Archive for June 2009

Follow Me

June 18, 2009

I’m now on Twitter…tweeting all the behind the scenes scoop from the Live 5 News room and news I see in my travels.

Bear with me! I’m still a novice tweeter.

Follow me: Live5NewsBoss

and …Keep watching Live 5 News!

Nice Award

June 18, 2009

Congratulations to Debi Chard, Matt Gladwell, and Craig Lloyd for their first place award from the Society of Professional Journalists.

Their story called “Katya’s Sixth Sense” was about an assistance dog trained to act when her master has a seizure.

 The 59th Annual Green Eyeshade Awards is a journalism contest that recognizes excellence in 11 Southern states.

 Started by the Atlanta Professional Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, the contest is now administered by regional directors for the Society. The Society of Professional Journalists works to improve and protect journalism. The organization is the nation’s most broad-based journalism organization, dedicated to encouraging the free practice of journalism and stimulating high standards of ethical behavior. Founded in 1909 as Sigma Delta Chi, SPJ promotes the free flow of information vital to a well-informed citizenry, works to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists and protects First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press.

Way to Go!

Coming Soon: My 5

June 17, 2009

Monday we’re launching a new feature for user generated content on our web channel. It replaces “See It… Snap It..Send It” with a major upgrade.  We’re calling it “My 5”.

You’ll be seeing a lot of promotions for “My 5,” and we’ll be featuring it heavily in newscasts.

“My 5” is much easier to use than “See It.. Send It”.  It’s also easier to say!

Users / viewers can upload still pictures but more importantly, video, right to the page. It’s very fast.

A great feature for us behind the scenes in the Live 5 news center is that we now have a team of people somewhere in cyberspace to review and approve each picture/video before its posted. This will prevent inappropriate material from being posted on “My 5.”  These folks work 365/24/7 looking at submitted content. The turnaround time is a few minutes, and will save producers, directors a lot of time.

“My 5” will be broken down into categories.

We’ll have a breaking news and weather section for people to send us pictures of fires, crime scenes, storm damage, water spouts etc.

This will also be the site for Nicole Johnson’s pictures of wrecks and Tracey Amick’s pics from fundraisers.  Web meister Sam Tyson will show all of us how to directly transfer these kind of pics into full screen graphics with a mouse click!

We’ll also have fun categories where we can pull user generated content for newscasts, too. Things like pets, cute kids, Lowcountry life (pretty scenery etc), fishing, sports, etc etc.

 We’ll also do contests for user generated content throughout the year like… pets in costume for Halloween, Christmas lights, mother’s day look a likes.  We’re launching My 5 with a patriotic contest of some kind to tie in to the 4th of July.

We want to populate My 5 with as much local content as we can, as fast as we can.

 Here’s a link to WSFA’s My 12  in Montgomery, AL:   http://my12.wsfa.com/vmix_hosted_apps/p/grid?class_id=1&all=1&top_media=1&sort=pop

Check it out…and keep watching Live 5 News for your pictures and videos!

Grass Roots News

June 17, 2009

Have you been following the big story out of Iran this week?

Yesterday, the government announced a big clamp down on journalists reporting on the political turmoil in that country. We’re hearing they aren’t being allowed to cover the election protests: A fundamental assignment for any reporter.

Before that, we were already seeing a flood of Tweets, posts, and Facebook messages coming out of the region, and bouncing back into Iran from the outside world.

This is grass roots news. Information generated at the source and sent out to as many people as can read/hear/see it. The technology is amazing. Throughout the ages this kind of news has come on scrolls, on the feet of carrier pigeons, on telegraphs, telphones, radios, and TVs. Now, wireless news has become the standard.

But like in the old days, we must be careful what we take for news. Wireless reporters arent held to the same standards of accountability as professionally trained journalists. I dont mean to minimize thier role or contribution to the global wireless discussion. But its an important point.

This makes it more important than ever that consumers of news look to a variety of sources to insure they are getting the full story. This is true of any news source, whether its Cable TV, a favorite internet site, or a local broadcaster.

Grass roots news is fascinating. Its where we’ve gotten our first alerts about plane crashes and political movements. Its changing the way all of us get and give news. With it comes the responsibility for all us to seek out perspective and diversity of coverage.

We do!

Keep watching Live 5 News!

Digital’s Here

June 12, 2009

The switch is over.  I hope it went smoothly for you and that you haven’t missed a beat.

At 6am, Bill Burr and Bill Walsh flipped the switch at our 2,000 ft transmitter in Awendaw. A group of us gathered in our master control room in our West Ashley studio to watch the analog screen go to black, and then snow.  We cheered for a moment and then waited for the phone to ring.

It did, a little bit.

But we were surprised most of the calls were from loyal Live5 fans telling us they could see us loud and clear. We were prepared for an onslaught of calls from frustrated, angry, unprepared analog TV watchers. Our engineering team and our marketing director Amanda Curry prepared thorough notes for us to consult if we received concerned calls.

Our happy receptionist Heather Yates manned the phones before sun up, waiting for the fussy calls that never came. Whew!

Now its almost time for “Young and Restless. Who is Mary Jane, really? What’s Phillip Chancellor doing alive? I digress. With the soaps, comes the potential for a new wave of phone calls from viewers who might not be ready for the Big Switch.

Or are they?

Keep watching Live5 News!

Big Switch: Home Stretch

June 8, 2009

We’re in the home stretch for The Big Switch from analog to digital TV. The rescheduled deadline from the Federal government is this Friday.

To comply with regulations from the FCC, and to make sure EVERYBODY knows we’re turning off our analog transmitter, we’re required to keep running commercials and news stories about the deadline. That way no one can say they didn’t know.

You’d have to be living under a rock not to know about the Big Switch this Friday. Please bear with us for a few more days while we remind people, just in case!

Speaking of Friday, Bill Walsh and Bill Burr will flip the switch live on our morning news at 6:00am straight up! from our transmitter tower in Awendaw.

Bill Burr is in Columbia today shooting interviews and video for a story that will run on Friday morning about the golden age of TV at WCSC, and why this too, is a big deal in the history of Lowcountry broadcasting. I hope you’ll tune in.

We’ll  have a team of operators standing by on Friday to take viewer questions and try to trouble shoot DTV problems should they arise.

We’ve done many tests to show viewers if they are ready for our Big Switch. Most people are. We’ve received a handful of phone calls with each test. Most problems can be traced to cable TV providers who have a few last minute changes to make to their reception lines.

Cross your fingers. Only six days to go (Saturday!) until you won’t hear us reminding you about the Big Switch!

Keep watching Live 5 News!

Hidden on the second floor…

June 3, 2009

I’ve been at Live 5 for a year this month, but I’ve never ventured up to the second floor, the fluorescent lit cavern above our prop room and loading dock.

Last week I did.

Hidden on the second floor, I found a mini museum of WCSC history.

I found parts of news sets, tote boards from our annual Jerry Lewis Labor Day telethons, artificial Christmas decorations, boxes upon boxes of records we’re required to keep by the accountants and the FCC. It’s a well organized and maintained storage room. Neater than anybody’s attic.

On the back wall, lined on shelves marked with stickers marking the years I found the history of Live 5 on video, in pictures, on film. Fascinating stuff like broadcasts of the Cooper River Bridge Run, the opening of the Arthur Ravenel Bridge, Hurricane Hugo coverage, Hugo anniversary specials, MDA telethons, Sofa Super Store coverage and anniversary specials, election night broadcasts, special reports, documentaries. It’s our own in-house Netflix.

I’ve spent my lunch breaks this week watching some the history I found on the shelves on the second floor. Hats of to WCSC’s Jim DeMauro for preserving and recording our history.

I’ve been thinking all week how to share my discovery with Live 5 fans, like on ESPN Classic or something like that. We may re-broadcast some of “the best of Live 5” on our digital channel debuting later this year. Or we may post excerpts on our web channel so TV buffs like myself can flashback in time.

Keep watching Live 5 News. The projects we’re working on today will end up on the shelves on the second floor one of these days!