Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Another 'Bachelorette' hails from Charlotte

A new season of "The Bachelor" launches in January, meaning it's time for another Charlotte woman to appear on the ABC romance series.
Katie Levans, 27, an instructor at Y2 Yoga, will be among the 25 potential mates vying for the affection of bachelor Sean Lowe, an entrepreneur from Dallas, Texas.  

Levans is the latest in a string of Charlotte women that have appeared on the show. Best known is Emily Maynard, who accepted the proposal of Brad Womack (then broke up with him) and became "The Bachelorette" over the summer, picking Jef Holm (then broke up with him).

Other bachelorettes from Charlotte over the years have included cocktail waitress Blakeley Shea, grad student Emily O'Brien, marketing specialist and former Panthers cheerleader Kimberly Coon and fitness trainer Kristine Heffelfinger. 

Levans is a Kentucky native who attended Furman University and later Winthrop University to pursue a masters' degree in human nutrition. She's a vegeterian with two cats and goes by the childhood nickname of "Tater." She blogs on food ("If you haven’t tried Trader Joe’s frozen Greek yogurt yet, it’s because I ate it all and they’re waiting to replenish their stock") and life at 

Among the other contestants when the next "Bachelor" debuts at 8 p.m. Jan. 7 will be a Jumbotron operator, a cruise-ship entertainer and a poker dealer, ABC announced Wednesday.

Friday, November 30, 2012

'Old School' still hot in Charlotte radio ratings

"Old School" 105.1 is continuing to perform well since its debut two months ago, reaching No. 10 in the latest Arbitron rankings for Charlotte.

After buying the station for $7.75 million, Radio One switched formats in September from Spanish to classic hits. In the October Arbitrons, it landed at No. 11.

"Old School" knocked rival WBAV-FM  (“V” 101.9) from the top, but the CBS mainstay has returned to No. 2 in the rankings and is up slightly from October. 

WKKT-FM ("Kat" 96.9) rides atop the Arbitron rankings for the third straight month, though competitor WSOC-FM (103.7) remains close behind.

WBT-AM (1110) continues to rise, landing No. 6. It is up 26 percent in ratings since August. Sister station WLNK-FM (107.9) is also on the upswing, at No. 7, up 13 percent since August. 

Top 40 WNKS-FM ("Kiss" 95.1) continues to falter, landing at No. 15. "Kiss" is down nearly 20 percent in overall ratings this autumn.

Top morning drive-time shows this ratings period are Steve Harvey on WBAV-FM; Paul Schadt on WKKT-FM; "Charlotte's Morning News" on WBT-AM; "Bob & Sheri" on WLNK-FM; Rob Tanner on WSOC-FM.

Here's the latest rankings from Arbitron and the percentage of audience among all listeners as calculated by Arbitron.

Read more here:

1. WKKT-FM ("Kat" 96.9) 7.4 
2. WBAV-FM ("V" 101.9) 6.6 
2. WSOC-FM (Country 103.7) 6.6  
4. WPEG-FM ("Power 98" 97.9) 6.5
5. WRFX-FM ("Fox" 99.7) 5.8 
6. WBT-AM (News/talk 1110) 5.3 
6. WLNK-FM ("Link" 107.9) 5.3 
8. WLKO-FM ("Lake" 102.9) 4.9 
8. WKQC-FM ("K" 104.7) 4.9 
10. WOSF-FM ("Old School" 105.1) 4.5
11. WPZS-FM ("Praise" 100.9, 92.7) 4.2 
12. WHQC-FM ("Channel" 96.1) 4.1 
13. WFAE-FM (NPR 90.7) 3.8 
14. WEND-FM ("End" 106.5) 3.7 
15. WNKS-FM ("Kiss" 95.1) 3.5 
16. WRCM-FM ("New Life" 91.9) 3.3 
17. WMIT-FM ("Light" 106.9) 2.3
18. WFNZ-AM ("Fan" 610) 1.6 
19. WDAV-FM (Classical, 89.9) 1.1 
20. WBCN-AM (Talk, 1660) 0.8
21. WNSC-FM (NPR, 88.9) 0.4
21. WSGE-FM (Gaston College 91.7) 0.4
Ratings do not include WXRC-FM ("Ride" 95.7), which does not subscribe to Arbitron.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Matt, Ramona exiting 'Fox News Edge'

Matt Harris and Ramona Holloway will be stepping down in two weeks as hosts of "Fox News Edge" (10:35 p.m. weeknights, WCCB, Channel 18). It’s become too much of a strain as they continue their "Matt & Ramona" afternoon show on WLNK-FM (“Link” 107.9).
"I’m sleepy," says Holloway. "No matter how we slice it, we get off The Link at 7, go home and get dinner and get out of radio clothes and into fancy TV clothes and get off at 11."
Harris and Holloway hosted "Edge" for two years, then left in 2006 to concentrate on radio. They returned after Christopher Frederick, better known as "Brotha Fred," and Morgan Fogarty left "Edge" in January 2011. Fox Charlotte is looking for replacements, says news director Ken White.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Simms says it's time for her to leave WBT mornings

Stacey Simms, a staple of morning radio for a decade on WBT's "Charlotte's Morning News," will leave the station in December.

Simms, 41, said Monday that she's at a stage in her life where she wants to spend more time with her children, a sixth-grade daughter and second-grade son. She gets up at 3 a.m. weekdays and usually heads for bed before 8 p.m.

"As they're getting older, it's not working out. ... I can't ask my middle-schooler to go to bed at 7:30. Believe me, I've asked," she said.

She will talk to listeners about her decision on Tuesday's show, she said.

"Since 2002, Stacey has been instrumental in the development and success of Charlotte's Morning News and has always displayed the highest level of professionalism, and dedication, to WBT,"  Rick Feinblatt, Greater Media's senior vice president, said in a statement Monday.

Stacey Simms
In 2002, Simms replaced Danny Fontana as co-host on the morning broadcast with Al Gardner. She moved into the position from WBTV (Channel 3), where she specialized in health reporting.

Simms' departure is the latest in a string at WBT-AM (1110). Over the last three years, the station has parted ways with Gardner, who went to a morning radio job in his native Philadelphia, program director Carl East, and hosts Vince Coakley, Tara Servatius and Pete Kaliner. Simms currently shares morning news duties with Bo Thompson and sports commentator Jim Szoke.

Simms has suffered health setbacks over the past year. In April, she took time off because she was run down and learned that medication she was taking for a back injury was causing liver problems. She had recovered from that when she was hospitalized over the summer with gastro-intestinal trouble. She lost about 20 pounds before healing and missed work for two months. She said she's over all that, but it was a setback because she lives a healthy lifestyle -- golf and jogging were part of her routine.

Simms said her contract expired with WBT in September, but she and WBT agreed to keep going on a month-to-month basis after she'd been out so long. She said she'd been thinking for the last three years that it was time to get out of a 5 a.m.-to-9 a.m. shift so she could spend more time with her children.

Simms is well-known for her advocacy on diabetes awareness. Her 7-year-old son, Benny, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes five years ago. She wrote a cookbook, "I Can't Cook, But I Know Someone Who Can," with chefs from the area that raised more than $12,000 for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and has served on its board.

Simms joined WBTV in 1999 from the NBC affiliate in Syracuse, N.Y.

Simms will sign off on Dec. 14. Greater Media said a search for her replacement is under way.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

'Old School' a hit in first radio rating period

"Old School" 105.3 shot up in the Arbitron rankings in its first month, gaining almost 140 percent in listeners over its old format.

After purchasing the station for $7.75 million, Radio One switched formats in September from Spanish to classic hits with artists like the Isley Brothers, Rick James and Stevie Wonder.

It landed at No. 11 in the October Arbitron rankings, tied with Clear Channel Radio’s WHQC-FM (“Channel” 96.1).

This week, “Old School” changed its call letters to WOSF-FM, reflecting its new identity (A New York station quick scooped up the old WNOW-FM call letters). WOSF stands for "Old School Flavah," says Gary Weiss, manager for Radio One's Charlotte, Raleigh and Richmond stations.

WOSF-FM's gains appear to have come at the expense of CBS Radio's WBAV-FM (“V” 101.9) and WPEG-FM (“Power” 97.9).

WBAV-FM fell to third in the October rankings, which represented a 20 percent decline in overall listeners from September's figures. WPEG-FM fell 11 percent in overall listeners, landing at No. 5.

Radio One also saw gains at inspirational gospel WPZS-FM (“Praise” 100.9), which is now simulcast on the old WQNC-FM (92.7). Figures for listening on the two stations are combined for "Praise," which saw a 25 percent boost in a month and made an appearance among the top 10.

WKKT-FM ("Kat" 96.9) finished in the No. 1 spot for the second consecutive month but No. 2 WSOC-FM (103.7) closed the narrow gap between them.

As the election approached, WBT-AM (1110) and WFAE-FM (90.7) continued to show gains. Both news/talk stations have been trending up for months. Even WBCN-AM (1660), which is airing conservative talk before switching formats next January to the CBS Sports network, was up.

Both WNKS-FM ("Kiss" 95.1) and WEND-FM ("End" 106.5), Nos. 14 and 15 respectively, posted declines for the fourth straight month.

WLKO-FM ("Lake" 102.9), continues to gain with its new all-hits format that replaced "Lite." It's  up nearly 10 percent over the last three months.  

We'll talk more about the urban battle between Radio One and CBS Radio in Charlotte in Saturday's media column.

Here's the latest rankings from Arbitron and the percentage of audience among all listeners as calculated by Arbitron.

1. WKKT-FM ("Kat" 96.9) 7.2%

2. WSOC-FM (103.7) 6.8%

3. WBAV-FM ("V" 101.9) 6.3%

4. WRFX-FM ("Fox" 99.7) 6.0%

5. WPEG-FM ("Power" 98) 5.8%

6. WLNK-FM ("Link" 107.9) 5.2%

7. WPZS-FM ("Praise" 100.9, 92.7) 5.0%

8. WBT-AM (News-talk 1110) 4.9%

8. WLKO-FM ("Lake" 102.9) 4.9%

10. WKQC-FM ("K" 104.7) 4.6%

11. WOSF-FM ("Old School" 105.3) 4.5%

11. WHQC-FM ("Channel" 96.1) 4.5%

13. WFAE-FM (NPR 90.7) 4.2%

14. WNKS-FM ("Kiss" 95.1) 3.6%

15. WEND-FM ("End" 106.5) 3.4%

16. WRCM-FM ("New Life" 91.9) 3.1%

17. WMIT-FM ("Light" 106.9) 2.0%

18. WFNZ-AM ("Fan" 610) 1.7%

19. WDAV-FM (Classical 89.9) 1.4%

20. WBCN-AM (Talk 1660) 0.6%

21. WNSC-FM (NPR) 0.4%

21. WSGE-FM (Gaston College, 91.7) 0.4%

21. WZGV-AM ("ESPN" 730) 0.4%

Does not include WRFX-FM (“The Ride” 95.7), which does not subscribe to Arbitron.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

'Kat' ties WBAV in latest radio ratings

WKKT-FM makes a rare appearance at the top of the radio ratings, tying perennial leader WBAV-FM in the latest Arbitron rankings for Charlotte radio.

"Kat's" country rival WSOC-FM holds on to third place and powerhouse WPEG-FM stays steady at fourth, but WHQC-FM, which has been having a strong run, moves up a spot in the rankings to fifth, displacing WRFX-FM.

In the month that included the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, news station WBT-AM moved up one spot from last month. WFAE-FM, the NPR affiliate, also saw numbers rise from a month earlier.

Also continuing a strong run is WLKO-FM, which was rebranded "Lake" when it switched from its longtime "Lite" brand on July 2 and started playing  variety hits. In its last ranking as "Lite," the station was No. 15; this week it is No. 7 and has not been out of the top 10 since the format flip.

Not included in this month's survey is WNOW-FM (105.3), which has switched from a Mexican format to "Old School" hits after being taken over Aug. 26 by Radio One. Two other Radio One stations, WPZS-FM and WQNC-FM are simulcasting the "Praise" signal. If combined, they would have a 6.3% share of the radio audience, which would rank them at No. 5 in the region's Arbitron rankings.

Station                             Percent of audience
1. WBAV-FM ("V" 101.9)        7.9%
1. WKKT-FM ("Kat" 96.9)       7.9%
3. WSOC-FM (103.7)               6.7%
4. WPEG-FM ("Power" 97.9)    6.5%
5. WHQC-FM ("Channel" 96.1) 5.2%
5. WRFX-FM ("Fox" 99.7)         5.2%
7. WLKO-FM ("Lake" 102.9)      4.7%
8. WBT-AM (News-talk 1110)     4.5%
8. WLNK-FM ("Link" 107.9)       4.5%
10. WKQC-FM ("K" 104.7)         4.4%
11. WFAE-FM (NPR)                  4.0%
11. WPZS-FM ("Praise" 100.9)     4.0%
13. WEND-FM ("End" 106.5)       3.9%
13. WNKS-FM ("Kiss" 95.1)         3.9%
15. WRCM-FM ("New Life" 91.9) 2.7%
16. WQNC-FM ("Praise" 92.7)       2.3%
16. WMIT-FM ("Light" 106.9)        2.3%
18. WDAV-FM (Classical 89.9)      1.4%
18. WFNZ-AM ("Fan" 610)            1.4%
20. WZGV-AM ("ESPN" 730)        0.4%
20. WBCN-FM (Talk 1660)            0.4%
22. WNSC-FM (NPR 88.9)             0.3%
23. WSGE-FM (Gaston College 91.7) 0.2%

Rankings do not include WXRC-FM ("Ride" 95.7), which does not subscribe to Arbitron.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

THIS TV making a comeback on digital

Digital TV viewers know that under the new technology, stations can carry extra channels. THIS TV was carried on WBTV’s auxiliary channel 3.2 for three years until it was replaced by Bounce TV.

Now, WJZY is picking up the network on channel 46.3 beginning Monday.

THIS TV carries classics like “Gilligan’s Island,” “Mr. Ed,” “Highway Patrol,” “The Outer Limits” and films from the MGM library. TCN will move to channel 46.4. WJZY general manager Shawn Harris says the station will be the first in the nation with four active broadcast “streams.”

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Oh, the indignities heaped on the press in Charlotte

Gawker blogger John Cook  is not a happy camper. Bad rooms, bad views. As an Important Person, he is mightily offended: “I, for one, am not accustomed to sleeping in a room with mottled, smoke-damaged carpets and a skimpy lock that has clearly been jimmied dozens of times ... Our seats in the Time Warner Cable Arena are terrible! All we can see from our press perch is the outline of the speakers from the rear, obscured by a giant backdrop. … I simply can’t believe the Democratic Party would treat us this way. No American should have to live like this. Especially not credentialed press.” …

Politico’s Mike Allen is known as one intensely-driven journalist. Apparently, he always was. His first editor, at the college paper at Washington and Lee University, was John Cleghorn, minister at Charlotte’s Caldwell Memorial Presbyterian Church. “His energy, smarts and curiosity were in clear evidence then covering student government. Even then we wondered if he ever slept.” …
Sisters Margot and Scarlett Francini  of Mooresville are the youngest journalists at the DNC – they’re 9 and 7 respectively. They’ve been covering the convention for their Girl Scout troop blog, Among their interviews: U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin of Maryland and Obama campaign manager Jim Messina. Huffington Post was interested in them for an item, as was PBS. “Everyone just loves Girl Scouts, so we’ve gotten a lot of high fives in the streets,” says proud mom Laura Francini. … Scott Pelley will broadcast the "CBS Evening News" from the temporary rooftop studio at WBTV (Channel 3) that overlooks uptown. ...

CNN Washington bureau chief Sam Feist says it’s impossible to estimate how much the network spent setting up its remote studio in Bank of America Stadium for the canceled Thursday event, but he wasn’t sorry because tons of equipment still would have needed to be moved from the arena to the stadium. “There’s something about the 2012 conventions that just seemed to attract bad weather. But ironically, storm clouds came to both conventions.” …

NBC correspondent Tom Brokaw was taken to a hospital Thursday morning after he felt lightheaded. He said he had mistakenly taken a sleeping pill. “All is well,” tweeted Brokaw, 72. “Early AM I mistakenly took a half dose of Ambien and made less sense than usual. Made a better comeback than Giants.” …

WBTV (Channel 3) reporter Steve Crump’s decades of local experience pay off again. He was alone among local media in noting the irony of Michelle Obama giving a speech to the DNC in Charlotte 55 years to the day that Dorothy Counts was spat upon when integrating Harding High School.

Media Lite

David Letterman on Michelle Obama’s speech: “It was powerful. It was exhilarating. It was thrilling. It was motivating. And at the end of the speech, I thought, ‘Whoa boy, she could do much better than him.’”

Political shift

Do networks with a particular political perspective attract partisans for major political events?

You be the judge.

On the night of Ann Romney’s speech at the Republican National Convention, Fox News Channel had more viewers than even any of the Big 3 networks. Left-leaning MSNBC came in last.
A week later, for Michelle Obama’s address to the Democratic National Convention, MSNBC was the second highest-rated network. Fox was last.

Here are the top performing networks covering the RNC, 10-11 p.m. Aug. 28.

Network Viewers
1. Fox 6,879,000
2. NBC 4,770,000
3. CBS 3,119,000
4. ABC 2,863,000
5. CNN 1,474,000
6. MSNBC 1,468,000

Here are the top performing networks covering the DNC, 10-11 p.m. Sept. 4.

Network Viewers
1. NBC 5,022,000
2. MSNBC 4,107,000
3. CNN 3,888,000
4. ABC 3,237,000
5. CBS 3,269,000
6. Fox 2,398,000
Source: Nielsen

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

DNC ratings surge in Charlotte, flat in Tampa

Media Lite

Conan O’Brien on Bill Clinton speaking at the DNC: “Out of habit, Clinton told Hillary that he was nowhere near Charlotte, he doesn’t know who Charlotte is, and Charlotte is a liar.”
Jay Leno: “AAA reports the number of people on the road this Labor Day weekend increased 10 percent from last year. Actually this increase is due mostly from strippers driving from the Republican Convention in Tampa up to Charlotte.”
Jon Stewart: “We are here in Charlotte, North Carolina. I think I can honestly say it’s one of the country’s top Carolinas. I can see why James Taylor spends so much time here in his mind.”

Charlotte ratings surge
Among voting-age viewers (people 18 and over), TV ratings in Charlotte surged 80 percent week to week on Tuesday, the nights the candidates’ wives spoke.
Week to week ratings in Tampa, however, were relatively unchanged. “It’s safe to say there appears to be a lot of excitement in Charlotte about the DNC being here,” said Robert Wendt, research director for WSOC (Channel 9), though he noted that Michelle Obama spoke for nearly an hour and Ann Romney only 22 minutes, which could affect comparisons, as well as the effects of Tropical Storm Isaac.
Here is average number of viewers 18+ in the 10 p.m. hour Tuesday in Charlotte on the three major networks week to week.
Station Aug. 28 Sept. 4
WSOC (ABC) 26,000 70,000
WBTV (CBS) 32,000 36,000
WCNC (NBC) 17,000 34,000
Source: Nielsen

CNN smothers DNC at grill

Five hours sleep per night is the norm for Candy Crowley,  chief political correspondent and 25-year veteran of CNN . “You get so tired it’s like you get new energy. You just get kind of giddy.” … Perhaps the most secure venue in Charlotte is the CNN Grill at the EpiCentre. In the Vida Mexican Kitchen y Cantina, the network has set up its eatery, which has been a political convention destination for the well-connected since the first one was tried at the GOP convention in New York in 2004. Shows for the network originate there beginning at 5 a.m. with “Early Start,” anchored by John Berman in Charlotte and Zoraida Sambolin in New York, and ending with Piers Morgan at midnight. Soledad O’Brien was in the grill Wednesday doing her “Starting Point” show, which will move Friday for the convention wrap-up to the Midnight Diner at East Carson and South Tryon streets. In every city, CNN Grill’s menu is updated to reflect local fare. In Tampa it was a Cubano sandwich; in Charlotte, it’s fried bologna, says David Nurnberg, director of Civic Entertainment Group, which sets up the restaurants each convention. …
Biff Henderson, a frequent guest on David Letterman’s show, was seen taping a segment on the arena floor Wednesday, talking his way up to the podium. … Alexandra Pelosi, who produced “Journeys with George,” the HBO documentary about George W. Bush and his traveling 2000 press corps, was seen with her camera interviewing folks uptown. “Journeys with Barack?” ... Raleigh’s WRAL account: “Any doubt that #DNC2012 is a major event? Just chatted with a news crew from Georgia ... that’s the former Soviet state, not the Peach State.”

Media Movers

At a “Newsmakers Live” session at the NASCAR Hall of Fame Tuesday, ABC's Diane Sawyer jokingly asked a question someone brought up to her on the elevator – whether speakers would be allowed to bring props on the stage at the DNC like Clint Eastwood did. Colleague Jake Tapper brought up whether the campaign was serious about covering up the Bank of America Stadium name. Campaign staffers said no – it would only be embarrassing for someone who opposed Wall Street reform. …
Big kerfuffle on the Web this week about improper lodging for visiting journalists. John Fund of National Review says their staffers were stuck at Knights Inns. “Everyone who saw them fled immediately across state lines to an available Marriott in South Carolina rather than stay there. As one of our political correspondents reported: ‘Two guys were dealing drugs in the room next to me, and a prostitute was working out of the parking lot. And this was in the early afternoon. The room itself was dirty, full of other people’s stuff.’ … Staff members from Politico and The Hill abandoned their assigned hotels, too. Staffers from The Hill found refuge in a cheap Microtel and considered it a comparative oasis. … Replied Jim Newell on Wonkette: “There are no union hotels in Charlotte. You may remember this caused a bit of tension within the Democratic coalition! Well, you get the hotel workers you pay for.” …
NPR’s Audie Cornish says in a report that enthusiasm for President Barack Obama in Charlotte isn’t as intense at it was four years ago in Denver. “I mean totally in a superficial way, I can say there’s definitely a difference in merchandise. … You see a couple buttons here and there that say ‘Obama 2012’ but it’s not the way it was where every three feet you walked past someone in an Obama T-shirt.” … “PBS NewsHour” reporter Ray Suarez poses a thoughtful question of interest to Charlotte and other future convention sites: “Cities that take on these national events also agree to have their downtowns ringed in barriers, concrete bollards and chain-link fences. But surely also, there’s reason to wonder if a major American city must become an armed camp to host a party political event.” …
CNN’s White House correspondent Jessica Yellin has just finished a 90-minute special “Obama Revealed: The Man, The President,” airing next at 9:30 p.m. Sunday, that delves into the perception his demeanor is too cool. She said Tuesday that she found Obama, who grew up without a father, prefers to spend time with his family rather than entertaining at the White House and building bridges. “He’s not a Bill Clinton kind of president. He doesn’t have that need for new relationships.” …
When class of 2007 Hopewell High grads Kevin Beaty and Scott Lazes graduated in May from college – Boston University and Rutgers, respectively, they decided to jump into the film business. They bought some video equipment and began shooting short documentaries about Charlotte – like about the city arborist or the culture at Charlotte’s busiest fire station. Now they’re focusing on the DNC. There are now nearly 100 short films at “It’s a passion project for us,” says Lazes.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Media Movers

On South Tryon Street during CarolinaFest, street reporter John Oliver of Jon Stewart’s “The Daily Show” was interviewing a campaign volunteer and suggesting a new campaign theme song: “Obama 2012, come on country, get your stuff together.” …
Before moving into Time Warner Cable Arena, CBS aired a “CBS This Morning” interview with Major Garrett of the National Journal and a “CBS Evening News” interview with CBS political director John Dickerson from Johnson C. Smith University, which provided a perfect background of uptown’s skyline. “We are proud to be part of the international spotlight as it shines on Charlotte,” says JCSU president Ronald Carter. … CNN’s Anderson Cooper will be on “Fox News Rising” (WCCB, Channel 18) for an hour at 8 a.m. Tuesday …
“PBS News Hour” reporter Ray Suarez on returning to Charlotte after more than a decade: “I hadn’t been in Charlotte since the late ‘90s and could see big changes. More skyscrapers. More swanky restaurants. More investment in making the major downtown streets inviting for shoppers and strollers.” … Todd Petersen, chief photographer for KTVX-TV in Salt Lake City, is in town covering the Utah delegation. He likes it here, especially after trying the chicken wings at Mert’s. His only complaint? “This is not a dry heat.” …
Starting Tuesday, 10 SUV cabs will be prowling uptown with Fox News Channel personalities stenciled on them including Brian Kilmeade, Gretchen Carlson, Bill Hemmer, Bret Baier and Megyn Kelly. Best news? They’re free to carry convention-goers around town. Fox News also offered the service at the RNC in Tampa. … Blast from the past at the media party: Jay Thomas, emcee, who did mornings on Charlotte’s old Big WAYS in the ’70s before moving on to TV, starring in “Mork and Mindy” and “Murphy Brown.” …

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

WBTV takes high perch for DNC

WBTV (Channel 3) will be aiming high with its key newscasts during the Democratic National Convention -- it plans to broadcast from its roof.

WBTV, off West Morehead Street on a hill overlooking the skyline of uptown, will do its 5, 6, 7, and 11 p.m. newscasts from an improvised studio atop its building beginning Monday. It will be an informal set -- anchors will be in directors' chairs, says Dennis Milligan, WBTV's news director.

"We have this gorgeous shot of uptown from the top of the building," he said Wednesday. "We wanted to do something special for the DNC."

WBTV will also expand its traffic coverage next week, Milligan said. Someone will be in the station's traffic center from early morning to about 8 p.m. updating road conditions for newscasts and on the station's traffic blog. Motorists concerned about travel routes can ask questions directly through

Friday, August 24, 2012

Fox News plans specials for DNC

Fox News Channel announced Friday its coverage plans for the Democratic National Convention, which will begin daily with "FOX and Friends" at 6 a.m. and end with "On The Record with Greta Van Susteren" at 11:30 p.m.

Most of Fox's coverage will originate from the network's sky box at Time Warner Cable Arena.

"Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace," which airs locally at 9 a.m. Sunday on WCCB (Fox Charlotte, Channel 18), will originate from Charlotte, followed by "America's Newsroom" on the Fox News cable channel.

A prime-time special is planned for Tuesday of convention week, "America's Election Headquarters" at 10 p.m. Tuesday with Bret Baier and Megyn Kelly. They will anchor prime-time coverage throughout the week.

DNC news will be the focus of the network's other key shows, including "Fox Report With Shepard Smith," "Your World With Neil Cavuto" and "America Live With Megyn Kelly."

Other key players in Fox's coverage include national correspondent John Roberts, White House correspondent Wendell Goler, congressional correspondent Mike Emanuel and Washington correspondent James Rosen. Offering analysis will be Brit Hume, Juan Williams, Bill Kristol, Charles Krauthammer, Kirsten Powers, Mara Liasson, Stephen Hayes, Karl Rove and Joe Trippi. Covering the convention floor will be Ed Henry, Bill Hemmer and Martha MacCallum.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

NBC plans DNC coverage ... and NFL football

NBC says  Brian Williams will anchor “NBC Nightly News” from  Time Warner Cable Arena on Tuesday and Wednesday during the week, and from the Bank of America Stadium on Thursday.  He will also anchor  primetime coverage beginning at 10 p.m.  Tuesday and from 9-11 p.m.  Thursday.   On Wednesday of convention week, NBC will be airing a special weekday edition of "Sunday Night Football" with the Dallas Cowboys at the New York Giants.

 Savannah Guthrie will co-anchor “Today” from Charlotte beginning Wednesday of convention week, while co-host Matt Lauer broadcasts from New York.

Among key contributors will be Tom Brokaw, who has covered every presidential election since 1968,  political director Chuck Todd, correspondents Andrea Mitchell, Kristen Welker and Ron Allen, political editor Mark Murray and  Carrie Dann, Jamie Novogrod and Andrew Rafferty. will live stream the conventions.

MSNBC will launch "Daily Rundown" with Chuck Todd at 8 a.m. Labor Day from the EpiCentre courtyard across the street from Time Warner Cable Arena. "Barack Obama: Making History," a documentary hosted by Chris Matthews, is scheduled for  10 p.m. on Labor Day.

"Way Too Early with Willie Geist" at 5:30 a.m. and "Morning Joe" at 6 a.m. will air Tuesday through Friday from  BlackFinn restaurant at the EpiCentre and will be open to those with access to the security zone. "Daily Rundown" with Chuck Todd will air at 9 a.m. and "Andrea Mitchell Reports" will air at 1 p.m. from the arena. 

An outdoor set at EpiCentre will be the home of "Hardball with Chris Matthews" at 5 p.m. during the convention and the network will go live from convention venues from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. Tuesday through Thursday with hosts Matthews, Rachel Maddow, and discussion from the Rev. Al Sharpton, Ed Schultz, Lawrence O'Donnell, Chris Hayes and Steve Schmidt. Other  key faces in MSNBC's coverage include Alex Wagner, Melissa Harris-Perry, Michael Steele, Erza Klein, Howard Fineman, Ed Rendell and Eugene Robinson.

MSNBC also plans to host viewing parties and offer refreshments at Enso restaurant at the EpiCentre.

Telemundo, NBC's sister network, will carry its broadcasts of "Noticiero Telemundo" from the convention with host Jose Diaz-Balart beginning at 6:30 p.m.

Pelley, Schieffer bring newscasts to DNC

Scott Pelley will anchor the "CBS Evening News" from Charlotte for four days beginning Sept. 3 and Bob Schieffer will broadcast "Face the Nation" from the city on Sept. 2 as part of the network's coverage of the Democratic National Convention. "CBS This Morning" with Charlie Rose and Norah O'Donnell will also originate from Charlotte.

CBS said Tuesday the network will do an hour newscast Tuesday through Thursday during the convention at 10 p.m. each night.

Among the key journalists on the CBS team will be chief national correspondent Byron Pitts, congressional correspondent Nancy Cordes, White House correspondent Bill Plante and political director John Dickerson. will live stream the convention daily.

Kimmel earlier, "Nightline" later

"Jimmy Kimmel Live" will move to the 11:35 p.m. slot and the veteran late-night news show "Nightline" will air at 12:35 a.m. beginning in January, ABC announced Tuesday.

It will pit Kimmel directly against Dave Letterman on CBS and Jay Leno on NBC. ABC said that it was taking advantage of momentum in Kimmel's ratings, saying his show was the only network late-night talk show to gain viewers in the last year. Kimmel is up 3 percent, the network said.

Nightline will gain a prime-time foothold with an hour show each Friday at 9 p.m. beginning in March, meaning the series What Would You Do? will move to a new time slot. 

In Charlotte, "Nightline" consistently draws higher ratings than Leno and Letterman -- about a third more than Letterman and more than double Leno's, said Robert Wendt, research director for WSOC (Channel 9). But Kimmel performs strongly at midnight, too, nearly matching Letterman's ratings among adults 25-54 and nearly doubling Leno's audience in the same demographic.

"Nightline" was launched as a nightly news special hosted by ABC anchor Frank Reynolds on Nov. 8, 1979 to report on the Iran hostage crisis. Ted Koppel soon took over the broadcast and it was formally named "Nightline" in 1980. Koppel retired from the show in 2005.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Bloomberg TV to focus on economy at DNC

Bloomberg Television, which is carried on Time Warner Cable at channel 412, is part of the Bloomberg financial news service, which will be sending 90 reporters, editors and analysts to Charlotte to cover the DNC, twice the number it sent to Denver four years ago.

Bloomberg TV said Friday it plans to focus almost entirely on the economy during its convention coverage.

Among those covering the convention will be Washington editor Al Hunt, analyst Matthew Dowd, Bloomberg View columnist Margaret Carlson, White House correspondents Hans Nichols and Julianna Goldman and Washington correspondents Meghan Hughes and Peter Cook. Trish Regan will anchor primetime coverage titled "The Economy Election."

Bloomberg coverage will also be available at

Thursday, August 16, 2012

ABC announces DNC coverage plans

ABC announced Thursday that it will do an hour of coverage at 10 p.m. each night of the Democratic National Convention, led by Diane Sawyer and George Stephanopoulos.

Coverage will extend to all of ABC’s daily newscasts – “Good Morning America,” “World News with Diane Sawyer” and “Nightline” – originating from Charlotte. Stephanopoulos, chief political correspondent and anchor of “This Week,” will co-anchor “GMA” that week.

Among key faces on ABC's team will be senior political correspondent Jonathan Karl on the  convention floor, senior White House correspondent Jake Tapper covering Obama's campaign,  correspondent Cecilia Vega, and analysts Matthew Dowd, George Will, Cokie Roberts and Donna Brazile. ABC News political director Amy Walter and Yahoo! News Washington bureau chief David Chalian will anchor special live-streamed coverage each night with Washington editor Rick Klein contributing reporting and analysis, ABC said.

ABC News will also work with Univision News to examine the growing impact of the Latino vote with  Maria Elena Salinas.

Terry Moran will anchor special editions of “Nightline” from Charlotte, recapping key events of the day. ABC and Yahoo! News will host a “Newsmakers Live” event in Charlotte that will be live-streamed.

Charlotte TV stations warned of threat

Charlotte Mecklenburg Police warned local TV stations this week to be on the lookout for trouble during the Democratic National Convention.

Ana McKenzie, news editor for Charlotte's Creative Loafing, noticed a posting on the web site for the "hactivist" group Anonymous. On CL's blog, McKenzie quoted part of the message to followers: "#protip: You might not want to set up too close to a news truck. Anonymous haz a plan."

Rob Tufano, spokesman for CMPD, sent a message to Charlotte TV stations sharing McKenzie's posting.

"Although cryptic in nature, we as an organization take these veiled threats seriously and ask that your respective news stations do the same. Please remind your staff to be mindful of their surroundings while covering the event, and to pay particular attention to station vehicles."

On the blog, McKenzie had the last word on the threat, in the vernacular in which it was delivered.

"I iz scared," she wrote.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

NPR plans nightly specials for DNC

NPR News says it will air nightly specials during the Democratic National Convention, beginning the first night of the DNC and continuing through the week from 8 to 11 p.m. National correspondent Jennifer Ludden will anchor the nightly coverage that will feature key speeches, interviews and analysis. Among those in Charlotte to cover the DNC will be Washington editor Ron Elving, political correspondent Mara Liasson, national correspondent Debbie Elliott, reporters Jeff Brady and Sonari Glinton and White House correspondent Scott Horsley. "All Things Considered" hosts Robert Siegel and Audie Cornish will report from the DNC and correspondents Greg Allen, Cheryl Corley and Ted Robbins will contribute convention coverage to "All Things Considered" and "Morning Edition." will offer blogging, specials and live streaming.

CNN unveils plans for DNC coverage

CNN announced its coverage plans for the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday, which will include focus groups with undecided North Carolina voters.

Sam Feist, CNN's Washington bureau chief, said the network will be discussing the voters' reactions to the convention because North Carolina is considered one of the swing states in the election. "Who thought North Carolina would be a battleground state, but for the last two elections it has been," Feist said Tuesday.

Undecided voters will be chosen by a polling firm hired by CNN and the discussions with correspondent Tom Foreman will be held at the CNN Grill, a staple of modern conventions put up by the network to feed staffers and guests, and also serve as a studio for some of the shows. Vida Mexican Kitchen y Cantina, at the EpiCenter across from the Time Warner Cable Arena, is being taken over for the CNN Grill.

Wolf Blitzer will kick off CNN's coverage on Aug. 31, the day after the RNC ends in Tampa. His "Situation Room" broadcast will air at 4 p.m. that day and continue daily through the convention week.
Other highlights in CNN's plan:

  • Blitzer, Anderson Cooper, Erin Burnett, Piers Morgan, Candy Crowley, Soledad O'Brien, John Berman, Brooke Baldwin and Suzanne Malveaux will be key anchors.
  • Coverage will begin each day at 5 a.m. and go through the day and into prime time, with a midnight broadcast by Morgan.
  • Among the key reporters on the story will be White House correspondents Brianna Keilar and  Jessica Yellin, national correspondent John King, congressional correspondent Dana Bash, correspondent Joe Johns and political analysts Gloria Borger and David Gergen. 
  • "State of the Union with Candy Crowley" will air from Charlotte at 9 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 2, followed by "Reliable Sources" with Howard Kurtz at 11 a.m.
  • John Berman will host "Early Start" from the CNN Grill beginning at 5 a.m. Labor Day and on through the week. Also originating from the CNN Grill will be "Starting Point with Soledad O'Brien" at 9 a.m. daily, moving to a local diner on Friday.
  • "CNN Newsroom" will be live from Charlotte each day at noon.
  • At 7 p.m. on Labor Day, "America's Choice 2012: Countdown to the Democratic Convention" will air live from Charlotte.
  • CNN Digital will stream key parts of the convention.

Monday, August 13, 2012

News 14 plans extensive DNC coverage

News 14 Carolina, the Time Warner Cable 24-hour news channel, plans to carry a heavy schedule of convention programming during the DNC.

News director Jim Newman says News 14 has reserved a suite in Time Warner Cable Arena and a floor position for its convention coverage during the first week of September.

Prime anchors for coverage from the arena, and Bank of America Stadium on Sept. 6, will be Rob Boisvert, Heather Waliga and Tim Boyum. News 14's political show, "Capital Tonight" hosted by  Boyum, will air at 7 p.m. and 11:30 p.m., with the late broadcast offering a wrap-up of the day ("Sportsnight" will move to midnight for the week).

News 14 is also sending a team to Tampa to cover the Republican National Convention. Among those at the RNC will be senior political reporter Loretta Boniti, Brad Broders and Boyum.

Newman said News 14 will carry speeches of local interest live -- like an address from Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

'60 Minutes' political segment from High Point

A segment on Sunday's "60 Minutes" will originate from High Point as GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney and running mate Paul Ryan give their first joint interview to Bob Schieffer, chief Washington correspondent for CBS News.

Schieffer will be back in North Carolina in September to anchor his weekly "Face the Nation" Sunday broadcast from Charlotte in advance of the Democratic National Convention.

"60 Minutes" airs at 7 p.m., CBS, WBTV (Channel 3).

Friday, August 10, 2012

'Huffington Post' plans DNC spa

Huffington Post, a website featuring political opinions, says it will set up a rest stop at the Democratic National Convention.

Called the "Oasis," the center  will offer yoga, massages, meditation space and sleep advice from experts from Harvard Medical School during the September convention for accredited delegates, journalists and bloggers at Flex and Fit Gym on the ground floor of the Duke Energy Center at South Tryon and Stonewall streets each day from 7 a.m. to midnight.

There will also be a lounge area where convention-goers can relax and watch coverage of the event while getting a foot massage.

Huffington Post is partnering with Off the Mat, Into the World, a yoga group, and LYFE Kitchen, a healthy food firm, for the center.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Ratings update: Big surge at 'Lake' radio

In the latest Arbitron rankings released this week for Charlotte radio stations, WKKT-FM ("Kat" 96.9) has widened its lead over competitor WSOC-FM (103.7), but the big splash is over at the new WLKO-FM ("Lake" 102.9).

"Lake" switched formats on July 2, abandoning its longtime WLYT-FM ("Lite") contemporary adult franchise and now plays variety hits. It jumped from about 3 percent of the radio audience to 5 percent, and part of the ratings period was still under the old format. It leaped from No. 15 in the area to No. 7.

"Kat" had a good month, pulling ahead of WSOC-FM. "Kat" again landed in second place behind perennial market leader WBAV-FM ("V" 101.9) and WSOC-FM came in fourth behind powerhouse WPEG-FM ("Power 98" 97.9).

The rankings and percentage of local audience:

1. WBAV-FM ("V" 101.9): 8.3%
2. WKKT-FM ("Kat" 96.9): 7.9%
3. WPEG-FM ("Power 98" 97.9): 6.8%
4. WSOC-FM (Country 103.7): 6.2%.
5. WRFX-FM ("Fox" 99.7) 5.4%
6. WHQC-FM ("Channel" 96.1): 5.2%
7. WLKO-FM ("Lake" 102.9): 5.0%
8. WNKS-FM ("Kiss" 95.1): 4.6%
8. WLNK-FM ("Link" 107.9): 4.6%
10. WEND-FM ("End" 106.5): 4.5%
11. WKQC-FM ("K" 104.7): 4.2%
12. WBT-AM (News-talk 1110): 3.7%
12. WFAE-FM (NPR, 90.7): 3.7%
14. WPZS-FM ("Praise" 100.9): 3.3%
15. WQNC-FM ("Q" 92.7): 2.9%
16. WRCM-FM ("New Life" 91.9): 2.5%
17. WMIT-FM ("The Light" 106.9): 2.1%
18. WDAV-FM (Classical, 89.9): 1.3%
19. WFNZ-AM ("Fan" 610): 0.9%
20. WSGE-FM (Gaston College, 91.7): 0.4%
21. WBCN-AM (Talk, 1660): 0.3%
22. WNSC-FM (NPR, 88.9): 0.2%
23. WZGV-FM ("ESPN" 730): 0.1%

Rankings do not include WXRC-FM ("Ride" 95.7), which does not subscribe to Arbitron.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

PBS to tape 'Washington Week' at UNCC

PBS's "Washington Week with Gwen Ifill” will tape its weekly roundtable broadcast on Aug. 31 focusing on the Democratic National Convention at the Anne R. Belk Theatre at UNC Charlotte. 

Ifill, political correspondent for NBC News and White House correspondent for The New York Times before joining PBS in 1999, hosts the weekly show. She will also be co-anchoring PBS's gavel-to-gavel coverage of the convention beginning Sept. 4 with Judy Woodruff.

Free tickets for the taping are available at

Taping begins about 3 p.m. and the show will be followed by a half-hour program with Ifill and  panelists taking questions from the audience. “Washington Week Extra-North Carolina Edition” will be available on the “Washington Week” website ( 

"Washington Week" airs at 8 p.m. Fridays on UNC-TV and SC ETV.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

EpiCentre draws DNC media

Charlotte's EpiCentre will be a hot spot for media during the Democratic National Convention in September.

"Morning Joe," the MSNBC talk show, will originate during the convention from BlackFinn American Saloon at EpiCenter, which is across the street from Time Warner Cable Arena. And MSNBC will broadcast from the Commons area at the EpiCenter.

Vida Mexican Kitchen y Cantina will be taken over for the week by the CNN Grill, which is set up at conventions every four years. It is a somewhat exclusive destination for CNN staffers, guests and well-connected convention-goers.

C-SPAN announces DNC plans

C-SPAN announced its plans Thursday for covering the Democratic National Convention in September, and -- as usual -- the cable network intends to provide political junkies with wall-to-wall coverage.

In addition to television coverage, C-SPAN will stream the convention on and every speech will be catalogued in its video library.

C-SPAN will cover official party and delegate events, and provide a "delegates'-eye view" of Charlotte from cameras positioned around uptown. It will also broadcast the full Democratic platform committee meeting Aug. 10-12 from Detroit.

C-SPAN political editor Steve Scully will lead the network's coverage. He has attended every political convention since 1980.

It will also carry the daily Politico Playbook Breakfasts with chief White House correspondent Mike Allen each day at 8 a.m., Politico's 30-minute convention wrap-up each night at midnight and the Politico's hour-long pre-convention show on Monday of convention week. C-SPAN also plans to carry National Journal's "Daily Morning Briefings" each day and the magazine's "Path to Power" event focusing on how candidates could be expected to govern.

C-SPAN has covered every minute of every political convention since 1984. They have traditionally ranked among the network's highest-rated programming.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Pre-DNC series looks at 'good' Charlotte

Fox Charlotte (WCCB, Channel 18) launched a new series on its 10 p.m. newscast this week, "What's Good About Charlotte."
As a run-up to the Democratic National Convention, the station is focusing on how the city excels in some categories. One chapter was on business diversity and featured former Bank of America leader Hugh McColl.
"We wanted to showcase all the great things about Charlotte before the convention," says Angie Robbins, the station's assistant news director and a Charlotte native. "What's great about Charlotte is its people."
Among the topics planned are sports and recreation, houses of worship, the city's health care industry and its arts community.
 Fox Charlotte is owned by Bahakel, a communications firm that is locally based. "What's Good About Charlotte" is a spin-off of the station's thoughtful "Reboot Charlotte" franchise, which has been examining core issues facing the city as it recovers from the recession.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

WFAE focuses on DNC protests

As part of its Community Conversations series, WFAE-FM (90.7) will host a public forum at 7 p.m. Thursday on First Amendment freedoms and issues involving protests expected during the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte in September.

Among the topics in the 90-minute meeting will be how the city is preparing for large demonstrations that accompany political conventions. 
Greg Collard, WFAE's news director, will serve as moderator. On the panel will be Bob Hagemann, Charlotte city attorney; Ken Davies, attorney for Occupy Charlotte; and Mark Newbold of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department.

It is free and will begin at 7 p.m. in the James B. Duke Auditorium on the first floor of the Mint Museum-Uptown.

Monday, July 23, 2012

WFAE altering 'Charlotte Talks' during DNC

"Charlotte Talks," the WFAE-FM (90.7) local affairs program, will undergo a format change during the week of the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte.

Tuesday through Thursday the week of the convention, the 9 a.m. show, hosted by Mike Collins, will take on more of a magazine format to focus on DNC topics, says program director Dale Spear.

Originating from WFAE's Spirit Square studio, the show will be in the midst of the convention district.
Also at WFAE, local news breaks will be added during the day beginning next week. WFAE already carries local news during the second half of NPR news on the hour during "Morning Edition" and "All Things Considered." Now the station, which has expanded its news staff, will add local newscasts throughout the day from Marshall Terry, says news director Greg Collard.

Friday, July 20, 2012

'Kat' surges to lead in country radio war

WKKT-FM, "Kat," surged in the latest Arbitron rankings above its key competitor, WSOC-FM, but the two powerful stations remain locked in spirited battle near the top of the Charlotte radio ratings. Both have been performing strongly for more than a year, just behind perennial powerhouse WBAV-FM. They were tied in the May rankings and "Kat" has moved ahead in the June numbers.

WKQC-FM continues to gain strength in the adult-contemporary realm, landing at No. 5, while its main competitor, WLYT-FM, came in at No. 15. WLYT, long known as "Lite," changed formats this month and now brands itself as "Lake" and plays variety hits.

Classic rock's WRFX, the "Fox," is having a good summer. It has trended up more than a percentage point since May.

Here are the top radio stations in Charlotte and the percentage of the audience they reach as measured by Arbitron:

1. WBAV-FM ("V" 101.9) -- 8.9%
2. WKKT-FM ("Kat" 96.9) -- 8.4%
3. WSOC-FM (103.7) -- 7.3%
4. WPEG-FM ("Power 98" 97.9) -- 6.9%
5. WKQC-FM ("K" 104.7) -- 4.9%
6. WEND-FM ("End" 106.5) -- 4.8%
6. WRFX-FM ("Fox" 99.7) -- 4.8%
8. WHQC-FM ("Channel" 96.1) -- 4.6%
9. WLNK-FM ("Link" 107.9) -- 4.3%
10. WNKS-FM ("Kiss" 95.1) -- 4%
10. WPZS-FM ("Praise" 100.9) -- 4%
12. WBT-AM (News-Talk 1110) -- 3.7%
13. WFAE-FM (NPR 90.7) -- 3.1%
13. WRCM-FM ("New Life" 91.9) -- 3.1%
15. WLKO-FM ("Lake" 102.9) -- 2.9%
16. WQNC-FM ("Q" 92.7) -- 2.7%
17. WMIT-FM ("The Light" 106.9) -- 2.1%
18. WFNZ-AM (Sports 610) -- 1%
18. WDAV-FM (Classical 89.9) -- 1%
20. WBCN-AM (Talk 1660) -- 0.3%
21. WZGV-AM ("ESPN" 730) -- 0.2% 
21. WNSC-FM (NPR 88.9) -- 0.2% 
21. WSGE-FM (Gaston College 91.7) -- 0.2%

Source: Arbitron

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Kim Brattain making DNC documentary

Longtime WSOC (Channel 9) anchor Kim Brattain is planning to do a short documentary on the Democratic National Convention this September.

Brattain, who left Channel 9 in 2008 after 16 years, now runs her own production company, Phase2Productions.

She's planning an upbeat documentary that goes behind the scenes of the DNC.

"Charlotte is going to get criticized," she says. "All that's going to linger are the things we did wrong. This is hopefully going to be a piece about how our gracious Southern city rolled out the red carpet."

Collaborating with Brattain will be well-known portrait photographer Mitchell Kearney, who has been interested in branching out into film.

Brattain says she's aiming for a 10-minute documentary, which is an optimum length these days to get considered for film festivals. Her first documentary, "A Glimpse of Grace" about hardships in the Congo, was a finalist in three film festivals. She plans to follow people contributing behind the scenes like Stacie Jacobs, a Cabarrus event planner busy coordinating events for the delegations staying in the Concord area.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

WTVI to carry DNC?

WTVI (Channel 42), Charlotte's independent public television station, hasn't decided yet whether it will carry the PBS nightly coverage of the Democratic National Convention, which opens here in September.
WTVI is not a primary PBS affiliate, meaning it has access to only a limited number of PBS shows, and not always in the same time slots they are carried on other PBS stations.
Jeff Lowrance of Central Piedmont Community College, which took control of the station this month, says the station is waiting to find out whether PBS's nightly coverage will be made available to WTVI. Some other shows, like the network's annual Fourth of July coverage, are offered to non-primary stations for contemporaneous broadcast, he says.
Both UNC-TV and S.C.'s ETV statewide networks, which are available to Charlotte viewers, are expected to carry the PBS coverage, which stays with the convention throughout the evening hours. Commercial networks tend to broadcast one hour of wrap-up coverage at the end of the night.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Coakley shifts to Internet broadcasts

Vince Coakley, who left WBT-AM (1110) this month after a year on the afternoon shift, is now doing an hour-long daily show on the Internet.

"It allows me to stay connected with listeners," Coakley said Tuesday. "I think they appreciate the opportunity to stay in touch."

Coakley's show, which he does from a home studio, can be found at .

Coakley said he's open to finding another job in broadcasting.

"I believe a lot of the topics I talk about on the program are timely and must find an outlet. I'm looking for the next venue to communicate a timely message. The message will find an outlet."

Before joining WBT-AM last year as a conservative commentator, Coakley was a news anchor at WSOC (Channel 9).

WBT plans to replace Coakley's show next month with "Brad & Britt," featuring Brad Krantz and Britt Whitmire.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Another sports radio station for Charlotte

Charlotte will get a third sports radio station next year when CBS launches a nationwide sports network.

CBS Sports Radio, which will launch on Jan. 2, 2013, will take over the signal of WBCN-AM (1660), which now airs mostly conservative talk shows under the “America’s Talk” brand.

WBCN and WFNZ-AM (“Fan” 610) are both owned by CBS Radio. WFNZ will continue to carry locally-focused sports shows, but will be picking up some ingredients offered by the network. CBS said that WBCN, which used to simulcast WFNZ programs before switching to news-talk, will carry the CBS Sports Radio shows around the clock.

Elsewhere in the Carolinas, WNKT-FM and WYMB-AM in Columbia, will also be picking up some content from the network. Both those stations are owned by Cumulus Media, which will be a distribution and sales partner for CBS in the new venture.

CBS did not identify any personalities who will be doing shows for the new network, but said contributions will come from CBS Sports, CBS Sports Networks and

WFNZ is expected to add hourly CBS Sports updates on Sept. 4 as the network is being built.
Independently owned WZGV-AM ("ESPN" 730) also serves Charlotte with sports programming.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Country stations tie in rankings

Urban and country, the two big formats in Charlotte radio, are at the top of the latest radio rankings released this month by Arbitron.

Perennial leader WBAV-FM remains atop the rankings followed by country stations WKKT-FM and WSOC-FM, which are tied for second.

Here are major Charlotte-area stations and their percentage of the listening audience as measured by Arbitron. Station WXRC-FM ("Ride" 95.7) is not included in the rankings because it does not subscribe to the ratings service.

1. WBAV-FM (“V” 101.9)  8.8%
2. WKKT-FM (“Kat” 96.9)  7.7%
2. WSOC-FM (103.7)  7.7%
4. WPEG-FM (“Power 98” 97.9)  6.8%
5. WKQC-FM (“K” 104.7)  4.9%
6. WHQC-FM (“Channel” 96.1)  4.7%
7. WLNK-FM (“Lite” 102.9)  4.6%
8. WEND-FM (“End” 106.5)  4.4%
9. WNKS-FM (“Kiss” 95.1)  4.2%
10 WRFX-FM (“Fox” 99.7)  4.1%
11. WBT-AM (News-talk 1110)  4.0%
12. WPZS-FM (“Praise” 100.9)  3.7%
13. WLYT-FM (“Lite” 102.9)  3.4%
14. WFAE-FM (NPR, 90.7)                  3.2%
15. WRCM-FM (“New Life” 91.9)  2.9%
16. WQNC-FM (“Q” 92.7)  2.5%
17. WFNZ-AM (Sports 610)  1.1%
18. WDAV-FM (Classical 89.9)  0.8%
19. WNSC-FM (NPR 88.9)  0.4%
20. WBCN-AM (1660)  0.3%
21. WZGV-AM (Sports 730)  0.2%

Friday, June 8, 2012

NPR's 'Car Talk' riding into sunset

"Car Talk," the engaging NPR show that has gone under the hood for 25 years, is nearing the finish line.

In this weekend's broadcast, hosts Tom and Ray Magliozzi will announce they're retiring this fall. They go by Click and Clack, the Tappet Brothers, on their call-in show that offers simple explanations to the sometimes confusing world of automotive mechanics.

Tom turns 75 this year and Ray is 63.

NPR plans to continue distributing the show to stations that want it by splicing together memorable segments from the past.

In a statement released Friday by NPR:

"My brother has always been 'work averse,'" says Ray. "Now, apparently, even the one hour a week is killing him."

"Brutal," adds Tom.

"Car Talk," which airs at 10 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays in Charlotte, has long been one of WFAE-FM's (90.7) most listened-to programs.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Channel 9 takes lead at noon, 11 p.m.

In the latest Nielsen sweeps in May, WSOC (Channel 9) won the time periods for all key newscasts, displacing WBTV (Channel 3), which had been leading at noon and 11 p.m.
Overall numbers for most newscasts were down in comparison with May 2011, which was an unusually strong month for both local and national news numbers.
Here's how newscasts fared during the May 2012 sweeps in the number of households reached in the Charlotte area and percentage change from last year as measured by Nielsen.

6 A.M. 
WSOC (Ch. 9):  69,000,  -2%
WBTV (Ch. 3):  38,000,  -19%
WCNC (Ch. 36):  23,000,  -33%
WCCB (Ch. 18):  11,000,  -44%

WSOC (Ch. 9):  57,000,  +9%
WBTV (Ch. 3):  52,000,  -13%
WCNC (Ch. 36):  10,000,  -10%

6 P.M. 
WSOC (Ch. 9):  78,000,  -6%
WBTV (Ch. 3):  61,000,  -2%
WCNC (Ch. 36):  29,000,  -4%


ABC:  85,000,  -7%
CBS:  58,000,  +13%
 NBC:  39,000,  -17%

10 P.M. 
WCCB (Ch. 18):  36,000,  -18%
WAXN (Ch. 64):  29,000,  -10%
WMYT (Ch. 55):  13,000,  -34%*

11 P.M.  
WSOC (Ch. 9):  68,000,  Unchanged.
WBTV (Ch. 3):  65,000,  -3%
WCNC (Ch. 36):  25,000,  -27%

*Newscast moved from WJZY (Ch. 46). SOURCE: Nielsen