To achieve authentic urgency, take the time you need to land the first thought of each story as powerfully as possible.
Authentic urgency — and the importance it implies — is a function of focus and specificity, not speed. In fact, it’s often served best by taking the time you need to drive your point home, especially as you lead into something new.
And there are other benefits:
The resulting change in pace alerts viewers you're moving on to something new. Without it, everything can begin to sound the same and appreciation for the range of content in your newscast can be diminished.
It elevates the importance of the additional detail you're about to share. In effect, it elevates the importance of everything else you have to say about the story.
It properly focuses your own mind, priming you to connect in a way that's not generic, but purpose-driven.
The key to this, of course, is
knowing the story well enough to know exactly what's at stake and
making a strong and deliberate choice about what you most need viewers to understand about it. The operative and critical word here is "need." When communicators need to be understood, it triggers an urgency driven by content and not by the imperative to read at some generically mandated pace.
Philadelphia anchor, Jim Gardner, was inarguably one of the most respected and loved anchors in the history of local television news. This clip features a series of story ledes from his final A-block. Notice how he keeps the newscast moving but never rushes, taking the time to make each new thing sound important in it's own right.