Dave Wagner is watching the weather reports closely and doesnt like what he sees.
Those reports are from London, where the WCNC (Channel 36) anchor is headed to cover the Olympics, and they paint a messy picture.
Its one of the rainiest years on record, Wagner says. Its been raining almost every day since April.
Hell be working out of the international press center, which is a 25-minute hike from where his camera will be set up, overlooking Olympic Stadium and Olympic Village.
Olympics are a test of strength and endurance for the athletes, and for Wagner as well. For three weeks, hell be working 16 to 20 hours a day.
Hell be doing live reports for WCNC in the morning, noon and early evening newscasts, and producing five stories a day. Hell also be working for the Charlotte-based NBC News Channel, which provides reports to network affiliates around the country, for about seven hours each day, talking to newscasters about their local athletes.
There is nothing more exhausting and energizing than covering an Olympics, says Wagner, 52, who also went to the winter games in 1998 in Nagano, Japan, and in 2010 at Vancouver.
On the first day in Nagano, he and his photographer went into the wilderness to do a story on snow monkeys. As they were heading back, his photographer fell and broke his arm. Wagner had to hire a crew from Tokyo.
In preparation, Wagner has already identified 34 stories he hopes to do from London. He continues to find athletes and coaches with Carolina connections for more. He has found them in their training venues from California to Serbia.
With a five-hour time difference between London and the East Coast, Wagner says he has to be careful not to tip off viewers to results of competitions that havent aired yet on the network. I will be aware of the outcome of most of these events, but viewers dont know, so I have to be sensitive to that. If it hasnt been on TV, it hasnt happened yet.
WCNC photographer Kevin Ridley will accompany Wagner, as he did for the Vancouver games.
Ridley says getting access to the various venues is time consuming. People who watch get to see so much more than we do, he says.
After nearly a month in London, Wagner gets a week to recover. Then hes off to Tampa to cover the Republican convention, followed by the DNC in Charlotte.
This is going to be a long stretch.
Longtime WSOC (Channel 9) anchor Kim Brattain will be returning to the news business temporarily. She will fill in as weekend morning anchor at Channel 36 when Amy Cowman goes on maternity leave later this month. Brattain, who now runs her own production company called Phase2Productions, says after agreeing to the gig she immediately had a nightmare about being due on the news set in five minutes and was across town. Hopefully, its just like riding on a bike, and you can get back on and pedal like mad.
Morgan Fogarty of Fox Charlotte (Channel 18) gave birth this week to a son named Sawyer, and Blair Miller of Channel 9 welcomes a son, Zeke. Tera Blake, morning meteorologist on Fox News Rising, announced on the show last week that shes expecting in about six months.
WBT-AM (1110) is named a finalist for a prestigious National Association of Broadcasters Marconi Award as legendary station, and WPEG-FM (Power 98 97.9) is a finalist for urban station of the year. Winners will be announced in September. Elise Esasky joins News 14 Carolina as a reporter from the CBS affiliate in Montgomery, Ala.
Statesvilles Ulysses Long is one of 48 finalists on NBCs Americas Got Talent and will sing on next weeks show, 8 p.m. Tuesday, Channel 36. Long sings in the choir of First Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church in Statesville. Debbie Kwei departs from Radio One, where she managed the companys Charlotte stations, WQNC-FM (Q 92.7) and WPZS-FM (Praise 100.9).
WFAE-FM (90.7) will have its next community conversation, Politics in the Street focusing on the DNC, 7 p.m. Thursday at the Mint Museum Uptown, Moderator will be news director Greg Collard and panelists are Ken Davies, attorney for Occupy Charlotte; Robert Hagemann, city attorney; and Mark Newbold of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department.
Trade magazine Talkers names to its Heavy Hundred list of sports hosts nationally WFNZ-AMs (Fan 610) Taylor Zarzour, Marc James, Chris McClain, Jim Celania and Colin.
With longtime adult contemporary station WLYT-FM (Lite) changing formats to variety as WLKO-FM (Lake 102.9), the question arose of how long exactly Lite had been around. Former program director Mike Berlak fills us in: We changed the name of the station from EZ to Lite at the end of 1993, but the old WEZC call letters remained until September 1995 when we found WLYT was available. As EZ, the station was more of a Neil Diamond, Barbra Streisand, Barry Manilow operation. Lite ushered in the focus on Phil Collins, Elton John and Billy Joel, and what I called the here-and-now connection with the audience.