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Posts Tagged ‘Steve Schwaid’

Local News Vet Finds Young Journos Don’t Watch Local News: ‘This Should Scare Us’

Schwaid

Steve Schwaid  knows a bit about local news. He ran newsrooms in Philadelphia, Atlanta, Hartford and Tampa, and now serves as vice president of digital strategies for CJ&N, a media research and consulting firm. And Schwaid says a recent visit to one of his client stations left him uneasy about the future of local news:

I was recently visiting a client station, meeting with about 20 producers, managers and reporters who were almost all under 35. We started talking about cord cutters and who uses what. This informal “survey” was eye opening, and honestly it more than surprised me. It sent a few chills down my spine.

These young journalists, he discovered, don’t really spend much time tuned in to the very station for which they work. 85% said they had no cable. Most told Schwaid they used Netflix streaming, Hulu and Amazon Prime.

Then he asked the big question: do you watch local news? Answer: no, not really. “These are people who work in news and they don’t feel compelled to watch local news. Why? I’m not entirely sure. Clearly they felt they got the news they needed from other online sources. More important, I got the sense they felt local news wasn’t relevant to them. They admitted that their friends outside the business don’t watch local news at all.”

Schwaid urges newsroom managers to connect with these younger staffers and ask them to help develop the kind of product they might actually watch. Or else. “This should scare us. We need to start discussions, research and planning to understand what will get this consumer to watch local news.”

Read his full report–and recommendations–here.

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News Director Eric Ludgood Out at WGCL

Eric Ludgood is out as news director for WGCL, the Meredith owned CBS affiliate for Atlanta.

“Eric Ludgood is no longer with WGCL in Atlanta,” a Meredith spokesperson told TVSpy.  “We wish him all the best in his future endeavors.”

Ludgood had been assistant news director at WGCL before leaving for three months in 2010 to work as news director for WNCN in Raleigh, NC.  He returned to WGCL as news director in February 2011 replacing Steve Schwaid.

WGCL vice president and general manager Trey Fabacher told TVSpy the station would begin its search for a news director, “very shortly.”

WTXF Taps Fox Veteran Jim Driscoll as News Director

Philadelphia Fox O&O WTXF has tapped Jim Driscoll as its next news director. Driscoll has spent the last five and a half years working as news director of WWOR, the Fox-owned MyNetwork TV affiliate in Secaucus.

Driscoll is also a former assistant news director of WNYW, the Fox O&O in New York City. Prior to that, he spent 18 years at WWOR, where he began as a production assistant and eventually rose to executive producer.

“Jim’s impressive track record of success at WWOR and WNYW speaks for itself. I’m confident that his leadership, solid local news instincts and inventive style will continue FOX 29’s growth and expand the station’s presence in the market,” WTXF vice president and general manager Dennis Bianchi said in a statement.

WTXF has been without a news director since Steve Schwaid left the station in July. Driscoll’s appointment is effective January 2. Read more

News Director Steve Schwaid Out at Philly’s WTXF

Steve Schwaid is leaving Philadelphia Fox O&O WTXF after just a year as news director, TVSpy has learned.

Schwaid joined WTXF last July. He was previously the vice president of digital content for Meredith Stations, as well as the news director for WGCL, the CBS-affiliate in Atlanta. Prior to that, Schwaid was news director at WCAU in Philadelphia, WTOG in Tampa, WVIT in Hartford and WGME in Portland, ME.

A spokesperson for the Fox O&Os was not immediately available for comment.

>Update: A station spokesperson has confirmed that Schwaid’s last day at WTXF will be Friday. A nationwide search is underway for his replacement, the spokesperson said.

Scott Williams Named Chief Meteorologist at WTXF, Replacing John Bolaris

Scott Williams is joining WTXF as chief meteorologist, the Philadelphia Fox O&O confirmed to TVSpy today.

Williams joins the station from The Weather Channel, where he is the early-morning meteorologist. He replaces John Bolaris, who parted ways with the station in January after serving a suspension for comments he made in an interview with Playboy.

Williams’ hire is effective today. He will make his on-air debut in Philadelphia on June 4.

>Update: News director Steve Schwaid‘s announcement to WTXF staffers is after the jump. Read more

Report: WTFX Sits On Video of Mayor’s Late Night Escapades After News Director Summoned to City Hall

WTFX was reportedly working on a story featuring cellphone video of Philadelphia mayor Michael Nutter slapping a woman’s butt as they drank and bowled at a local bowling alley, when Nutter summoned news director Steve Schwaid to city hall for a meeting.

After the meeting, Schwaid informed his news staff that the video would not air unless he decided that it would, the Philadelphia Daily News reports.

Nutter, who is married (and not to the woman he was spanking), scheduled the meeting with Schwaid after WTFX screened the video for his communications team. Read more

Kerry Barrett Promoted to Evening Anchor at WTXF

Kerry Barrett, a reporter at Philadelphia Fox O&O WTXF, has been named the station’s evening co-anchor.

Although Barrett has been filling in on the 5, 6 and 10 p.m. newscasts alongside Thomas Drayton since last fall, WTXF news director Steve Schwaid officially announced the promotion today.

“Kerry’s reporting skills demonstrate a genuine connection to our viewers and a unique understanding of the issues facing residents in the Delaware Valley,” Schwaid said. “We are excited to have her in this increased role at our station.”

Barrett joined WTXF in 2010. Her appointment to evening anchor is effective immediately.

WTXF Names Steve Schwaid VP and News Director

WTXF, the Philadelphia Fox O&O, has named Steve Schwaid news director and vice president. Schwaid leaves Atlanta where he has been VP of Digital Content for Meredith Stations as well as News Director for WGCL, CBS Atlanta.

It’s also a return to Philadelphia for Schwaid, who ran the news operation at NBC O&O WCAU before being upped to SVP of News and Programming for NBC’s O&O’s in New York. He held that post for 5 years before heading to Atlanta.

“I’m extremely excited about working for Fox 29 and coming back home to Philadelphia,” Schwaid said. “I look forward to taking WTXF’s news operation to the next level by delivering strong, relevant and compelling news.”

Before WCAU, Schwaid ran the newsrooms at WTOG in Tampa/St. Pete, WVIT in Hartford, and WGME in Portland, Maine.

“Steve’s depth of local news experience and proven record of success in Philadelphia made him the ideal leader for our newsroom,” said Patrick Paolini, WTXF VP & GM. “He is the right person to expand upon our station’s success as a news leader in this market.”

NCAA Basketball vs Hostage Situation Poll Results: ‘News Always Trumps Sports’

Atlanta CBS-affiliate WGCL had a tough call to make last Friday night as local police were locked in a hostage situation with an accused cop killer while CBS was in the midst of broadcasting the NCAA basketball tournament.

Steve Schwaid, VP of digital content for all Meredith stations and head of news at WGCL, called the situation a “news director’s nightmare.”

So earlier this week we put the decision to you, and here are the results:

“Do what WGCL did; double box the news and game”: 79.17%
“Stayed with the basketball game, leave the hostage situation to the other stations”: 16.67%
“Other”: 4.17%

Read more

NCAA Basketball or Hostage Situation? POLL: You make the call

Steve Schwaid, VP of digital content for all Meredith stations and head of news at Atlanta’s WGCL (CBS) writes on his personal blog about a “news director’s nightmare,” deciding between carrying a breaking news story or a live sporting event: in this case, the NCAA basketball tournament.

Schwaid, who has been news director in Hartford, Philadelphia, and Atlanta, as well heading up news for NBC’s local stations group, was faced with that dilemma Friday night when a days-long manhunt for an accused cop killer ended with the suspect taking hostages and demanding that local stations carry his surrender.

Police said he would come out at 11:01 p.m. For all the other stations, this was easy. They were all in their local newscasts. We were in the midst of the second game – Kentucky versus Ohio State. For all we knew he was watching the game with the hostages. There is no way I wanted to live with the fact that if we didn’t carry his surrender, he might not come out or more importantly, hurt or kill a hostage. Do I worry about a person’s life or a basketball game? Honestly, an easy decision.

And if that wasn’t bad enough, more breaking news caused more bastketball interuptions less than 24 hours later.

Read more