Thursday, April 18, 2013

WCCB makes it official: It's the CW's new home

Charlotte’s WCCB (Channel 18) said Thursday it will pick up the CW network this summer, filling the void left when the station lost its 27-year affiliation with Fox.

CW programs – including “90210,” “America's Next Top Model” and “Arrow” – had aired on WJZY (Channel 46), which was purchased by Fox along with sister station WMYT (Channel 55), in an $18 million deal signed in January. Fox has not said yet which of the two stations will carry the network’s shows, which include the top-rated NFL football and “American Idol.”

"We are delighted that we have this opportunity to join such an up and coming network with even more contemporary and creative program series to come," Beverly Bahakel Poston, president of Charlotte-based Bahakel Communications, said in a statement.

WCCB will continue to produce morning and evening news show, a profit center for the station.
But overall ratings and ad sales will likely sag at WCCB because the CW network, weakest of the major broadcast networks, does not carry shows that attract as many viewers. In January, for example, the highest-rated show in Charlotte aside from sports was Fox’s “American Idol,” which pulled about 260,000 total viewers.

By comparison, the highest-rated show on the CW network in Charlotte was the superhero drama “Arrow,” which drew about 29,000 total viewers.

While WCCB loses Panthers games during the season, it has retained the rights to the team’s four pre-season games.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Foxx chose WSOC's Miller for exclusive

Blair Miller's Friday exclusive with Mayor Anthony Foxx came as the result of cultivating a long-term relationship, the WSOC anchor says.
At the top of Friday's 6 a.m. newscast, Miller's taped interview aired in which the mayor said he would not seek another term in office.
"Foxx and I have gotten close over the last year or so and developed a good relationship," says Miller, who joined Channel 9 in 2002 and moved up to the high-profile job on the evening anchor desk with Erica Bryant in 2010.
Blair Miller in the Channel 9 newsroom.
After Miller returned from Denver to report on how the Democrats' 2008 convention had gone there, Foxx was the first interview he did locally to gauge the impact of the DNC on Charlotte. Miller says they have remained in touch ever since.
Just last week, Miller texted Foxx that he was interested in doing an interview on the mayor's future. Foxx's name has been floated for a possible position as U.S. secretary of transportation.
"I knew we were coming to a point where something was going to happen -- either he was going to decide to run again or go to D.C. or do nothing," says Miller. 
Then Wednesday, Miller got a call from one of Foxx's aides. They asked him to be at the government center at 10 p.m. Thursday. Miller figured it would be about Foxx's future and thought he would announce plans to run again.
Instead, Foxx told him he was planning to do the opposite.
"First thing I said to him is, 'Are you serious?' We have a good joking relationship."
Foxx handed him a copy of the statement he planned to release Friday. Then they negotiated an embargo on airing the interview for 6 a.m. Friday so Foxx could share his plans with staff members beforehand.
Miller was curious why Foxx had picked him for the announcement. He asked an aide after the interview. 
"How did this go down? I didn't want to be the one the next morning calling and asking why I didn't get picked," says Miller, describing what turned out to be the scene in virtually every newsroom in town by 6:10 a.m.
Miller says he believes that aides encouraged Foxx to do one interview rather than just issuing a statement, and Foxx chose him because of their rapport. 
More of Miller's interview with Foxx will air on WSOC's 5 and 6 p.m. newscasts Friday. They will discuss Foxx's thoughts on a future political career and how his family was a big part of the decision not to run again.
From his perspective, Miller says, he thinks Foxx has a good relationship with the local media. During the DNC, he remembers Foxx walking around doing a circuit of network interviews, then taking time to talk to local reporters as well.
"He wasn't  just doing the big dogs. That spoke volumes to me. This isn't like him to do just one big exclusive interview."