On the beat

Attention deficit … wait, what was I saying?

By Jim Bucher

ed, chances are I have it.

Heck, I made a career out of it during my on-air days as a news reporter on local TV.

I’m told it’s a good sign – that we who have it are creative thinkers; our minds are always racing, thinking of the next direction of the conversation.

So, is it a good trait or bad?

Well, I can only speak from experience, but when I was doing live TV and the interview was dragging, I would change the subject or grab the camera lens or grab someone off camera and drag them unsuspectingly into the camera shot. You didn’t get much out of my two-minute interview, but it sure moved along in a colorful way. After all, it was morning TV, I was helping you get moving for the day.

Now, there is another malady – Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. So, on top of not being able to pay attention, you’re hyper when you do.

I blame MTV.

That’s right, when MTV (Music Television) was born, most music videos were fast-paced, quick-cut, slash-and-bash editing. Then, commercials started speeding up. Radio and TV now both have one-minute (which is an eternity), 30-second, 15-second and – I swear I saw this – three-second spots. Why is this? Because we have short attention spans.

What do you bet me the person responsible for TIVO, DVRs and the like was someone with ADHD? Not only can you watch your favorite show, you can zip through the commercials. 

Now, when I was a kid, we’d head down to a Cincinnati Reds game in the Queen City. But my dad, who couldn’t sit still (now you know where I get it from), would say, “OK guys, it’s the seventh inning, lets head home.” So, on the way back to Dayton, we would have 700 WLW radio on to listen to the end of the game we just left. Why we didn’t just stay home and listen to the game is beyond me. Very rarely did I experience an entire Reds game in person.

But Baseball games are played at an extremely slow pace. It’s one of the reasons, I believe, the NFL has taken over as America’s favorite pastime; the sport of choice.
Baseball goes on and on and on – pitching changes, TV time outs, etc, etc. But minor league ball is catering to all of us that have ADHD. Have you attended a Dragons’ game lately? It’s almost like there’s a little baseball played in between all the entertainment. To keep you focused and interested in what’s happening on the field, all kinds of games are going on in the stands. It is truly an ADHD persons’ delight.
I guess I come by it honestly, because I can’t sit still either – being stuck in traffic is the worst. One time, when my kids were small and at a Sesame Street Live performance at Hara, I told them “It’s over, time to go,” as soon as intermission began. I could not sit through the second half – nor wait for the parking lot to clear. “But what happened to Cookie Monster?” my kids asked. “Oh, he eventually gets the cookie, I responded. “No worries here.” .
I just can’t sit still.

In my new business, buchtvguy.com, one of my services is providing social media videos for businesses or events – something that can posted to Facebook, Twitter or a website. One of my big hurdles in convincing someone purchasing a video is: Do not make it too long. No one will watch if it’s over two minutes, and heck, that’s even too long.

Take yourself, do you watch YouTube? How long do you stay tuned in? It’s gotta be interesting or compelling. Otherwise, it’s on to the next video. I can only imagine what the future holds – maybe three-minute sermons at church or 30-minute Broadway shows at the Victoria. How about four innings of baseball, two pages of a newspaper or an Academy Award ceremony that runs about 60 minutes? Hey, not a bad idea, but where will it end? I don’t know … but I do know this: I’m running out of patience writing this article.

Did you make it all the way through?



A regionally known and loved local television icon for over 25 years, “Buch’s” followers describe him as trust-worthy, fun, the guy next door, a friend and role model. You can promote your business with Buch and grab your customer’s attention! Reach DCP freelance writer Jim Bucher at JimBucher@DaytonCityPaper.com.

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