Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Follow Charlotte Media Scene to new address

With a redesign of the Observer's web site, Media Scene is moving to a new home. Join us there and read about the February news ratings for Charlotte stations, a zany ad agency and more:

Friday, February 13, 2015

Turning point for Daytona, NASCAR featured on TV special

In NASCAR’s rich lore, a singular afternoon in 1979 plucked the sport from the ranks of the also-rans to national prominence.

It came in the third turn of the last lap at the Daytona 500 when Donnie Allison got in a duel with Cale Yarborough for the finish. They both spun out in their wrecked cars as Richard Petty roared by to win.

Allison and Yarborough started boxing and driver Bobby Allison dove in to his brother’s defense.

Bobby Allison holds race driver Cale Yarborough's foot after Yarborough kicked him following an argument Feb. 18, 1979, when Yarborough stopped his car during the final lap of the Daytona 500. Allison's brother Donnie was involved in a wreck with Yarborough on the final lap, which made Bobby stop. AP file photo.

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“And there’s a fight … between Cale Yarborough and Donnie Allison!” cried CBS race host Ken Squier, who gave Daytona the nickname of “The Great American Race.”“Tempers overflowing; they’re angry; they know they have lost, and what a bitter defeat.”

And what a victory for the sport.

It was a day of firsts, and the fight wasn’t one of them. It was the first time the Daytona 500 had been televised in its entirety, and it harvested a record rating.

By coincidence, a huge storm had paralyzed the populous Northeast and Bill France Jr., NASCAR’s president, had lifted the telecast’s traditional blackout in the South. CBS had a huge audience for the 500, once considered a poor television bet because the race went on so long.

But Squier knew people would watch, and the day’s accidents, capped by a middle-weight bout, made the 500 a staple on CBS for more than a decade and elevated Southern-centric NASCAR to a new national audience it had never courted.

NASCAR finally had its buzz.

Fox Sports 1’s “The Perfect Storm” (7:30 p.m. Friday) is an hour-long documentary that taps the memories of many of the still-living participants in the historic race.

Mike Joy, now a play-by-play announcer for Fox, was covering Turn 2 for Concord-based Motor Racing Network that day and provides one of the memories in the special.

“In its first live telecast of the Daytona 500, CBS got a good race, a thrilling, crashing finish and a post-race brawl in front of a huge, mostly snowbound TV audience,” he says. “NASCAR couldn’t have asked for anything more.”

Squier, who co-founded Motor Racing Network in 1969 and called races for more than three decades, is one of the sport’s foremost broadcast figures.

“Without being too wordy, he made these drivers into larger-than-life heroes,” Joy says. “As he often said, they were ‘common men doing uncommon deeds.’ Ken gave the event and its aftermath such a tone of great importance and excitement. His call left no doubt that this was the biggest thing ever to happen to stock car racing, and that stock car racing had, that day, become a very big thing.”

Other voices in the special include longtime Charlotte Observer race writer Tom Higgins, Yarborough and the Allison brothers, Richard Petty, CBS analyst David Hobbs, MRN reporter Jack Arute, then-president Jimmy Carter and Dale Earnhardt Jr., who saw the race as a spectator.

Following the special is another produced by NASCAR Productions, “1979 Daytona 500,” (8:30 p.m., Fox Sports 1) hosted by Earnhardt Jr., which features a 30-minute version of the race studded with pop-up video inserts.

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Charlotte native returning to Channel 9 as reporter

Brittney Johnson
WSOC (Channel 9) has hired Brittney Johnson, who will join the reporting staff on March 30.

Johnson, who grew up in west Charlotte, comes from the NBC station in Little Rock, Ark., where she worked for the last five years and is weekend anchor. Before than, she worked at a station in West Monroe, La.

She is a graduate of Howard University with a master's degree from the University of California/Berkeley.

WCNC morning host Ira Cronin leaving for Colorado

Ira Cronin
After 14 years at WCNC (Channel 36), Ira Cronin is returning to the West, starting next month as a morning host at the NBC affiliate in Colorado Springs, Colo.

Cronin started at WCNC in 2001 as sports anchor and later moved to morning host. Cronin came from a sports job in Salt Lake City. He is a native of Albuquerque, N.M.

Cronin's departure marks the second this year of a high-profile, longtime personality. Investigative reporter Stuart Watson left WCNC in January. More changes can be expected in the months ahead as the station's new owner, Gannett, begins to put its imprint on the NBC affiliate .

Friday, February 6, 2015

Kiss radio names new talent lineup

New morning teams at Kiss is, from left, LauRen Merola, Roy Brown and Steve Maney. 

Charlotte's pop Kiss radio, WNKS-FM (95.1), unveiled its new lineup Friday for morning and evening shows, including a new team built around morning host Steve Maney.

Joining Maney will be LauRen Merola and Roy Brown, replacing P.J. "Drex" Rener and Cassiday Proctor who left the top-40 station last month for a new job in Atlanta.

Merola, 30, has done television in her native Pittsburgh and sports radio in Miami and on Charlotte's WZGV-AM (ESPN 730). She was a dancer on four USO entertainment tours and for the Charlotte Hornets. She was Miss Pennsylvania in 2008 and represented the state in the Miss USA pageant that year. She was also co-captain of the Miami Dolphins cheerleading squad.

Brown's background is less worldly. He comes from a station in Roanoke, Va., has never been on an airplane, never been to a NASCAR race and says he has never been above five stories in a skyscraper. 

Anna Sorrentino takes over the 10 a.m.-2 p.m. shift at Kiss.

 A.J Anelli 
Taking the midday shift that Proctor used to fill is Anna Sorrentino, who goes by the air name Riley. 

Taking over the night shift from Nick Felton, who used the air name Jay Sparxx and who has taken another job outside radio in Charlotte, is A.J. Anelli, who had worked for Kiss in production and promotion before taking jobs in Jacksonville and Washington, N.C. 

Monday, February 2, 2015

Marty Hurney moving up fast in sports radio

Seven months after launching a new career as sports commentator, former Panthers general manager Marty Hurney is moving into management, becoming co-operator of Charlotte’s WZGV-AM (ESPN 730).

Hurney and Lanny Ford, general manager of the station since it launched and Hurney’s co-host on the air, said Monday that they have reached an agreement to lease the station from owner HRN Broadcasting.

Marty Hurney (Photo: Jeff Siner/Observer)
They are also leasing from HRN Asheville station WZGM-AM (1350), which has a sports and news-talk format. Ford said some of ESPN 730 shows may be picked up on that station, which like WZGV carries Appalachian State University sports.

Hurney started in June as a commentator on ESPN 730 in June, first paired with Al Gardner, who has since moved to Myrtle Beach, and now with Ford.

Hurney, fired in October 2012 after more than 10 years as the Panthers’ general manager, has been serving as guest analyst on ESPN’s “NFL Insiders” since March. Hurney was a sportswriter for The Washington Times before joining the Panthers’ personnel department in 1998.

He became the team’s GM in 2002 and oversaw the Panthers’ Super Bowl team in 2003. Panthers owner Jerry Richardson fired Hurney in 2012 after the team started 1-5.

Ford said that he and Hurney have formed a company named 2G Media to operate the station. He said they have a three-year contract to operate the two stations, with options to continue.

Like 730 ESPN, the Asheville station operates at 10,000 watts on the AM dial.

Before leasing the stations, Ford worked for HRN for 11 years.

Charlotte TV personalities snag regional Emmys

Christopher Clark
Charlotte composer Fred Story collected three regional Emmy Awards and WCNC (Channel 36) sportscaster Christopher Clark two in a weekend ceremony in Nashville, Tenn.

Clark won for sportscast and editing. Story of Concentrix Music and Sound Design won for composer and arranger, historical program feature and magazine program.

Tori Duncan, Blair Miller and Wendy Robbins of WSOC (Channel 9) won for evening newscast.

Fred Story
Molly Grantham of WBTV (Channel 3) won for continuing coverage on medical marijuana. Christine Nelson and Leighton Grant of WBTV  won for serious feature. 

Raycom Sports' David Barringer and Billy McCoy won for sports event and Rayom's Alex Farmartino won for topical documentary. "Duke Carolina: The Making of a Masterpiece," won for Raycom's  Jeremy Williams, John Hairston, Boris Rogers, Richard Brooke in promo spots.

Fox Sports South's Keith Wetzler, Kyle Payne, Jeff Gammage and Dan Greene won for public service campaign. 

WSOC, Tanner nominated for industry honor

Rob Tanner

Rob Tanner's morning show is a finalist for the Academy of Country Music radio award this year.

Guenn Schneider
Tanner with co-hosts Guenn Schneider, producer Chris Allen and Captain Jim have been named finalists in the major market personality category. Country broadcasters from Phoenix, Tampa, Chicago and Philadelphia are also in the running.

Additionally, WSOC-FM (103.7) is a finalist in the major market radio station award along with KNIX-FM in Phoenix, 
WIL-FM in St. Louis, WKLB-FM in Boston, and WUSN-FM in Chicago.

Winners will be announced April 19 in Dallas.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Longtime WBTV photographer dies of cancer

Brad Stafford (

Brad Stafford, a WBTV (Channel 3) photographer for 41 years, died Wednesday in hospice of cancer.

Stafford, who turned 67 this week, had been planning on retiring when he was diagnosed with cancer late last month. 

"He was a stalwart photographer,"  Channel 3's news director Dennis Milligan said on the station's website. "He was one of the nicest people you'd ever know. He always tackled every assignment with a sense of professionalism."

Stafford's career saw the demise of bulky film and the development of videotape and other technical advances. For a time, he was photographer for the station's popular "Carolina Camera" show -- he once got airsick while filming a military jet do acrobatics and got stuck in a hoist 150 feet above ground while shooting a segment on Voice of America's huge antenna farm in Eastern North Carolina. He also covered many of the city's calamities including Hurricane Hugo in 1989.

"Brad was one of the nicest people I have ever worked with or known anywhere," said Joseph Travis, who worked with Stafford for years at WBTV. "Always a smile, always a helping hand."

Said anchor Maureen O'Boyle on Twitter: "God broke the mold when he created Brad Stafford."

Stafford talking about shooting "Carolina Camera"

C.J. Underwood and other "Carolina Camera" personalities looking back in 1980 on the first 10 years of the show, which were all shot on film.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Fox46 names co-anchor for evening newscasts

Joining WJZY (Channel 46) as co-anchor next week is Bill Melugin who will work on Fox46's 6 and 10 p.m. newscasts.

Melugin comes from the Fox affiliate in El Paso, Texas, where he was a reporter and fill-in anchor for the last two years.

When Fox46 launched its news department last year, it de-emphasized the role of traditional anchors, instead trying to make the stories the focus of the newscasts. But a few months ago, it adopted a more standard approach, teaming Barbara Pinson and sportscaster Anthony Flores as the main faces of the evening shows. 

Friday, January 23, 2015

WBTV fills last opening in weather department

WBTV (Channel 3) has filled its last forecasting opening with Leigh Brock, who got a month-long audition by filling in during December and the holidays.  

Leigh Brock
Most recently, Brock was spokeswoman for the American Red Cross in the Carolinas.

Late last year, two of WBTV's four meteorologists departed for other TV jobs: Kelly Franson to Seattle and Ashley Batey to Tampa.

Lyndsay Tapases was hired from the ABC affiliate in Roanoke, Va., for one of the openings and Brock now fills out the department. 

Brock grew up in Hendersonville. After graduating from UNC Chapel Hill, Brock went to small stations in Clarksburg, W.Va., and Allentown, Pa., before joining WFMY (Channel 2) in Greensboro in 2006. 

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Like Santa, WKQC-FM goes through the roof

Once again, WKQC-FM ("K" 104.7) got the Christmas magic.

Since 2003, the station has played nothing but Christmas songs in the weeks leading up to Christmas. And each year, its ranking shoots up among major Charlotte stations during that period.

In 2013, ratings surged a record 57 percent November to December. But last month, it saw its biggest jump ever, 64 percent month to month, according to rankings released Thursday by Nielsen.

WKQC jumped from a tie for fourth in November to No. 1 in Charlotte in December, attracting 10.5 percent of the radio audience. Double-digit percentages are all but unheard of in the city, which has about 20 stations competing for ears. Last December, WKQC attracted nearly 8 percent of the audience.

In other ratings news, WKKT-FM ("Kat" 96.9) tied at No. 3 with rival WSOC-FM (103.7) in the country radio race. News stations WBT-AM (1110) and WFAE-FM (90.7) were low in the ratings at Nos. 14 and 15, respectively.

Here are the rankings for December for all listeners as calculated by Nielsen and the percentage of listeners:

1. WKQC-FM ("K" 104.7), adult contemporary: 10.5%
2. WPEG-FM ("Power 98" 97.9), urban contemporary, 7% 
3. WKKT-FM ("Kat" 96.9), country, 6.4%
3. WSOC-FM (103.7)  country, 6.4%
5. WRFX-FM ("Fox" 99.7), classic rock, 6.1%
6. WOSF-FM ("Old School" 105.3), urban oldies , 5.4%
7. WBAV-FM ("V" 101.9) urban contemporary, 4.7%
8. WHQC-FM ("Channel" 96.1), pop, 4.4%
8. WLKO-FM ("Lake" 102.9), variety, 4.4%
8. WNKS-FM ("Kiss" 95.1), pop, 4.4%
8. WPZS-FM ("Praise" 100.9), gospel, 4.4%
12. WLNK-FM ("Link" 107.9), adult contemporary, 4% 
13. WEND-FM ("End" 106.5), alternative rock, 3.3%
14. WBT-AM (1110), news-talk, 2.9%
15. WFAE-FM (90.7), NPR news, 2.3%
16. WDAV-FM (89.9), classical, 1.2%
17. WFNZ-AM ("Fan" 610), sports talk, 1%
18. WMIT-FM ("Light" 106.9), inspiration, 0.5%
19. WNSC-FM (88.9), NPR, 0.3%
20. WBCN-AM (1660), CBS Sports, 0.2%
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Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Judge reverses ban on cameras in courtroom

Judge W. Robert Bell
After a three-month ban, news cameras will be allowed back in the Mecklenburg County Courthouse, senior resident Judge W. Robert Bell said Tuesday.

But Charlotte's news organizations will need to adhere to long-standing rules about when and where cameras can be used, Bell said, lifting a ban imposed in October by Superior Court Judge Richard Boner.

Boner imposed the order after photographers from five TV stations and the Charlotte Observer shot pictures of city attorney City Attorney Bob Hagemann who held an impromptu news conference in a courthouse hallway after a hearing about the regional airport commission. 

Photography is closely regulated in the courthouse to protect identities of witnesses, jurors and others. Photography in common areas of the building has long been banned.

Boner, who retired as senior resident judge at the end of December, left it to his successor to decide whether to allow cameras back in and under what circumstances. Bell summoned representatives of the news media to a meeting at the courthouse Tuesday morning. Attending were 23 representatives from the city's five major television stations, Time Warner Cable News, WFAE-FM (NPR, 90.7) and the Observer. 

Julie Szulczewski, news director for WSOC (Channel 9), said during the meeting that journalists were wrong to shoot in the hallway and stations had apologized to Boner for oversight. WSOC's Mark Becker, a 30-year veteran of Channel 9, said some of the journalists in the Hagemann case were assigned to other beats and were unfamiliar with courthouse protocols. 

Five months before the Hagemann incident, another violation brought a warning about camera rules. A WCNC (Channel 36) journalist shot and posted a cellphone picture outside the courtroom where Carolina Panther Greg Hardy had just appeared on a domestic-abuse charge. 

"This is like when the principal calls somebody to the office and says, 'Do you know the rules?'" Bell said. "I don't post them for my health."

Photography is a sensitive subject in the courthouse, Bell said. Jurors sometimes ask during a trial whether the defendant will know who they are.

Still, he said, he endorses open courtrooms "because the public has a right to know what's going on."

Since 1992, allowing photography during a trial in the county courthouse is left up to the presiding judge (photography is still banned in federal courthouses). No witnesses under 16 can be photographed under court rules, which also prohibit showing jurors or recording commercials or station promotions.

During the ban on cameras, only one trial was held that would typically attract television coverage, that of Demarcus Ivey, accused of murder during a 2009 robbery at Club Nikki's, a strip joint on Little Rock Road. Ivey's two-month capital trial, which featured an examination of security surveillance film of the shooting, ended in a deadlocked jury and a mistrial. It was covered by the Observer, but not by local television.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Union County mom, her invention land on "Steve Harvey"

Lily Winnail shows off her invention on an episode on "Steve Harvey" that will air Monday. (Genie LaVine/NBC)

A mom from Union County will be on "Steve Harvey” on Monday to show off her invention. Lily Winnail of Marvin will demonstrate the Padalily, decorative padding that goes around the handle of the baby seat to make it easier to carry.

A mother of four, Winnail says she came up with the product at a good time -- her husband had lost his job and they needed money. So far, Padalily has racked up $2 million in sales.  

Winnail will be on Harvey's segment about mom inventors. It will air 3 p.m. Monday on WBTV (Channel 3).
Winnail will be on Harvey's segment about mom inventors. It will air 3 p.m. Monday on WBTV (Channel 3).

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Winnail will be on Harvey's segment about mom inventors. It will air 3 p.m. Monday on WBTV (Channel 3).

Friday, January 9, 2015

WCNC parts ways with long-time investigative reporter

Stuart Watson
Friday was Stuart Watson's last day at WCNC (Channel 36), fired after 16 years and some of the biggest scoops in Charlotte.

"There are people who are much better than I am who are facing the exact same thing because of what's called 'newsanomics' -- the profound upheaval in our business model," Watson said Friday night referring to the economic headwinds tearing nowadays through traditional media outlets. 

"I don't think this is personal, nor do I take it as personal."

Watson, who came to town in January 1999 from WRAL (Channel 5) in Raleigh, is the most senior personality to depart from the station since it was acquired by Gannett Broadcasting a year ago.

He was involved in dozens of high-profile stories in Charlotte, but the three with the most impact had a common thread -- money.

One was the story in 2013 that revealed that prominent pastor Steven Furtick of Elevation Church was building himself a mansion in Waxhaw valued on the tax rolls at $1.6 million. 

In 2008, acting on an anonymous tip mailed in by a viewer he's never talked to, Watson found that United Way CEO Gloria Pace King was making more than $1 million in pay and benefits. 

When United Way balked at his requests for executive committee minutes and other documents,  Watson put together a series of clips in which charity officials spoke of the importance of "transparency" to maintain the public trust.

He ran them back to back, officials saying 'Transparency,' one after another another. And then he had the last words:  "Except when you ask."

Donations plunged and Pace was replaced.

But his most important story came in 2004 when he revealed that the now-defunct Medicaid Dental Centers chain in North Carolina was providing unnecessary dental work on poor children for Medicaid payouts, including stainless steel crowns and root canals on baby teeth.

Nine dentists were disciplined and the centers ultimately settled with the government for $10 million.

On Friday, Watson said, he was at the Catholic Diocese doing a story on an employee who posted on his Facebook page that he planned to marry his gay partner of 11 years, then found himself suddenly without a job. 

"I hope they'll air that the first part of next week," said Watson.

After he returned to the station, he was called in and told that his contract, which is up in February, would not be renewed. "Different philosophies," he said. "That was the stated reason."

His termination didn't come entirely as a surprise, he said. There had been no talks with the station on a new contract to take effect after his present three-year deal expired. 

Watson won't be working the last month of his contract. "I am finished," he said. "That's what I'm told."

Watson has been a member of IRE, the news industry's trade group for investigative reporters and editors, since 1986 and has served on its board three terms.

He collected 10 regional Emmy Awards during his career and is nominated for five more at this year's ceremony later this month. He's also won two duPont-Columbia awards, three Peabodies, two National Headliner awards and an Edward R. Murrow award each year since 2011.

"I think the quantity of reporting was there, and the quality of the reporting was there," said Watson. 

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Rhode Island broadcaster new WFAE president

A Rhode Island public radio executive with a background in network TV news was named the new president Wednesday of WFAE-FM (90.7), Charlotte's NPR affiliate.

Before joining Rhode Island Public Radio eight years ago as general manager, Joe O'Connor was senior producer for NPR's "On Point," which is produced at WBUR-FM in Boston.
O'Connor has been a producer for CNN and spent 22 years at ABC News, working for "Good Morning America," "Nightline" and "PrimeTime Live."
He rose to be the senior producer in Washington for "World News Tonight with Peter Jennings," directing the network's capital coverage. 
"WFAE rightly boasts an outstanding brand of award-winning journalism that has become one of the most trusted sources for news in the Charlotte region," O'Connor said in a statement.
A graduate of Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service with a masters degree in broadcast journalism from Boston University, O'Connor has collect five Emmys, two Columbia DuPont Awards and a Peabody Award during his career. One of his Emmys came for the acclaimed "Nightline" series "America in Black and White." 

He was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard in 2004-2005 and brings a successful fund-raising background to the position.
O'Connor, 57, who starts his new duties Feb. 1,  succeeds the retiring Roger Sarow who has led WFAE for 26 years.
“Joe is a seasoned journalist who believes passionately that great reporting is the oxygen of democracy," Jon Buchan, chair of WFAE's board of directors, said in a statement.
"He understands that public radio – on air, on the station’s website, in its public forums – can foster the kind of important community dialogue that every city needs.”

Monday, January 5, 2015

Radio One's Charlotte stations get new leader

Mathilde Levesque
Mathilde ‘Til’ Levesque was named market manager for Radio One's Charlotte stations, WOSF-FM ("Old School" 105.1) and WPZS-FM ("Praise" 100.9).

Levesque comes to Charlotte after managing the seven Detroit stations owned by Clear Channel Radio, since renamed iHeartRadio. She has spent three decades in the radio industry, moving up from the sales department. She has also worked in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

In Charlotte, she inherits an operation where both Radio One stations are consistently performing in the top 10 of local stations in overall rankings. In December, WOSF-FM narrowly passed WBAV-FM ("V" 101.9), often the No. 1 station in town.  Radio One's WOSF ranked No. 7 in share of overall listeners in Charlotte and WBAV, owned by Beasley Broadcasting, ranked No. 8.

Levesque, a native of Mamaroneck, N.Y., who was raised in suburban New York City and is a 1985 graduate of Providence College, succeeds Gary Weiss, who oversaw the Charlotte stations while based at Radio One's cluster in Raleigh, which he also led.

“Til has a history of coaching winners and creating some of the most successful urban media products in the industry,” Jeffrey Wilson, Radio One's regional vice president, said in a statement. “We are thrilled that she’s bringing that leadership, experience and creativity to our team in Charlotte.”

Splitsville for "Drex & Maney" on Kiss FM

Steve Maney, Cassiday Proctor and P.J. Rener. WNKS photo.
Monday was break-up day for "Drex & Maney," the morning show on WNKS-FM ("Kiss" 95.1), with two-thirds of the crew -- P.J. "Drex" Rener and Cassiday Proctor -- saying farewell as they leave for a job in Atlanta.

Steve Maney will remain at the morning show "Kiss" and a new co-host for him will be sought.

Rener and Proctor had a rapid up-and-out career in Charlotte radio. Rener arrived in March 2012 to join with Maney on the morning show. They had been partners before on a station in Memphis and their chemistry was instant. Proctor soon joined the cast from Austin, Texas, and her profile grew as she co-hosted "The Edge" weeknights on WCCB (Channel 18), leaving her about four hours a day for sleep.

It was a good partnership and ended well for all concerned. With their contracts up, Beasley-owned "Kiss" had no way to keep them and let the team announce the changes and have a farewell show on Monday in which they played some of their best bits over the last two years.

In Atlanta, Rener and Proctor will take over mornings at WSTR-FM ("Star" 94.1) with Steve Tingle, who now does radio in Philadelphia.

"Drex & Maney" were brought in to compete against Ace & T.J., who left "Kiss" for the morning show at rival WHQC-FM. Ace & T.J. generally won the ratings race in the key demographics between the two stations in the mornings.

'Antiques Roadshow' headed back to Charleston

In 2012's visit to Myrtle Beach, a guest brought in a framed letter written by Abraham Lincoln in 1860 as he prepared for the presidential election. SC ETV photo.
"Antiques Roadshow," one of the most popular PBS prime-time shows, will return to Charleston in August, South Carolina ETV announced Monday.

It will be the third time the series has visited South Carolina. It came through Charleston in 2000 and taped three episodes, then returned in 2012 to tape episodes in Myrtle Beach.

"ETV is always pleased to showcase the history and culture of South Carolina beyond our borders, and 'Antique Roadshow's' third visit to our state is a testament to the exceptionally intriguing items and stories South Carolinians have to share," Linda O’Bryon, ETV's president, said in a statement.

"Antiques Roadshow" host Mark Walberg is a native of Florence.

In its last visit to Charleston, the show featured a set of comedian Jackie Gleason's monogrammed golf clubs, a 1763 Massachusetts broadside about the French and Indian War, a 19th century, hand-hammered silver bowl designed to rinse and cool wine glasses and a chair designed for the famous Siamese twins of Mount Airy, Chang and Eng Bunker

Host Dan Elias also took viewers to Fort Sumter and the historic Heyward-Washington house.

An appraisal event is scheduled for Aug. 8 in Charleston. About 6,000 ticketed guests will get free valuations of up to two items from specialists representing auction houses and independent dealers. Three episodes will be prepared for broadcast in 2016 from the appraisals.

"Antiques Roadshow" is looking for furniture submiss
ions for appraisal on the set, producers said. Selected pieces will be trucked free to the appraisal and returned home by the show.

Those wanting to go to the show can apply for a random lottery to win tickets at