Friday, January 31, 2014

WCNC news director leaving for NBC job

Corrie Harding, news director of WCNC (Channel 36) for four years, will be leaving the station at the end of the month to take a job with NBC News in New York.

In his new position, Harding will work as director of news partnerships with NBC, responsible for developing plans for the growth of news content on broadcast and digital platforms. 

Corrie Harding
Harding, 49, said Friday that his departure had nothing to do with the recent ownership change at WCNC, which has been taken over by Gannett from its former owner, Belo.

"It was just a great opportunity," Harding said. "It was something I had to seriously investigate, and it ended up working out."

Harding came to WCNC, an NBC affiliate, in November 2009. Previously he was news director at the NBC affiliate in Pittsburgh.

Harding's departure comes after the station's news department won regional Emmy awards in five categories last weekend.

Under Harding's leadership, the station expanded its morning newscast and 4 p.m. broadcast by 30 minutes each. He also led the staff during last year's Democratic National Convention in Charlotte.

No successor has been named. His is the second major position at the station to go vacant. General manager Tim Morrissey retired at the time of the Gannett purchase.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

JCSU educator new anchor at Fox46Carolinas

WJZY (Channel 46) announced Tuesday that Cheryl Butler-Brayboy will be the station's new anchor when it launches its own 10 p.m. newscast in January.

Cheryl Brayboy 

Brayboy, who holds a Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in English and cultural studies, has worked for stations in Allentown, Pa.; Columbus, Ga.; and Washington. She has also worked at Johnson C. Smith University as an assistant professor of literature and languages.

She was host of the "Queen City Blocks," a show about Charlotte neighborhoods and hotspots, on WTVI (Channel 42) in 2009.

She is the wife of Jack Brayboy, a Charlotte producer and former news host on "Fox News Rising" on WCCB (Channel 18). 

WJZY will begin streaming daily rehearsals of its newscasts at 10 p.m. Wednesday on its web site, 

Monday, December 9, 2013

Al Gardner gets weekly gig on ESPN 730

Al Gardner
Longtime WBT-AM (1110) morning host Al Gardner will return to local radio as a weekly Monday co-host on WZGV-AM ("ESPN" 730).

Gardner will begin next Monday on "The Bottom Line" show, which airs at 6 p.m., with Lanny Ford

Ford said Monday that Gardner, who was host of "Charlotte's Morning News" on WBT for 14 years before leaving at the end of 2011, will discuss local sports and his own two passions -- boxing and golf.

Gardner, 66, said that he looks forward to being part of ESPN 730 because it is a locally owned and focused station. "They're going to grow locally," he said. "That's what I want to be part of."

First question: What does he think of the Panthers' performance Sunday night? "Unprintable," Gardner replied.

ESPN 730 announced in November it will be the flagship station for the Charlotte Knights beginning in April. It also carries Charlotte Checkers and Charlotte 49ers games.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Fly Ty joining WBAV-FM afternoon show

Veteran Charlotte radio personality Fly Ty is returning to CBS Radio as a sidekick to Artie Goins on her "Artie in the Afternoons" show on WBAV-FM ("V" 101.9).

CBS Radio made the announcement at the top of Goins' Monday show. In making the move, the station pairs two well-known Charlotte broadcasters, both of whom grew up in the area.

Goins joined WBAV's sister station WPEG-FM ("Power 98" 97.9) in 1992 and Fly Ty, known as Derrick Jacobs in real life,  joined the old "Breakfast Brothas" show there in 1997.

Fly Ty, who joined WBAV on Monday.

Goins took over the afternoon shift at WBAV in June, replacing the syndicated Skip Murphy show. Her show was No. 1 last month among Charlotte radio stations in WBAV's target demographic, adults 25-54, operations manager Terri Avery said Monday.

Avery said she wanted to team Goins and Jacobs because of their deep roots in the community and to build on the momentum of launching a local show in the time slot this year.

Jacobs graduated from Myers Park High School in 1990 and became a barber with his brother. One of the heads he trimmed belonged to B.J. Murphy, then a  morning personality at Power 98.

He gave Murphy a comedy tape and Murphy, now a broadcaster in Greensboro, got him aboard the "Breakfast Brothas" show.

In 2004, Murphy left "Power 98" for a morning show in Dallas, and took Jacobs along as his sidekick. 

Jacobs returned to Charlotte in 2010 and started working for Radio One-owned stations, WQNC-FM ("Q" 92.7) and WOSF-FM ("Old School" 105.3).

"I could not be more pleased to work with a long-term friend of mine and a veteran in radio, Artie," Jacobs said in a statement Monday.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

WSOC to expand 10 p.m. newscast to an hour

Beginning Dec. 2, WSOC (Channel 9) will expand its 10 p.m. newscast on sister station WAXN (Channel 64) to an hour.

Natalie Pasquarella

Natalie Pasquarella will continue as sole anchor with meteorologist Steve Udelson

News director Julie Szulczewski said Thursday the expansion was not driven by competition with Fox-owned WJZY (Channel 46), which is planning to launch an hour-long 10 p.m. newscast in January. Construction is under way at WJZY for a new studio and a news staff is being hired. WJZY now carries a 30-minute newscast at 10 p.m. provided by WBTV (Channel 3) and anchored by Molly Grantham.

Szulczewski said station research conducted in the spring of this year indicated there would be an audience and desire for an expanded newscast. Executives have been talking about it since March but were waiting until other projects were finished, like the months-long renovation of the station's newsroom, which is now complete.

There will be no change in format for the show, she said. On weekends, the 10 p.m. newscast will continue with its half-hour length. 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Panthers soar in ratings on Monday Night Football

Nearly 650,000 viewers in the region tuned in for Monday night's Panthers game against New England, making it the most-watched game of the season in Charlotte.

"This absolutely crushed any previous regular season game this year," Robert Wendt, research director for WSOC (Channel 9), said Tuesday.

Final overnight ratings from Nielsen showed that in the Charlotte market, 348,000 people on average watched the game on Channel 9 and 309,000 on ESPN.

By comparison, the previously most-watched game to date this season, the Nov. 10 Panthers-49ers match-up, attracted 456,000 viewers.

Nielsen numbers show that 66 percent of household televisions in the 22-county Charlotte market -- which stretches from the Virginia line to Chester, S.C. -- were tuned to the Monday night game.

It was the first time since 2008 the Panthers appeared at home on "Monday Night Football."

Peak viewing came during the last half of the second quarter, about 9:30 p.m., when the Panthers were up by 7, Wendt said.   

ESPN spokesman Bill Hofheimer said Nielsen data showed that 38 percent of people with televisions in the Charlotte region watched the game and 36 percent in New England.

Elsewhere in the Carolinas, 23 percent of all viewers in Greensboro tuned into the game, 17 percent in Greenville, N.C., and 15 percent in Raleigh-Durham.

Here are TV audience figures for earlier Panther games in Charlotte this season, on Fox (WJZY, Channel 46):

Sept. 8: Vs. Seahawks (1 p.m. game) -- 374,000.
Sept. 15: Vs. Bills (1 p.m.) -- 316,000.
Sept. 22: Vs. Giants (1 p.m.) -- 382,000.
Oct. 6: Vs. Cardinals (4 p.m.) -- 312,000.
Oct. 13: Vs. Vikings (1 p.m.) -- 424,000.
Oct. 20: Vs. Rams (1 p.m.) -- 403,000.
Oct. 24: Vs. Tampa (8:30 p.m., Thursday) -- 287,000.*
Nov. 3: Vs. Falcons (1 p.m.) -- 407,000.
Nov. 10: Vs. 49ers (4 p.m.) -- 456,000. 

*Carried on the NFL Network and WMYT (Channel 55).

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Bo Thompson adds an hour on WBT

Slight schedule shake-up is coming Monday at WBT-AM (1110): "Charlotte Morning News" adds an hour, cutting Keith Larson back to 10 a.m. to noon.

Bo Thompson

In the 9 a.m. hour, morning host Bo Thompson will preside over a topical segment keyed to the day's major story or something trending in the news. Expect extended interviews and calls from listeners.

Larson, who's held the hour since coming to WBT in 2002 and announced the change on the air Tuesday morning, says he's fine with it. He hopes to do more writing after the success of his book on Hope Stout and the Panthers, "That Season of Hope," and his side advertising and marketing business is picking up steam. 

"A change in daily schedule and body-clock will work well," says Larson, who habitually shows up at WBT at dawn to prepare for his show. "WBT is a part of who I am and what I do."

WBT program director Jason Furst says it will give Thompson, who succeeded Al Gardner as the morning news show host in 2012, a chance to do more long-form content and give him a more prominent role.

"Bo is the rising star at the station," says Furst.

Thompson is one of the few local broadcast personalities who grew up in Charlotte. He was still a student at Myers Park High School when he started working part-time at WBT in 1990, and here's an irony: His first gig there was as an intern for Mike Collins, whose hour-long "Charlotte Talks" show runs at 9 a.m. on WFAE-FM (NPR 90.7), opposite Thompson's new hour.