An article headline may seem a singular thing, but in the context of websites and SEO there are actually at least four different headlines for every article.
I would love to know the SEO value of a kicker in a Headline and CAN/ SHOULD /MUST it be avoided to efficiently rank for a topic in the Top News carousel
Any books you recommend reading on crafting newsworthy headlines?
Sometimes - the HTML <title> Tag can be used to have an "SEO" headline - when the "SEO" Headline doesn't make sense editorially. The HTML <title> Tag can be used, and is what is shown on the SERPs, and from tests we have ran, has more ranking weight than the headline on the page.