorable time than the time at which the subsequent programs will be shown.
submaster: A copy of an original tape, usually made as a backup in case the master is damaged or lost, also called a safety.
subscription television (STV): Pay television, in which subscribers, or viewers, pay a monthly fee, as for HBO.
subtitle: A superimposed caption at the bottom of the TV screen.
superimposition (super): Placing one image on top of another, such as a slide superimposed on the image received from a television camera. A super may be used for a local station insert within a national telecast or the addition of a local retailer identification at the end of or within a commercial for a national sponsor. A superboard or superslide is a board or slide printed in reverse, with white or light-colored lettering on a dark surface, for superimposition on a televised scene, generally for explanation. A super-imp is a composite image created by the superimposition of one camera image over another. The camera command to achieve this is simply "super" or, more often, "super!" Super in sync is a superimposition, such as a slide, synchronized with sound. Lower-third super refers to text superimposed on the lower third of the video screen, the most common place for titles. To lose the super is a direction to fade out the superimposed picture.
superstation: A local TV station transmitted via satellite to cable systems in many markets. The word was coined and copyrighted by WTBS-TV.
surfing: The rapid changing of TV channels with a remote control, akin to the sport of surfing (fast movement on water); also called grazing.
survey week: The week in which a station's audience is monitored and rated.
sustaining program: A nonsponsored broadcast, generally a public service.
sweep: A period of the year in November, February, May, and July when rating services measure station audiences. During sweeps, networks and stations employ more sensational programming and audience contests and promotions. A sweeps report is published by a research organization such as Nielsen for each sweep month. Also, the repetitive movement of the cathode beam over the phosphor screen of the two sweeps, one traces horizontal lines and the other moves vertically at a slower rate.
switch: A direction to move or change, as from one camera or video source to another or to
change camera angles. The device (video mixer) or person (studio engineer) responsible for
camera mixing or switching is called a switch or switcher. Switching is the selection process
among the various audio and video sources in a production.
T1: A high-speed Internet connection, allowing transfer rates of 1.5 Mbps (megabytes per second).
T3: Even faster than T1, a T-3 connection transfers information over the Internet at a rate of 45 megabytes per second.
tabloid-style tv program: A program that uses the popular style of combining news and features associated with tabloid newspapers; also called tabloid TV.
take it away: A broadcast-engineering cue, such as "Take it away New York," indicating a transition to a studio or location in New York.
take rate: In pay-per-view television, the percentage of subscribers who purchase the specific programs offered during a particular period, generally a month.
take-bar: A device that records and stores cuts, mixes, and other effects and then automatically produces them from memory for use in editing when a bar is pressed.
talent coordinator: A person who auditions and schedules performers and guests on TV talk shows, the equivalent of a casting director in films.
talk: A radio station format featuring interview programs, call-ins and sports, and not music; also called talk radio.
talk set: Conversation between recordings.
talk show set: An arrangement of chairs at a meeting or on a TV program in which the host's desk is perpendicular to the chairs of the speakers; also called the Johnny Carson setup after Johnny Carson (b. 1925), the host of the NBC-TVAA program, The Tonight Show.
talkback: A brief sequence at the end of a live remote news report in which the anchor asks one or more questions of the reporter.
talking head: A person shown merely speaking, presented in a dull or unimaginative way.
tally light: A red light on an active camera; a cue light indicating that the camera is in use.
tape: To record on audio and/or videotape; a ribbon or band of paper, cloth, plastic, or other material, such as a magnetic strip for audio or video recording and playback. Videotape speeds include 1/2" (common for home use) and 3/4" (for broadcasting).
tape delay system: On call-in radio programs, a procedure used to tape a phone call and delay it for a few seconds prior to broadcast so that obscenities can be deleted or the call cut off prior to broadcast.
tape log: A list of contents or sequences on an audio or videotape.
TBA: To be announced, used in broadcasting when the name of a program or other information is not available.
tease: A bit of news preceding the newscast; an announcement of an upcoming story to whet interest; also called teaser, come-on spot, or hooker.
tech reqs: Technical requirements of a TV or other production, pronounced "tek-reks."
technical director (T.D.): The director of the technical facilities in a television studio. He or she generally sits next to the director in the control room and operates the switcher.
TelePrompTer: A trademarked visual prompting device for speakers and television performers that reproduces the current portion of the script in enlarged letters, originally made by a New York-based company no longer in business. Its device, attached to the TV camera so that performers can look into the camera, was called a TelePrompTer, which has become a generic term for a teleprompter, also called a teleprompt.
television black: Not pitch black, with about 3-percent reflectance.
television receive-only: In satellite broadcasting, an earth station that can receive but not transmit, consisting of an antenna and equipment; commonly called a TVRO terminal or satellite terminal.
television white: Not pure white, having about 60-percent reflectance (about 60 percent of light is reflected from the TV screen). The TV camera cannot reproduce pure white or pure black.
tell story: A news report read by a radio or TV announcer or reporter without accompanying tape or film.
telly: British slang for television.
tent-pole: The time slot or position of a popular program that is preceded or followed by a weak one. In hammocking, a weak program is scheduled between two popular programs, which have the outside or tent-pole positions, in an attempt to bolster it.
terrestrial feed: Radio, TV, or other transmission via land lines such as telephone, or direct (without lines); different from satellite feed.
thirty: A 30-second radio or TV commercial, written as :30.
thread: 1 A delivery mechanism used by an Internet Service Provider (ISP). Forms of threads include phone lines, installed fiber optics, copper wiring and coaxial cable. 2 Pertaining to an online chat: an ongoing message-based conversation on a single subject.
three-quarter-inch: A video format that is widely used both for broadcast and industrial productions.
three-shot or three shot: A film or TV picture of three performers, generally from the waist up, as at a news desk.
tight on: An instruction to a television camera operator for a close shot of a specific person or object, as in "tight on (name of performer)"; also called close on.
tight two shot: A direction to a TV camera operator for close-up of the heads of two people.
tilt: A direction to move a camera up or down; a vertical pan.
time: The period available for a program or commercial. A time buyer purchases broadcast time, perhaps with a time contract and at a time discount, a reduced price for quantity and/or frequency, from a time card that indicates a different time charge for each time class or classification (such as prime time or drive time) or time slot (a specific time period). The time may come from a time bank (a reserve of spot commercial time, often obtained by barter) via a time buying service. To clear time is to make time available, as for a program or commercial.
time base correction (TBC): A process of filling out, or correcting, the electronic lines that make up a video image; minimizes or eliminates jiggling of the picture.
time code: A digitally encoded signal that is recorded on videotape in the format of house:minutes:seconds:frames.
time signal: An announcement of the time, as on a broadcast, indicated with a beep, sometimes accompanied by a commercial announcement; also called a time check. A producer or other person in radio or TV program production gives a time signal to indicate the time remaining in a program or program segment by displaying a card with the number of minutes or raising the appropriate number of fingers.
time slot: A period in a schedule, as a program scheduled 7:30 to 8 p.m. or an interview in the 8:05 to 8:15 portion of a program.
time-coding: The recording of the date and time on the edge of a videotape as it is being shot, to assist in editing and record keeping.
toaster: A visual effects device platformed on an Amiga computer that can perform switcher effects and create digital video effects.
to be announced (TBA): A term commonly used in broadcasting when the name of a program or other information is not currently available.
tone: The musical sound that indicates a precise time, identified by an announcement such as, "At the tone, the time will be 7:30."
tones and bars: A test pattern that precedes a TV program, consisting of sound tones and color bars or stripes.
top: The beginning, as in top of the script or top of the story. Thus, a film, tape, or reel starts at the top and ends at the bottom.
top forty: A radio-station format playing the most current 40 most-popular records--or tapes--as determined by Billboard magazine or other trade sources; also called contemporary hit radio. Some stations broadcast programs, generally weekly, with the top 10, top 20, or other selections of current hit records or tapes.
topic box: A visual inserted in a window--a box--on the screen, generally to the right of a newscaster, to identify the subject of a news report; also called a box, frame squeeze, or theme identifier.
toss: One or more words spoken by a newscaster in a newscast that serves as a transition to a colleague, such as a reference to the forthcoming news report and/or the colleague's name; for example, "And now for a report on just how hot it really was today, here's Frank Field." A split story toss is a reading of part of a news report by one newscaster followed by a continuation of the same story by another.
track: A part of a reporter's narration from outside the studio, with each track numbered to precede each section of the interview or "activity," so that track 1 is the introduction, track 2 is between the first and second bites, and track 3 precedes the third bite.
tracking: Following a path; monitoring. An example is the targeting of a signal source, such as of a communications satellite by a tracking station and the following of that source in a process called a lock-on. Also, the adjustment in a VCR of the videotape playback position against the video reel heads.
traffic department: A department that maintains production schedules to keep work "moving" on schedule. The traffic department in a radio or TV station, headed by the traffic manager or traffic director, maintains the daily broadcast log. In the news operation of a network or major station, the people who pick up and ship tapes and handle other materials sometime are called the traffic department.
trailer: A short, blank strip at the end of a reel of tape; a promotional announcement at the end of a radio or TV program about a forthcoming program; a commercial attached to the end of a program or another commercial.
translator: A station that rebroadcasts signals of other stations and does not originate its own programming. There are about 7000 translators in the United States, including FM, VHF, and UHF.
transmission: The actual sending or beaming of the audio/video portion of the program from point to point.
transponder: A receiver that transmits signals when activated by a specific signal. For example, a satellite transponder picks up signals from the earth, translates them into a new frequency, amplifies them, and transmits them back to earth. The word originates from transmitter and responder.
TST: Total Story Time; in broadcasting, the time in minutes and seconds of a "story" or report, from the start by the announcer or newscaster to the end, including any tape or other material within it. TRT, Total Running Time, refers to the time of the taped portion of the TST.
TTSL: Total Time Spent Listening. In radio, the TTSL is the number of quarter-hours of listening to a radio station by the population group being measured, such as the market or listening area. The TTSL divided by the cumulative audience equals the Time Spent Listening (TSL).
tune in: To adjust a radio or TV receiver to receive signals at a particular frequency. The tune-in audience--the number of listeners or viewers intentionally tuned in to a particular network, station, program, or commercial--is measured in various ways. Tune-in advertising time or space may be purchased to promote interest among listeners or viewers.
tunnel radio: Broadcasting only in tunnels to car radios, a system now operating in several cities.
turnaround: Receiving a signal from one satellite and re-broadcasting it to another.
turnover: The frequency with which a program's audience changes over a period of time, the ratio of the net unduplicated cumulative audience over several time periods to the average audience for one time period; also known as audience turnover, a measure of the program's holding power.
TV black: In television, a very dark color but not pure, absolute black.
tvf: A made-for-television film.
TV pad: A pad, with sheets imprinted with one or more rectangles shaped like TV screens, used as layout paper for the frames of TV commercials and other video.
TV safety: The central area of a TV scene that is seen on most sets. The peripheral area (a perimeter of about 10 percent) sometimes is not seen on the screen and is called outside TV safety.
TV white: An off-white color that is not pure white and that reflects light shone on it. TV white has a reflective value of about 60 percent.
TVRO: Television Receive-Only earth station.
12-14 unit: A truck used for remote TV news, with a microwave transmitter-receiver, called a dish, mounted on its roof. It transmits at 12 gigahertz and receives at 14 gigahertz. The Ku band is 12 to 14 gigahertz, and these trucks also are called Ku trucks.
twinkling: Distortion of a TV picture resembling twinkling stars, also called edge beat.
tying in: A procedure for a local station to pick up or to join a network program after it has started.
ultrahigh frequency (UHL): Limited-range wave bands for television channels (14 to 82) that transmit from 470 to 890 megahertz (MHz), with lower power and over a smaller area than low-band (channels 2 to 6) or high-band (7 to 13) very high frequency (VHF) stations.
unduplicated audience: The total number of individuals or households that listen to or view a specific radio or TV commercial, program, or series over a period of time, generally one to four weeks; also called accumulated audience, cume, cumulative audience, net unduplicated audience, or reach.
unwired network: A group of radio or TV stations, akin to a network, on which an advertiser places a specific program and/or commercials.
up full: A direction for audio to be heard at full volume.
up-and-over: A direction to a sound engineer or music conductor; to increase music or other sound as speech fades or ends; the opposite of down-and-under. Up-and-under is a direction to bring in music and then lower it below the dialogue or other sound.
uplink: The portion from the ground source up to the satellite. The balance of the circuit is the
variable mike: A microphone with several ports, or openings, in it so that it has a directional pickup pattern, such as a shotgun or long-shafted mike.
V-chip: A computerized device in a television set that automatically blocks receipt of specific programs that are coded to indicate that they contain violence. The V-chip is activated at the option of the viewer.
vectorscope: An oscilloscope used in a video to display color values and phase relationship.
vertical blanking interval: A portion of a TV signal between waves. Coded closed captioning for hearing-impaired viewers and teletext are transmitted in this interval for viewing with a decoder attached to the TV set.
vertical interval signal: [television] A signal inserted outside the regular picture area and transmitted in the vertical interval period between frames. Vertical interval reference signals (VIRS) provide reference data, such as identification of the time and origin of the program; vertical interval test signals (VITS) provide transmission and other monitoring checks.
very high frequency (VHF or V): Long-range television stations broadcasting on channels 2 through 13 (54 to 216 megaHertz).
VET: Video editing terminal.
VHS: A trademark for video home system, a type of 1/2 inch videocassette recorder. It is not compatible with the Beta format. VHS-C is a smaller size for camcorders; the C is for compact. Super VHS (S-VHS) provides a sharper picture.
vidclip: An excerpt--clip--from a film or TV production, used on TV for news or promotion.
video: The visual portion of a broadcast or film; a synonym for television; short for videotape and other television terms. A film that goes straight to video is sent to video stores directly after production without theatrical distribution.
video alteration: A process of changing a TV image, such as is done with computer graphics or other techniques in which a picture is altered or combined with another picture or artwork; also called image processing or video manipulation.
video assist: A system consisting of a videotape camera, recorder, and playback unit attached to a film camera to permit viewing on a monitor during shooting and subsequent viewing on videotape (called instant dailies); also called video playback or video tap.
video jockey: The TV counterpart of disc jockey.
video journalist (vj or vee jay): A person who operates a video camera and simultaneously is a news reporter.
video monitor: A TV set with no channel selector, used in broadcasting control rooms and studios and for linking with videotape machines for playback. It sometimes lacks audio.
video news release (VNR): A news or feature on videotape, sent by a public relations service to television stations, sometimes with additional material, called B-roll.
video operator: A control-room engineer who operates the monitors and camera control units to switch from one camera to another and maintain color, contrast, and other visual qualities. The video operator reports to the technical director.
video up: A directive to brighten the TV picture, sometimes used in editing videotape.
video wall: An array of television monitors, as at an exhibition.
video wallpaper: A TV background or visual effects that are dull.
videocassette recorder (VCR): A device for recording and playing videotape cassettes on a TV set or monitor.
video-frame: A single picture taken from a videotape or off a TV screen.
video-in: A jack through which a video signal is fed into a TV set or other receptacle; also called line-in.
video-out: A jack from which a video signal is fed out of a videotape recorder; also called line- out.
videotape: Magnetic tape for recording sound and picture, recorded and/or played on a videotape machine such as a videocassette recorder (VCR) for showing on a TV set. Unlike films and records, which can be duplicated quickly, videotapes are duplicated individually and mass production takes a longer time. The laboratories that produce videotapes for home video have hundreds of slave machines linked to a master. And unlike film editing, videotape editing does not involve cutting and splicing--it is done electronically by a videotape editor. The most common width of the tape is 1/2 inch. A videocassette is a videotape recording contained in a cassette; a videodisc is a recording on a record or disc for playback on videodisc players in homes. A video engineer is responsible for the video portion of a TV program. Videotape transfer is a videotape recording of a film, whereas videotape duplication is the replication of a videotape. Unlike film, all videotape has color capability.
VO/SOT: A voice-over combined with sound-on-tape; a studio voice, such as a newscaster's, over a taped segment with a soundbite, a common format in TV news; pronounced VOH-SOT. Two successive sequences are indicated in a TV script as VO/SOT/VO; three successive sequences are indicated as VO/SOT/VO/SOT/VO.
voicer: An on-the-spot report of an event by a radio or TV reporter, sometimes read by a reporter who is not necessarily at the news scene.
voice-over (VO): The sound of an unseen narrator on a TV program or film; a reading by a TV
announcer while a videotape is shown. Voice-over credits (V.O.C.) are audio identifications of
sponsors, cast, or other credits, such as at the beginning or end of a TV program. The TV
voice-over story, in which a newscaster reports while a tape is shown, is very common.
wallpaper video: Slang for generic visuals, graphics, or other stills or tape that can be used as introductions or backgrounds, or that can be inserted in a window on the screen. They are commonly used in newscasts.
warm-up: A brief period before an actual broadcast in which the studio audience is put in a responsive mood, sometimes by a warm-up announcer.
warning light: A red light on a TV camera indicating that it is on and in use.
wave-form monitor (WFM): An oscilloscope used to test and adjust audio or video signals. In television, it is a small oscilloscope tube with a wavy line display that traces the variations of the video signal.
webcast: A transmission of an event, either live or recorded, over the Internet. A webcast extends the audience from potential TV and radio news consumers to a targeted audience at their PCs (employees, investors, analysts, experts, etc.)
wheel: A chart in the shape of a clock showing the segments for news, traffic, weather, and other reports, programs, and commercials; also called a clock. A news wheel is a news program that is repeated with updates, as on an all-news radio station.
white-balance: The process of shooting a white card with a video camera and pressing a button (labeled White Balance) to activate the camera circuit that adjusts the internal setting of the blacklevel, white level, and the three colors (red, green, and blue) to the white card.
white clipping: A video control circuit that regulates, or clips, the top level, or white level, of the picture signal so that it does not appear on the transmitted picture.
wide shot: A wide area of a scene, often used to "establish" a scene.
window: A rectangular insert or other predefined area, as on a video screen; also called a viewport; a scheduled time slot on a satellite; also called a space segment or viewport; brief local programming within a network or syndicated program, such as a 60-second news update, called a news envelope.
window dub: An exact copy of original audio and video, usually on three-quarter-inch or half-inch videotape, with a video representation of the time code burned into the picture.
wipe: To clean or wipe off the screen in preparation for the next frame, which is done on a computer console. The optical effect of the transition can be achieved with a wiper, a moving line in the form of an expanding or contracting circle (a rotating wipe) that forms a boundary between the two shots. Wipes are created with wipe blades in an optical printer or by a traveling matte. Types of wipes include a circle or iris wipe, in which a new image appears as an increasingly larger circle while the old image shrinks; clock wipe, in which images shift in a clockwise or counterclockwise motion; diagonal or closing-door wipe, in which an image moves in from both sides of the screen; flip wipe, in which images turn over; horizontal wipe, in which images move from top to bottom or vice versa; hard-edge wipe (sharply in focus); and soft-edge wipe (fuzzy or out of focus).
wired city: A city or area with a high percentage of cable-TV homes.
wired home: A household linked to a cable-TV system.
wireless cable: A new type of television service in which a TV signal for free and pay-TV programming services is received from a satellite and retransmitted to a viewer's rooftop antenna on a superhigh-frequency microwave channel. Thus, a viewer can receive cable-TV channels without subscribing to a cable-TV service.
woodshedding: Marking a script to indicate pauses and voice inflections as with a slash mark for a pause, a double slash for a long pause, an underline for emphasis, and a double underline for heavier emphasis.
wrap: A cover; a summary; completion; a show-business term to indicate completion of a scene; also called insert, package, takeout, wrap-around, or wrapper. The wrap-up signal to end a program quickly is one hand rotating in a circular motion. Also, a news report that combines the voice of the announcer, the voice of the newsmaker, and background sound.
wraparound: The introductory and concluding segments of a program or series; the live portion before and after a taped segment. In a wraparound on TV news, a reporter at the scene introduces a previously taped report and then provides additional information or an update.
wraparound commercial: A radio or television commercial with noncommercial material wrapped around it, such as a question about a past sports event at the beginning and the answer at the end; sometimes called an insert, as when it is inserted within a movie surrounded by questions about the movie.
WX: A weather report.
XCU: Extreme close-up; more commonly written as ECU.
XIS: A film or TV shot that is over or across (X) the shoulders of a performer; also called O.S. (over shoulder).
XLS: Extra-long shot.
YUV: The luminance signal (Y) and the two chrominance signals (U and V). In YUV encoding,
the luminance information is encoded on each picture line at full bandwidth and the chrominance
signals are encoded on alternate lines at half bandwidth.
zap: The use of a remote-control device (a zapper) to change stations during commercial messages; the use of a device to blip out commercials, as with a pause button in videotaping; also called zapping.
zipper: A bit of music or sound effect to signal a local radio or TV station to interrupt for identification, a commercial, or other break.
zoom: An optical effect in television and motion pictures produced by shifting quickly from one camera angle to another, such as from a close-up to a long shot. A Zoomar lens has adjustable focal lengths that can be changed rapidly. To zoom in is to move a camera in quickly for a close-up without changing shots; it is also called forward zoom. The opposite is zoom out (ZO), backward zoom, or back zoom (ZB). A zoom shot is made with a zoom lens. A crash zoom is a very rapid zoom shot.