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.” …