My, How Technology has Helped Change the Way We Are Able to Cover News & WREG Moves a Step Closer to Having More Sister Stations

When I’m not working to build my video business, I freelance in other capacities in video production including serving as an audio tech. This isn’t as far fetched as it may sound considering I got my start in the radio business as a country d-j while attending college in Bowling Green, KY. I received a call Monday afternoon from a videographer that a network had called and needed a crew to travel to Mississippi for a piece for their early morning news show. The network producer said they were NOT sending a producer or even a correspondent and that we just needed to collect video and audio. The network producer had already made contact with the folks we needed to chat with and these folks would be waiting for us in Central Mississippi. All we had to do was get there, get soundbites, some B-roll and get it back to them in time for their morning show. Even though we had gotten a late start (3pm Central) and had a three hour drive ahead of us we drove (I rode) like a bat out of hell, and arrived at our destination where, sure enough, the people were waiting. After we set up our gear, the videographer called the network on his cell phone and after putting his cell phone on “speaker phone” mode, the producer from NYCity proceeded to ask questions and the interviewee answered the questions on tape. We repeated the process three more times after that. Several hours later after getting the sound and B-roll that we could, we raced back to Memphis where we uplinked our video to the network. The producer already knew what sound she had and was looking specifically for those sound bites during our feed. They tied in those bites and our video with other video they had, got one of the shows anchors to add her voice to the report and voila!, they had a nice little anchor package. I know because I recorded that network’s morning show so I could see how they used our video and sound. Someday I figure that they will just have a camera that allows the field crew to just plug a cell phone on the side and feed it directly from the the location. Oh, I forgot to add one other interesting tidbit to this network story. That tidbit is the source of this story and how they knew at least some of those to contact. It seems there was an article in The New York Times on Monday and the network was working , in part, from that. So for all of you local TV news producers and reporters who are required to turn a story based on article from the local newspaper you can now say “I’m just being groomed to work at the networks”.

Speaking of Local TV (the tv news group, NOT the local organizations) I see they’re a step closer to expanded their holdings thanks to the FCC signing off on their purchase of some Fox O & Os. According to an article in Broadcasting and Cable as seen in Shoptalk, the are :KDVR Denver, KFCT Ft. Collins, WBRC Birmingham, WJW Cleveland, WGHP High Point (NC), WITI Milwaukee, KSTU Salt Lake City and KTVI ST. Louis. I was also told by a person I consider to be a reliable source that one of the anchors connected to a station involved in this sale has filed legal action against the station. I was told that one of the anchors at WBRC in Birmingham filed a breach of contract suit because the station didn’t want to pay him what they had agreed to pay him. Oh those pesky contracts. They sometimes do get in the way of running a business.

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2 Comments on “My, How Technology has Helped Change the Way We Are Able to Cover News & WREG Moves a Step Closer to Having More Sister Stations”

  1. Doug J. Says:

    I’ve often thought that if the NY Times & USA Today stopped publishing, TV news (local & national) would have to shut down. Or show mixed martial arts.

    On another note, as a new downtown resident, I was out riding my bike (mostly to take my mind off of getting rear-ended on I-240 on the way home — I’m fine, but my car’s a mess!!).

    Anyway, I stopped by the station DOTR after a spin through Martyr’s Park and chatted with a former co-worker in the parking lot. That person indicated that they’re still waiting to see some of the changes promised by Local TV.

    I wonder how much puffery is involved in what they’re telling stations when they take them over.

  2. AMNewsBoy Says:

    You’re forgetting WDAF up in KC. It’s going to be interesting to see how that plays out here; being an O&O, WDAF was always able to put out more resources for its product (even if the ratings didn’t always bear that out). I wouldn’t be surprised if cuts come around here.


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