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Another honor showered on Larry Sprinkle

By Mark Washburn
mwashburn@charlotteobserver.com

Since he arrived in Charlotte 39 years ago, Larry Sprinkle has been a radio deejay, children's show host and the Ty-D-Bowl Man in commercials, and he's had roles in nearly a dozen movies. He is best known as the morning and midday forecaster on WCNC (Channel 36), where he is the station's most-recognized personality and has the messiest desk in the newsroom.

In October, he was inducted into the Beach Music Hall of Fame. In March, he will be honored in Nashville by the regional chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and inducted into the organization's Silver Circle, which recognizes contributions exceeding a quarter-century of work.

Today, let's do six questions with Sprinkle.

Q. Most common question you get from viewers?

I should have this answer on a T-shirt: Yes, my name really is Larry Sprinkle.

Q. Strangest studio experience?

September, 1989. Hurricane Hugo. A 10-foot-section of ceiling caved in right in front of me while on the air. You could hear the cave-in but all you could see was my expression. I said, "And part of our ceiling ... just ... caved ... in. OK, back to you, Rick, in the newsroom." Rick Jackson started to say, "Larry, let me ask ..." but by then Larry was on hands and knees and in three seconds was out of the studio. I remember thinking, "I'm going to be the first weather guy to be killed in the act."

Q. Workday hours?

I add hours on the afternoon when I don't really need to be here. I get in about 2:45 a.m. and wind up staying until 3:30 or 4 in the afternoon. I could leave here at 1:30 p.m. if I wanted to. I use that time for setting up charity events and other things. I've always done that, even back in the radio days. I guess there's a certain part of me into hanging around.

Q. Retirement dream?

Hasn't crossed my mind. Way too many bills to pay.

Q. Besides occasional calls of nature, what's the weirdest thing that's ever happened during your "Tail-Wagger" segment for adopting animals?

In the winter of 1995, when we would do the weather segments outdoors, it was unbelievably cold one day and there was a little Vietnamese potbellied pig. Cute little thing. When I started the segment, I could feel him snorting around my shoe, then he jumped up under my overcoat and locked his hooves on my knee. You could see his little tail wiggling out the bottom of my coat. And he bit me on the knee. I screamed like a little girl. Then I went right back and finished like nothing had happened. I was told he was just showing affection.

Q. Websites you cruise?

For business, Weather Underground (www.wunderground.com) is fascinating because it has everything and more. But for fun, I'm a YouTube fanatic. I love the history of TV, and you can find stuff all the way to the early news programs. I love old horror movie hosts, and they're there. You can go back and look at Howdy Doody. Music too - Beatles outtakes to Motown to beach music.

Media Movers

Marti Skold joins News 14 Carolina from the ABC affiliate in Salt Lake City. She will anchor mornings in the Raleigh studio ... Former Orlando radio personality Brenda Matthews takes over middays at WKQC-FM ("K" 104.7), replacing Robin Marshall. ...

Nominations for regional Emmy Awards have been announced. WSOC (Channel 9) led locally with nominations in 12 categories: Bridget Russo, Marti Hause, Blair Miller, Erica Bryant for evening newscast; and Miller, Natalie Pasquarella, Michael Maciejewski in the same category; John Ahrens for continuing coverage; Miller, Bryant for news special; Joshua King, Andrew Manzella, Rossana Seitter, Randy Fulp for promo spot; Ron DeJoseph Jr., Noelle Frederickson for news promo; Melanie Johnson, DeJoseph, Todd Boggess, Andrew Manzella, Yesenia Herrera-Ibarra for sports promo; Johnson, DeJoseph, Dave Kaminsky for promo campaign; DeJoseph, Kaminsky, Jeremy Bonham for composite animation; Gregory Simpson for photography; Joshua King, Manzella, Seitter, Fulp for technical achievement. WCNC (Channel 36) for news director Corrie Harding for news excellence; Stuart Watson, John Gray, Rachel Clapp for investigative report; Robin Lowe for evening newscast; Richard DeVayne, Frankie W. Gunnell Jr. for spot news; Jeremy Markovich, Gray, Watson, Clapp for news special; Markovich, Greg Bailey for sportscast; Brad Panovich for interactivity; Michael Severson for promo spot. WBTV (Channel 3) for John Carter and Christine Nelson for morning newscast; Jennifer Torsiello, Kevin Marlow and Carter for magazine program (two nominations each); Carter for program writing. WJZY (Channel 46) for Phillipe Charles, Don Ursich for promo spot.

Other nominations include Raycom Sports' Alex Farmartino for sports segment; Farmartino, David Barringer, Robert Reichley, Jeremy Williams for sports series; Farmartino, Thomas Kane, Williams for magazine program; Farmartino, Barringer, Williams for photography. Fox Sports South's Steve Becker, Ray Goodrich, Sarah O'Neil for sports segment; Keith Wetzler, Dan Greene, Becker, for sports series; Michael Brouder, Michael Emerick, Adam Shumaker for sports promo; Emerick for editing. UNC-TV's David Huppert, Pete Bell for light report; Donna Campbell for topical documentary; Scott Davis, Brenda Hughes for historical documentary and for writing; Len Faulconer (two nominations), Resa Toeller and Heather Dollar for promo image; Faulconer, Davis for promo campaign. Wendy Gill and Russ Gill of Professional Communications of Matthews for topical documentary. Concentrix Music and Sound Design's Anthony Fedele for audio; Fred Story for arranging. WTVI (Channel 42) for Steve Crump, writing. Winners will be announced in March.

Washburn: 704-358-5007; mwashburn@charlotteobserver.com
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