by Tracy Johnson
Long before John Stewart and Stephen Colbert was Paul Harvey.
Harvey was a brilliant storyteller, using news as content to weave personality into the homes of millions of Americans multiple times each day.
The legendary broadcaster delivered current, topical news and commentary with personality and perspective.
He informed, but with incredible artistry and timing.
Harvey performed three daily feature-length segments:
Here’s one of Harvey’s daily newscasts:
It amazes me how he skillfully:
Also notice how he works commercial endorsements into content. It’s not an obvious ad, but a recommendation from a trusted friend. It sounds like content. Each time he performed a commercial, it was fresh, new and unique.
His commercials were a part of his content. And they had a shelf life of one play. That’s right. Each was a fresh piece of content, performed only that one time.
In The Rest of the Story, Harvey demonstrates the full range of his amazing storytelling skills.
Listen to how drama builds throughout the segment, leading listeners to a surprise ending revealed in the last 10 seconds of the segment.
Harvey was a master of hooking the audience quickly. It’s clever, subtle and provokes curiosity.
Once hooked, it was impossible to tune out. Harvey builds the story with color, drama and detail.
His words engage of us to play along, leading to the reveal.
Paul Harvey was one of a kind. His last broadcast was many years ago, and he passed away in 2009. But his artistry is timeless.
Harvey’s delivery technique has an application for your show. How will you apply his lessons?
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