Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Antenna TV moves to WCCB's digital channel

Antenna TV, an oldies channel that was dropped from one of WJZY's (Channel 46) auxiliary digital channels this month, will move to WCCB's (Channel 18) digital lineup on Aug. 15.

Carrying repeats of classic series like "The Flying Nun," "Three's Company," and "Diff'rent Strokes," Antenna TV will be carried on over-the-air channel 18.2, replacing a shopping channel, says Jim White, WCCB's general manager.

WCCB will continue to carry another oldies channel, MeTV, on channel 18.3, White says.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Brittney Cason hosting morning show in Las Vegas

Britney Cason
Brittney Cason, the former Panthers cheerleader who held a variety of positions at CBS Radio in Charlotte, debuted this week as co-host on the morning show at the Las Vegas heritage rock radio station KOMP-FM. She is teamed with a DJ called Sparks, a Cleveland native, and their show is named for their initials, “BS in the Morning.”

Cason says she didn’t know her co-host until they were introduced in Las Vegas. “It’s almost like a blind date,” she says. “We’re building our chemistry. We’ve hit it off.”

In addition to her radio jobs in Charlotte, Cason also served as co-host of NASCAR's "3 Wide Life" and was the "Paid to Party" columnist for the Charlotte Observer's CLT weekend section.

Radio is more competitive in Las Vegas than Charlotte, Cason says. There are five Top 40 stations and she says all 12 of her car radio presets are full with a couple of good local stations missing. Las Vegas’ top-ranked station, she says, plays Christian music. 

“It’s sin city and a Christian station is No. 1.”

Friday, June 20, 2014

Knights to be on TV beginning Saturday

Fox Television Stations and the Charlotte Knights announced Friday that WMYT (Channel 55) will carry the remaining Saturday Knights games this season beginning this weekend.

WMYT, which Fox acquired last year, will carry the stadium high-definition video feed and audio of the radio broadcast with Matt Swierad and Mike Pacheco on the Knights Radio Network.

Saturday’s game with the Toldeo Mud Hens will begin at 7 p.m. on Channel 55. 

Earlier, the Knights had talked to WCCB (Channel 18) about carrying the games, but the two parties were unable to work out a package.

Since moving from Fort Mill this year to the new BB&T Ballpark in uptown Charlotte, the Knights have seen attendance surge, despite a 25-49 record that has the team last in the southern division of the International League.


“Big crowds have packed BB&T Ballpark on Saturdays, and this gives the entire Charlotte region a chance to enjoy the Knights from their comfort of their homes,” said Dan Rajkowski, chief operating officer of the Knights.

WBTV photographer assaulted while working

A veteran photographer for WBTV (Channel 3) was punched from behind while covering the search for a missing teacher on Druid Circle.

Devin Futrelle, who joined Channel 3 in 2003, was working with reporter Pamela Escobar on a report Monday about Bianca Tanner, who moved to Druid Circle three weeks ago from Greensboro and was trying to find a job in Charlotte when she vanished.

Futrelle was raising the transmission mast on a WBTV van and talking on his phone to the station when a group of about a half-dozen teenagers came up from behind. One punched him in the neck.

“It was just, pow, and I thought, what was that?” said Futrelle, 32, who turned to see the teenagers running away. Paramedics took him to Mercy Hospital, where he was treated for a possible concussion. Futrelle said he had blurry vision for a time and his neck was still sore days later.

It was the first time he’d ever been attacked on assignment, Futrelle said.

“It was probably a couple kids playing the knockout game,” in which strangers are randomly attacked, said Dennis Milligan, WBTV’s news director.

“It’s a little disheartening when these things happen because it’s stupid, and someone could have gotten hurt.”

Monday, June 16, 2014

Kroeger returns to WFNZ as afternoon host

Chris Kroeger
Chris Kroeger, who started his career at WFNZ-AM (“Fan” 610) as an intern, took over the key afternoon drive-time personality Monday.

“Prime Time with Chris Kroeger” replaced Marc James, who left the 3 to 7 p.m. shift last month to take a radio job at WFNZ’s sister station in Atlanta.

Kroeger grew up in Charlotte and studied broadcasting at Appalachian State University in Boone where he covered the Mountaineers’ upset over Michigan and appeared weekly on WFNZ to discuss Appalachian football.

For the last three years, Kroeger has anchored Pac-12, SEC, ACC, AAC & Big East coverage for the media firm IMG College.

WFNZ operations manager D.J. Stout said Kroeger will work with rotating co-hosts each day, including writers, former athletes and team owners. On Monday, the Observer’s Tom Sorensen and Brendan Haywood of the Hornets were among those on the show.

In mornings, WFNZ has also added “The Call Up with Colin and Nate,” 10 a.m. to noon, with Colin Hoggard, producer for the WFNZ “Mac Attack Morning Show,” and Nate Conley, executive producer of the midday show “Bustin’ Loose” with Frank Garcia and Mark Yarbro. It will be a call-in intensive show. 

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Crump special on Ch. 3 looks at school integration

Few people know that the historic Brown vs. Board of Education case, which in 1954 outlawed racially “separate-but-equal” schools, had roots in the Carolinas. 

What the Supreme Court heard was a case brought in Topeka, Kansas, but it included four other similar suits from around the country, including one brought in Clarendon County, S.C.


Steve Crump
In a 30-minute special at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, “Brown at 60: Reading, Writing and Bridging the Racial Gap,” WBTV reporter Steve Crump examines the harvest of six decades of school integration in the Carolinas.

He tells the story of how black parents brought a suit against Clarendon County because their children were required to walk miles to a school, while white children had access to school buses. 

Among those interviewed with first-hand memories of those days is J.A. Delaine Jr., whose father was active in the suit and suffered personal loss as a result.

Also interviewed is Dorothy Counts, who was the first black student at Charlotte’s Harding High School and was spat upon and jeered while walking into the building the first time. Counts says the racial divide, much reduced, still need attention nowadays. “We have to learn to trust each other,” she says.

Crump also looks at how many schools remain semi-segregated by economic and social forces today, including those in Clarendon County.


Others offering perspective in the wide-ranging special, produced by Jennifer Torsiello, include Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools superintendent Heath Morrison, U.S. Rep. James Clyburn, whose district includes Clarenton County, and Tom Hanchett, historian at the Levine Museum of the New South.

Monday, May 5, 2014

New general manager named at WCNC

Gannett Broadcasting has announced the appointment of a veteran news executive, Deborah Collura, as president and general manager of WCNC (Channel 36).

Deborah Collura
WCNC has been without a full-time general manager since the December retirement of Tim Morrissey, who left the station when Gannett purchased it. 

Collura comes to Charlotte from Houston, where she served as news director of the NBC affiliate as well as vice president of news for Post-Newsweek stations.

"For the past six months, I have been looking for a person with the experience, track record of performance and professional curiosity to lead WCNC through what may prove to be the most exciting time of its history," Peter Diaz, executive vice president of Gannett Broadcasting, said in a statement Monday. 

At Post-Newsweek, Collura was responsible for developing talent and strategic planning.

Collura has also worked in news department roles at stations in St. Louis, Miami, Minneapolis, Sacramento, Detroit and Rockford, Ill. 

Collura, an Illinois native, graduated with a degree in broadcast journalism from Northern Illinois University. She is expected to start at WCNC in early June, Diaz said.