Odds & Ends on a Tuesday Night

I’m sitting here in a hotel in North Carolina and watching some of the of NBA Championship game as a storm passes through the area.  One might not really know that a storm is  passing through since no one is breaking into the game with WEATHERGASM ALERTS. What a concept.  Don’t get me wrong, I bet they DO break into regular programming here in the Raleigh-Durham area but they haven’t so far tonight and I applaud them for that.  It shows restraint.  At least on the ABC affiliate that is.  Moving on….

I ran across an article last week on TVSpy.com that raised the question of what would happen to local TV news operations IF the local newspaper of record augered in.  Actually the article first focused on how local TV and radio stations used stories from the local newspapers and failed to attribute the source.  I know when I was working at the station DOTR, we usually only cited the source specifically when it was a copyrighted story.  The rest of the time we just said something like “published reports indicate” or something along those lines.  The reality is that we didn’t have the resources to investigate like the local newspaper did and those resources are even fewer now at most TV stations.  So, what would happen if the local newspaper of record augered in?  You would see probably less local news than you see now except for the vastly increased coverage of fires, car crashes and other spot news.  Oh, you might see a little more consumer type “on your side” type coverage but not much. It’s a scary thought of what would happen to local news on TV.  I can’t tell you the number of times I was handed a newspaper clipping from the morning newspaper and told “turn this story”.  It happens numerous times across the country each day and the practice is not going away anytime soon.  Moving on…..

I see a growing number of large market stations are “pooling” their resources to cover the run-of-the-mill press conferences and such.  I think this is a practice that will backfire on them in the long run.  Don’t get me wrong, I understand how in the short-term the savings will look good but I think that is the first step toward a reduction of news operations overall.  That slippery slope will be hard to navigate back UP the hill when things get even tougher.  I’m just saying..

I was just wrapping up some aviation this past weekend and was talking to some folks out at the airport when the topic of WREG’s News Chopper 3 came up.  Someone at the airport mentioned that they had done away with the Big Red Whirlybird and I mentioned that the move leaves ONLY WMC with a news chopper.  One of the airport guys told me that WMC has apparently sent Sky 5 off for a two month sabbatical/upgrade.  So, that means there are NO news choppers keeping an eye on all the news that is fit to be told/showed in the Memphis area.  Folks, we had better be careful or we might find ourselves chopperless in this market .

I was out at one of the big box hardware stores this past weekend trying to find some stuff for stately LarkSmith Manor and almost ran into Ethel Sengstacke, formerly of WREG and WHBQ’s news assignment desk.  I gave her a big hug (which I’m sure she didn’t appreciate since I was hot and sweaty).  We chatted for a few minutes and she told me how glad she was to have TV news behind her.  I think she’s just ready to relax. You go girl!

And finally, after posting a note on how former co-worker and former TV guy/FedEXer Doug Johnson had found gainful employment at production house Running Pony in Memphis after budget cuts at FX,  I received this note from former co-worker Joe Incardona.  Joe, who left WREG in the early 90s and started Mediasource in Memphis, which has evolved into a production powerhouse in its own right shared this tidbit with me:

We’ve got some exciting news here as well.  I’m proud that I have taken someone who lost a job during last December’s Raycom/WMC layoffs off the unemployment rolls.  We’ve just hired Jessi Scherr, former Creative Services Producer at WMC-TV.  Jessi had a really nice following among WMC’s TV commercial clients, and was responsible for writing, shooting, graphics, and editing for all spots WMC was producing for its advertising clients.

I feel very lucky to have Jessi joining Randy Paige, Philip Hood, Debbi Hicks, and myself as we continue to grow our HD production business.

Keep up the good work with the blog, we enjoy reading it!

Joe Incardona
President
Media Source

Joe, thanks for checking in.

So, if you are proving opportunities for former TV /radio folks, let me know as we like to let everyone know when someone is able to put their hard-earned TV skills to use in the real world.

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2 Comments on “Odds & Ends on a Tuesday Night”

  1. Doug Johnson Says:

    We’re coming up on a day when all the people we know from “the business” will be out of the business!

  2. lead pipe Says:

    Thanks for sharing your news Joe I.

    Joe L, i heard the Red Chopper was sent to St Louis, where it will be repainted, re branded, and sent back to memphis as Chopper 5. Apparently 5’s bird had many many hours on it, and 3’s was much newer. Maybe someone from 5 can confirm/deny that one.


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