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.