A friend tipped me to the AP story that ran this weekend in business sections across the country.
Archives for January 2006
Satellite Difficulties tonight but the Mid-South Emmy Awards are still watchable and pretty interesting.
Congrats to the WKRN Sports Team for the Emmys they bring back to Murfreesboro Road. Tim Hardiman and Cory Curtis won for Best Sports Segments. Tim, Cory, Sara Walsh, John Dwyer and Cal Baxter won in the category of News Special Event for News 2 Sports Extra. They also won for best Sports Event Coverage.
Some other folks who I know had a good night last night in Nashville.
The guys at Running Pony Productions picked up an emmy for best special event/post production and best commercial spot. WHBQ picked up a couple for Best promo for non-news, best audio, best camera/short form, director/short form and WMC won for graphic arts.
There’s probably a few I’ve missed but Congrats everybody.
is supposed to keep you free and clean as Townes Van Zant once wrote. Well, sorry Townes, I think it stinks.
I’ve been in hotel rooms for the past 3 weeks, travelling back and forth to Southaven every few days. I have few of the comforts of home, I miss my wife and kids, and these hotel beds are about as good for my back as the cold floor.
Work is good. I led the 5 tonight with a story on the Pope’s encyclical. I also met with the pastoral staff of one of the largest churches in Nashville today. It’s pretty cool when you’re talking to the pastor of some of country and Christian music’s biggest stars.
I’m learning my way around town and shooting and editing is much easier now than it was this time last week.
I’ve got to say (again) that the quality of television news in Nashville is far better than it is in Memphis. Maybe it’s the fact that there’s not 2 or 3 murders to cover every day. Every lead story isn’t about a murder or an investigation. Of course, I’m sure all of the stations in Memphis are leading with the Ford hearing. There’s a good bit of that here too, but just enough to know what’s happening.
I wish I had more interesting things to post about today. Sorry. I don’t have anything on Claudia’s debut on 3. I asked my wife about it but she doesn’t watch the news on 3 so I’m uninformed.
I came back in town early for a story Sunday. It was the anniversary of Roe v Wade so I planned to cover the rallies on the capitol steps. The pro-choice rally was cancelled because of the rain, the pro-life rally moved inside.
There were about 1,200 people there but I was the only media in the room. At the end of the rally the emcee noted to the audience that the newspaper and tv stations declined to cover their event. I was within his sight so I motioned that Channel 2 had indeed covered the rally. He looked surprised (I guess my small Sony HDV camera didn’t look like a tv camera) and he announced to the crowd that Channel 2 was indeed there and the story would air later that night.
A few people started to clap, and soon the entire crowd was on it’s feet applauding. I got a standing O for just showing up. Pretty cool.
Today I started working on a story about the Italian lawsuit over the existence of Jesus. (I’d include a link to the newspaper story but using my laptop to update this blog doesn’t show a link icon in the blogger toolbar). You can do a google search for “Jesus trial” and you’ll find about 80 newspaper links to the story). Anyway, I told them I wasn’t sure I’d be able to get it done in time for the evening news and that I might need a day and a half to get what I needed. Now, in my previous jobs in tv that would be an odd, if not unheard of request. But WKRN sees the value in working a story until it’s done. Reporters are able to put more time in a story if they need more time. Channel 2 can do that because it has enough reporters (because of the vj concept) to fill the news broadcasts and give others more time.
The story is being promoted for tomorrow’s 6pm show. I have a couple more interviews to go (one with a priest and another with a New Testament professor at Vandy’s Divinity School). It should be an interesting story and an even more interesting trial. I’ll try to follow it on www.faithandethics.com
Two other thoughts on this Monday:
I tried a couple things that I swore I’d never try again.
The first: I ate at a Hardees today. Big deal, I know. But I haven’t eaten at a Hardees since my last terrible hamburger there nearly 10 years ago. I swore I’d never again eat one of their nasty burgers. Well, surprise! I had a Hardees burger today and it was the best fast food burger I’ve had in a long long time. They actually bring the burger to you now in a basket. Great hamburger. They’ve turned things around there, at least based on what I saw today in Franklin.
The second: I watched “How I Met Your Mother” on CBS. I saw the pilot and the first couple of weeks and was unimpressed. Tonight’s episode though was the best half-hour comedy I’ve seen in a mighty long time. Great writing and acting. I’ll watch it again.
And Claudia Barr debuts tonight at WREG. I’ll be interested in the reaction on Joe’s blog www.joelarkins.blogspot.com and Peggy’s www.peggyphillip.blogspot.com
I’m not that surprised that 3 nabbed her. I’m disappointed that they didn’t give some of the current on-air female anchors a shot at it. Amy’s been there long enough to be a regular fill-in, so’s April and Stephanie. Markova is the first thought for the permanent role, but now that Claudia’s setting up shop I wonder if she’s the only one being considered.
Just some thoughts.
Couple of things tonight: my new general manager Mike Sechrist has hopped aboard the blog train. He lists 8 blogs from WKRN folks but forgot one, Todd Dunne’s blog is the first I saw from WKRN folks. Nonetheless, I’m excited to see Mike’s first entry.
My station blog is now up at www.faithandethics.com. I wanted “Nashville Believes” but this blog name will work fine. It’ll be a place for me to post about the stories I cover and be a place viewers can discuss them.
I met celebrity #2 today since being in Nashville. The first was country music singer and entertainer Brad Warren of “The Warren Brothers”. Today I met Robert Hegyes, the guy who played “Epstein” in “Welcome Back Kotter”. Nice guy, he’s directing a comedy showcase that features clean comedians.
Okay, I admit I hoped to meet or see Alan Jackson or Martina McBride but gawkers can’t be choosers.
I felt more plugged in today. Given a morning to get to know some folks in the faith community of Nashville I managed to tune in, listen and jot down pages of notes and story ideas. I met with a pastor and then with a former pastor who will both be resources for stories.
Tonight I was invited to a fundraiser for a ministry. What a kick to walk in, pick up my name tag and see the names “Michael W Smith” and “Steven Curtis Chapman” on the same table. I spotted a familiar face and couldn’t place him. I vaguely recognized his name and was sure he was a musician. I thought I might have one of his cds, so as I made my way around the room I made sure to introduce myself.
I asked if I had heard any of his music and he said “oh no…I’m not a singer. I’m a pediatrician.” My bad, I thought. I surely figured I had outed myself as a wide-eyed Nashville newcomer who’s certain they’ve spotted a big star at the Walgreens. As we talked for a few minutes it dawned on me where I had met him. About 13 years ago I covered Fan Fair for the CBS affiliate in Anniston. I also produced a 30-minute special on country music. For part of the special I shot a segment at the famous Blue Bird cafe where aspiring songwriters come to perform in the once a week “open mic night.”
It was on that night that I interviewed a doctor in residence who happened to be an aspiring songwriter. This was the guy. How I remembered his interview is a mystery. Maybe because when you’re writing and editing a piece like that you see the same video about 100 times. Funny how the mind works. I also met several people in the Christian music industry that I had met while in Huntsville.
The response from people to what WKRN is doing by covering religion has been very positive. The blog should be up tomorrow. Today was an outstanding day.
You know the one. He’s got that ‘deer caught in the headlights’ look on his face. When he walks into the newsroom the other people in the newsroom don’t know what to say to him/her. If you’re a reporter and the new guy/girl is a photog, you don’t know if you want to be paired up with him or not.
But almost to each new guy/girl, one thing is a given: make a mistake…and EVERYBODY TALKS ABOUT IT.
I can look back through my years in tv and remember some of the good ones. In Florence, Alabama a new reporter came in who was a one-man-band. He couldn’t do anything right. Given a story, he’d miss it because he got lost. He misplaced batteries, lights, microphones. He broke light stands and his tape always seemed to be the one stuck in a machine. Hardly a day went by when the newsroom phone didn’t ring with someone on the other end asking “did one of you guys lose a tripod?” He finally picked things up, found his way around town and last I heard was working for a tv station in Georgia.
There was the new female reporter who totalled her newscar just a couple of weeks into the job. The station only had two news vehicles and I think they must have rotated the same 8 bald tires back and forth between them. On a rainy night on a North Alabama dam, she slid into the path of another car. She was in the hospital for a few days but returned soon to become a real good reporter. She got out of the business some years ago and was in public relations the last time I saw her.
And there was the news photographer who absolutely could do nothing right. He was from a small town but came to Memphis like Barney Fife in Raleigh. He was nervous from the moment he walked in to the time he left a couple of years later. His video was almost always blue. He was so scared on live shots in questionable neighborhoods, a police officer once asked a reporter “is he okay?”. He cried on one assignment. It was so bad that Lou Holtz (then the South Carolina football coach) gave him a hug and a pep talk. Last time I heard he was doing very well in another market.
So…I thought of all of these “newbies” while driving to an assignment today. My first story didn’t pan out so I picked up another around noon. It was in Murfreesboro and was for 5. Have you ever out-thought yourself into a mistake?
I got turned around when I first hopped on the interstate and had to get off and then back on I-40. I started down I-24 but then started thinking “is this right?”. I saw a sign posted for Chattanooga and started second guessing myself. My map book only includes metro Nashville and my son has my big map. I wondered if I’d make it there and back in time for the 5. I wondered if I had time for a sandwich. I wondered if the story I needed to shoot would even be there because of the holiday. And then I thought of the new guys…and started to laugh.
I made it to the story just fine. Turned a quick vo/sot on the Ten Commandment’s document that the ACLU is trying to block permanently, and made it back to the station with time to spare.
Another day down…as the new kid in town.
I love LarkNews.com . I may have mentioned it here before but in case you don’t know, it’s a parody Christian news website. Started as a church bulletin, people started forwarding the e-mail newsletters across the country. Soon, they rolled it out as a full-fledged website and recently added advertising.
I’m looking into buying an ad there myself for “The ACTS Network“
Here’s an example of what you’ll see:
NEW YORK — The American Civil Liberties Union, National Public Radio and MTV have merged into a single entity to “ridicule and undermine Christianity wherever possible,” says a spokesman.
The leaders of the newly formed ACLUNPRMTV felt compelled to combine forces because “evangelicals are gaining too much clout in pop culture and politics.”
“It’s like a resistant bacteria,” said one employee anonymously. “The more you try to kill it, the stronger it gets.”
The group hopes to leverage their strengths in youth culture, the courts and among well-educated atheists to once and for all convince Americans that Christianity is a thing of the past. •