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Archives: February 2010

Anchor Rod Carter Leaving Birmingham for Tampa Bay

The Birmingham News

Rod Carter Rod Carter is leaving Birmingham’s NBC-13 (WVTM-TV) for the second time and returning to Tampa to be the morning anchor at the NBC affiliate where he worked before. Carter’s last day on the air here will be Friday, March 5.

“It’s just one of those career opportunity things that you can’t pass up,” he said Thursday.

Carter came to NBC 13 from Tampa’s News Channel 8 (WFLA-TV) about 2 years ago to anchor the “Today in Alabama” morning show. He also had worked at NBC 13 from 1996 to 2000. More…

Anchor Departs Tampa’s WFLA for Infomercial Show

St. Petersburg Times

Gayle Guyardo For the first time in nearly 20 years, when Gayle Guyardo speaks to Tampa Bay area TV viewers in March, she wont be doing it on WFLA-Ch. 8.

That’s because Guyardo is leaving WFLA today, starting an infomercial-style program called “Access: Gayle.” And though she hoped to air it on her former TV home, the five-minute spots will begin airing instead as paid programming on WFTS-Ch. 28 the weekend of March 6 and 7.

The anchor bid a tearful farewell to her co-anchors and crew this morning, amid taped goodbyes from former anchor partner Bill Ratliff and her mother, along with an in person visit from the Tampa Bay Rays’ mascot. More…

Chicago Reporter Takes Leave for Cancer Treatment

Chicago Sun-Times

Derrick Blakley WBBM-Channel 2 reporter Derrick Blakley, 56, has taken an indefinite medical leave of absence from the station while he is treated for multiple myeloma, a cancer of the bone marrow.

“I’m at the beginning of a long journey, but I’m doing very well and [am] very optimistic,” Blakley said Thursday.

He is in rehabilitation after surgery at Northwestern Memorial Hospital to put a rod in his right thigh bone, where there was cancer.

“The rehabilitation is all about my learning to walk as well as possible again,” he said. More…

Veteran Detroit Investigative Reporter Loses Job

Detroit Free-Press

Steve Wilson, WXYZ After nearly a decade of busting bad guys, bulldog Channel 7 investigative reporter Steve Wilson is losing his job.

But he’s not losing his sense of humor.

“Isn’t it ironic that Kwame Kilpatrick still has his job after I’m losing mine?” he observed wryly this week. “That will teach you a lesson in fairness.”

In a way, Wilson outlasted the man perceived to be his nemesis. Arriving just before Kilpatrick finished first in the 2001 mayoral primary, Wilson stuck around as chief investigative reporter at WXYZ-TV (Channel 7) well after Kilpatrick resigned as mayor, spent 99 days in jail and moved his family to Texas. More…

Interview Bumped, Koenigs Call Larry King ‘Disrespectful’


Walter Koenig The day before Andrew Koenig‘s body was found in a Vancouver park, his parents Walter and Judy were set to appear on CNN’s “Larry King Live.” The interview was to be done via satellite from a Vancouver hotel room where the two were staying as they searched for their son, who had gone missing after a stretch of erratic behavior.

The Koenigs never appeared on “Larry King Live,” though, as the two became frustrated with their interview being repeatedly bumped as the show focussed on covering of the news of a SeaWorld trainer killed by a performing killer whale.

According to TMZ, the Koenigs were prepared to go live at 6:30pm PST but after waiting for nearly half an hour to take the air, Walter decided to move on. He told TMZ that the couple felt that King was not allowing them with “enough time to do credit to what we had to say.”

The producers’ decision to focus on the SeaWorld tragedy, as well as an interview with Toyota president Akio Toyoda, didn’t ultimately draw ratings. As TVNewser points out, King received “his third lowest Total Viewer number in at least 13 years.”

Shelly Palmer’s MediaBytes

Video: Cablevision Launching PC to TV Service

MediaBytes Video

Less Scripted: More Conversational

There was considerable debate after Tiger Woods’ statement last week. Many viewers said they didn’t feel he was sincere, and I think one of the reasons they thought that was because of how his message was delivered. He read the statement word for word. I understand why he did that. It was probably the most important statement he’s made in his life, certainly the most embarrassing. He didn’t want to get it wrong. But by reading it, it didn’t feel natural. It didn’t feel like it came from his heart. Some debated whether he had even written it himself or whether some attorneys had written it.

Years ago when Kobe Bryant was accused of rape, he held a news conference and he just got up there and talked as compared to reading a written statement.

What can we learn from this in television news? How natural and believable can we be when our anchors read each story, word for word, stories usually written by someone else?

Think about how many things we script when we produce our newscasts. We script the “Hello” at the top of the show, we script most of the tosses to reporters, and we even sometimes script tosses to the weather and sports people. Do those things really need to be scripted? A better way of doing it might be to simply write them as bullet points. The talent has the key facts, and they can deliver it conversationally.

In fact, a lot of stories can be done in this style, without a formal script.
Most of your watercooler type stories can be told with less script or no script. It takes a little getting use to from the writer, talent and director standpoint, but it takes no getting use to for the viewer! The viewer often seeks a more relaxed, casual newscast. Writing less and talking conversationally is one way to achieve a more informal and comfortable newscast.

CNN’s midday newscasts are doing a really good job of this. In fact, Rick Sanchez has few, if any scripts in his program. He simply talks to viewers. And isn’t that one of our goals? To simply talk to our viewers?

Give this a try in your newscasts. Start small. Try one story without a script. Have the anchor look at the video and look at the facts before the newscast and see if he or she feels comfortable delivering the story as an ad-lib.

Doug Drew is a morning news specialist with 602 Communications. He can be reached at

Conan O’Brien Makes Big Twitter Debut

Huffington Post

Conan OBrien Twitter A Conan O’Brien Twitter account surfaced this evening under the name @ConanOBrien and it is growing rapidly.

So did Conan O’Brien just join Twitter?

At first, it wasn’t certain, but just an hour and a half after the inaugural tweet, Twitter added a “verified account” stamp to the page.

Conan’s first tweet, posted at approximately 6 p.m. Feb. 24, 2010, said: “Today I interviewed a squirrel in my backyard and then threw to commercial. Somebody help me.” More…

Campbell Brown’s Husband Eyeing Senate Run

New York Post

Dan Senor Dan Senor, the husband of CNN’s Campbell Brown and a former Bush administration foreign policy adviser, is eyeing a run as a Republican against Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, The Knickerbocker has learned.

Senor has been meeting with people recent weeks around the state–including “political people and money types,” said one source.

Senor has already spoken with state GOP chairman Ed Cox, The Knickerbocker confirmed.

Senor is the founder of Rosemont Capital LLC More…

Report: Newspaper Sites Most Trusted Local News Source


Arizona Republic homepage Newspaper Web sites are the single most-visited and most-trusted source of online local news, according to a survey of 3,050 adult Internet users by comScore conducted on behalf of the Newspaper Association of America.

Overall, 57% of respondents said local newspaper Web sites were their No. 1 destination for various kinds of local information — more than all other online local news media combined. The survey also revealed high rankings for the trustworthiness of advertising on local newspaper Web sites.

Breaking local content and advertising down into various categories, 29% said newspaper Web sites were their primary destination for local news, 27% ranked them first for local sports, 26% for local entertainment, and 39% for local classifieds. More…