CHARLOTTE, N.C. Newsroom leftovers from the Democratic National Convention: Riot gear.
At the Observer, there are a dozen gas masks and a dozen helmets that look like baseball caps, technically known as “bump hats.” Never saw action.
At WBTV (Channel 3), there are 20 gas masks, good for chemical and radiation use. DNC protests were so tame they never got used and are headed for the closet.
For local TV stations, the DNC was a big story, but less about politics and more about the bustle about town.
CBS anchor Scott Pelley met with the Channel 3 staff before doing Friday’s “CBS Evening News” from the temporary news set on the station’s roof overlooking uptown. But no one in town got to see it – U.S. Open tennis ran into the news block in the Eastern time zone.
“He gave us a little shout-out at the end of the newscast and thanked us for our hospitality,” says Dennis Milligan, news director, who got the clip from the CBS affiliate in Tucson.
ABC’s Diane Sawyer stopped in at the WSOC (Channel 9) skybox at the arena and talked a few minutes on air with anchors Erica Bryant and Blair Miller. She said she likes Channel 9 (one of the network’s strongest affiliates that delivers about 100,000 viewers daily to “ABC World News”) and Price’s Chicken Coop in South End.
Fox Charlotte (WCCB, Channel 18) erected a 20-foot scaffold in the parking lot of Villa Francesca at Caldwell and Seventh streets, hoping to draw an audience to the elevated set for “Fox News Edge” with Ramona Holloway and Matt Harris. But the site was lassoed in the security zone just before the convention began.
“We wound up with more Secret Service and police watching us that anyone else because people couldn’t get down there,” says Ken White, news director.
WCNC (Channel 36) made daylong use of its mezzanine perch at Time Warner Cable Arena for newscasts, though it was out of the game on Wednesday night because NBC was carrying pro football.
Jim Newman, news director at News 14 Carolina, says he thought the week went well for his station, and he picked up some tips from company security briefings before the convention started.
“Like people carrying signs on sticks where the sticks are a lot thicker than they need to be,” he says. “And I saw a few of those.”
At WNKS-FM (“Kiss” 95.7), Crash departs after three years of hosting evenings to return to Indiana, where he will be doing nights at an Indianapolis station. … Aiken native Anna Camp, a graduate of UNC School of the Arts drama department most recently seen in the role of Caitlin D’arcy on CBS’s “The Good Wife,” lands a role in the new Fox comedy “The Mindy Project,” which debuts 9:30 p.m. Sept. 25. …
Trip Savery, who joined Greater Media’s WBT-AM (1110) and WLNK-FM (“Link” 107.9) two years ago from Curtis Media in Raleigh, moves up to station manager. He will retain oversight of the sales department. Philadelphia-based Rick Feinblatt will move up to senior vice president and general manager. … Nickelodeon’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles will entertain at Charlotte Motor Speedway for the Bank of America 500 week beginning Oct. 11 along with Nickelodeon’s Victoria Justice in concert. …
Time Warner Cable customers can now get enhanced coverage from News 14 Carolina’s website, News14.com, that includes archive video of Raleigh-based “Capital Tonight,” high school football games and custom “Zoom Radar,” says Bernadine Han, vice president of news. …
In advertising and marketing, agency Wray Ward expands its creative team with the addition of digital designer Joel Dinkel, art director Aaron Peacock and copy writer Katie Fisher. … WBT-AM (1110) midday personality Keith Larson gets a boost to his sideline ad agency, Larson Advertising and Media Associates, by landing the national branding account for Window Nation. Larson was a marketing exec for 12 years with McDonald’s before returning to radio. …
Eden Grinshpan brings her “Eden Eats” international cuisine show to Charlotte, 10 p.m. Sept. 28, Cooking Channel. In 24 hours, she samples Venezuelan arepas, Bombay sandwiches, Serbian Paisano bread, a Mexican breakfast and a Taiwanese snack. … Charlotte-based Speed channel has reached a deal with Michael Waltrip Racing for behind-the-scenes access during the final leg of the NASCAR Sprint Cup. Martin Truex Jr., Clint Bowyer, their crews and other staffers will be featured on segments beginning 11 a.m. Sunday on “NASCAR RaceDay.” “Speed cameras will be in the shop, at the track, in the meetings, in the pits and anywhere the story takes us,” says network president Scott Ackerson. …
A tribute to the late Andy Griffith will be part of the annual Mayberry Days festival that begins Sept. 27 in Mount Airy. Among those appearing this year will be Morgan Brittany (who played Opie’s first love), Jackie Joseph (Ernest T. Bass’s Sweet Romina), Margaret Kerry (who played Helen Scoby and Bess Muggins), Peggy McCay, (Andy’s high-school sweetheart at his high school reunion) and Betty Lynn (Barney’s girlfriend Thelma Lou). George Lindsey Jr. will come to pay tribute to his late father, who played Goober Pyle. …
Charlotte’s GreyHawk Films produced the “We Make It Possible” video that introduced the city to delegates on the first night of the DNC. Among those appearing in it were former Mayor Harvey Gantt, ex-Gov. Jim Hunt and Astrid Chirinos, executive director of the Latin American Chamber of Commerce.
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