Thursday, March 30, 2006

NFL vs. Local TV
New Sideline Rules

Anybody want to try to rationalize the NFL's new rule excluding Local TV Photogs from the sidelines?

Does it clear the crowded sidelines of the games? Does it allow the NFL to tighten the reins and better control it's video? Does it give more exclusive access to the regional and network shows?

The answer to all three is, of course, yes, but at what expense?

Certainly local TV sports reports can easily get by with using the network game tapes, but how cheesy is that when trying to produce a localized report on the local team?

TV sports departments bread and butter come from covering the local professional sports by shooting sideline highlights, getting certain isolation shots and gathering interviews with key local personalities. These are the types of stories the networks don't do but local TV can, producing items on a hyper-local level to the viewers watching for the local product.

It's also a disservice to the fans of the NFL. Yes a lot of fans can switch over to ESPN or FSN or (dare I say) this NFL network(now we're getting somewhere) but there are also a lot of fans who like to get the interpretation of the game from their local sports guru.

The NFL really should take a step back and consider what the effect of this new rule means to the tons of casual fans who watch the game. I get 99% of my NFL news from local news and the other 1% from other sources including Cable Sports Nets. I'm only a casual fan of the but I do want to know about the Panthers.

I'm not going to get a tremendous amount of Panther's coverage watching ESPN. Apparantly I may not get much from my local news now either, because why should they bother covering the games if they can't COVER the game.

But hey, there's always the NIFL.

Monday, March 27, 2006

The "Local TV Reporter Arrested" File

Checking the WFMY website today and I noticed something was missing...The Reporter Bio of (named removed by request)...It's gone!

I also heard from a source or two that he has landed a new job that is taking him to Charleston, SC. Apparently it's a PR gig.

Coincidently, today was also his court date in Guilford County District Court in High Point for the assault charges filed against him after an altercation at a live shot scene.

A homeowner filed the charges against the reporter claiming he grabbed her and tried to pull her to the ground while she was trying to remove her home's for sale sign from her front yard before the Live report.

The house on Tavern Court where the incident happened was (likely) randomly chose for the 11pm Live Shot because of it's for sale status in the controversial Guilford County School's reassignment switch-a-roo area.

I still don't know any more details about the altercation than when I last typed about it but I have noticed that he hasn't been on the air or the web. I also don't know if he found a new job because he thought he needed to or his bosses did(of course, they likely have the whole story, at least he and his photog's version).

According to court records the case has been continued for a month, which is standard operating procedure in the overburdened court system.

Hey (named removed by request), feel free to jump in any time. Best of Luck in your new endeavors!

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Las Vegas Here We Come

Lenslinger and Chris WeaverI've never been to the great western gambling town of Las Vegas, so last April when the dates for NAB were approaching Lenslinger and I thought out loud about heading west. It was too late to make a serious effort at organizing the cross country jaunt and honestly, I didn't have the money. But it wasn't too late to plan for 2006.

So in 2005 while both of us sat here in in North Carolina fantisizing about attending the ultimate TV trade show in the ultimate trade show city, we had to sit back and watch another TV Photog Blogger, Little Lost Robot, publish his memoirs of the trip in type and awesome video shorts, whetting our appetites even more.

While watching LLR blog, and vlog from Vegas we let him know our intentions for a year later through our comments.....

Lenslinger said...
I'm jealous LLR, and am hoping to go next year. Until then, I'll be attending vicariously through you. Just don't get us arrested or anything...
4:34 PM

FTOJRLST said...
What he said.
8:50 PM

So now it's a year later...the trip is booked...and the countdown is on....(SEE COUNTDOWN AT TOP OF PAGE)

If you see us there...stop us and say hey!!!

Monday, March 13, 2006

Award Winning Photog Staff
A Rare Gathering

Kind of like Lenslinger said on his blog, this here is a rare picture.

Fox 8 Photog Staff
FOX 8 WGHP Photojournalists

Almost all of the Photogs from WGHP Fox8 gathered together in the station parking lot in front of the Santa Maria Sat Truck for a group photo celebrating our naming as the NPPA Medium Market Station of the Year.

Fox 8 Chief Photog Keith Hale
Fox8 Chief Photojournalist, Keith Hale

A couple of the guys had conflicts shooting their stories that just wouldn't let them get back to the station. Ken DeVanney rolled into the parking lot as we were walking away from the photo-op.

Fox 8 Photog Kenny DeVanney
Fox8 Photojournalist, Ken DeVanney

I almost missed it myself, but my reporter for the day decided we didn't need the 2 O'Clock interview, that what we had shot was enough. He was right and for that I thank him. Wes Barrett and Ken Cravens made the trip over to High Point from the Bureau in Winston-Salem to take part in the picture.

Fox 8 Photog Wes Barrett
Fox8 Photojournalist, Wes Barrett

I'd personally like to thank all of my fellow Photogs for working so hard all year long to make memorable TV.

Fox 8 Photog Ken Cravens
Fox8 Photojournalist, Ken Cravens

We don't often get the credit we deserve in the daily grind of repeatedly gathering news but an award like this brings to the table the hard work it takes to make Great TV.

Fox 8 Photog Brad Ingram
Fox8 Photojournalist, Brad Ingram

Everyone on the staff really hustles to get the job done. We all work together and we are all proud of what we have accomplished.

Fox 8 Photog Tim Bateson
Fox8 Photojournalist, Tim Bateson

I think we can repeat!!!

Friday, March 10, 2006

WGHP wins NPPA Station of the Year
Medium Market Category

It hasn't quite soaked in yet. WGHP is the NPPA Medium Market Station of the Year.

WOW!!! I'm speechless. (but I can still type:))

Ken Eric 2Hawks WorkingWrennHuman Flag 7

I am proud to say I work along side these guys every day, running the streets of the Piedmont Triad of NC gathering sight and sound and turning them into stories.

We put stories together at the breakneck speed of news, making great things happen every day no matter what.

And when I put out the word for them to give me their best of 2005, they brought it.

Matt JensenGSO Murder NEWSDavie County Animal Prints (2)

Based on the comments, I think the judges saw that too.

Kevin Labrecque said, “The winners did do a good job of making me feel as if I
were there.”

Ray Meints said, “The winner, WGHP-TV, in my opinion was
the station that I considered the most consistently sound.”

Stotelmyer said, “Again, showing consistency was a key factor in the decision.’

Ernesto Torres said, “The wining station had a real strong and solid
tape that had very good storytelling and creative storytelling to make all of
there stories compelling, and interesting. The word I would use to describe this
entry would be ‘Creativity.” It had the all elements. It had a couple of good
examples of how to tell a much better and strong story.”

And with the runner up shop, WFMY, just up the road a bit Lou Davis' comments are dead on...

“One competitive market, the top two have very competitive photo staffs!” Lou
Davis said. “One had a trend of letting the moments happen on tape moving the
stories forward. The other, a consistent, clean presentation throughout the
tape. The winner distanced themselves with more creativity in their
storytelling/pictures which pushed them over the top.”

“It will be interesting to see how future bragging rights develop in the
Triad of North Carolina. Keep up the good work everyone!”

I had a good feeling about our chances while putting the tape together. Several of our stories already had good fortune in the NPPA Quarterly Clip Contest and the MidSouth Regional Emmys.

Like our Newsroom Mission Statement says..."Excellence in Powerful Storytelling." That wouldn't be possible without the pictures and sounds these guys hunt down on a daily basis.

You can see all the NPPA Winner's Stories HERE and read more about the NPPA Best of Photojournalism Contest HERE.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

ACC Tournament
Prep and Practice

I spent a lot of Wednesday at the Greensboro coliseum. Starting across the street from the complex, my reporter and I covered the departure of the new Indoor Football Team the Greensboro Revolution as they left for Osceaola, Florida for their first game.

We went across the street to shoot standups for the story where the Revolution will play, yet this week is the home of the ACC Basketball tournament.

ACC Basketball

And it's in full Basketball mode.

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From the chairs all lined up nice and neat.

ACC Basketball (11)

To the balls on the hardwood ready for practice. And yeah, the ESPN banner can only mean one thing....High Definition Television.

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This is one of the HD Cameras set up by ESPN for game coverage. However, there are two broadcast entities at this tourney. Raycom/Jefferson Pilot is also broadcasting the games. Some of the games are only on one or the other while some are simulcast by both broadcasters.

ACC Basketball (34)

The technology was being set up in full effect. The remote camera on top of the basket is ready to go. Microphone's are set up in multiple place to capture the sound for the Surround Sound broadcast.

ACC Basketball (6)ACC Basketball (3)

And technicians spent the day checking and double checking all their connections.

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After shooting a 3 part standup about great seat prices for Indoor Football, I stood still for a quick snapshot to prove I was there...and then we left. We headed back to the station to get today's story written, edited and on the air for 6.

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Since I came in at 7am I was able to check out a little early so I went and picked up my son and step-son and we headed back to the coliseum to watch a little pre-tourney practice.

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We saw about half of the Miami practice but I didn't take any pictures.

ACC Basketball (17)ACC Basketball (24)

NC State's practice was at 6. The local media and TV crews from Greensboro, Raleigh and Charlotte were on the air for the 6 o'clock news and some of them had a second camera on the floor capturing the pre-tourney action.

ACC Basketball (14)ACC Basketball (20)

Below is WXII Photographer Chris Peterson catching a litte up close baseline action.

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I think these guys below were from Charlotte. Look, the reporter is hooking the Photog up with a white balance from his handy dandy legal pad.

ACC Basketball (25)

After State's practice hour was almost done it was time to call it a night.

ACC Basketball (29)ACC Basketball (31)

But not before I took the boys to the kids zone.

ACC Basketball (32)ACC Basketball (33)

My buddy Chris(left) and my co-worker Kenny D. (right, blue shirt) were still in full photog zone as I left.

Hopefully I'll get back over to the coliseum for a few of the games. I've lived here 9 years and never been.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Hasty Braves Basketball
My Team
Year Ending Debacle

The picture below shows 5 of the 8 most dissapointed boys in Little League Basketball.

Basketball Debacle (10)

This is the team picture. You're looking at the Hasty Braves. In an earlier blog posting I told of how we were off to a good start and I even posted a short video clip of some of our play.


We only lost 1 game all year long, the final regular season game. That was a tough game against a team we had previousely defeated.

And with a regular season record of 7-2 it was a great year. Yes, 7 wins, 2 losses, but the second loss wasn't really a loss. It was a penalty.

We only played 8 games but 2 days after I had previously blogged about my coaching endeavors the county recreation supervisor called me to inform me of a penalty from game one. We had to take a fake loss for a playing time violation.

The rules call for a mandatory playing time of 9 minutes per child. 6 of those minutes have to be consecutive. Somehow in that 1st game 1 of my guys was not scored into the game correctly by the teenage scorekeeper. I had video of the game showing that the boy played his time and the official scoresheet had other glaring errors including not scoring one of my players out of the game after the sheet showed he had fouled out. But the county guy said he couldn't review the video and the other errors weren't enough to overturn the ruling so the loss stood. We got to keep the win so we were 1-1 after 1 game.

Jeffrey Steal

Our wins came in grand fashion too.

  1. 36-26
  2. 56-6
  3. 36-17
  4. 35-13
  5. 43-27
  6. 29-16
  7. 35-3

In every game most of the kids made baskets. In some of the games EVERY PLAYER SCORED POINTS.


Our power scorer and ballhandler Landon was the glue that held the team together, moving the ball around, finding the open shooter, or taking the ball to the basket and making it happen. He scored a season high 41 points in the first round of the post season.


Our 8 and 2 record was good enough to be #2 in our division at the end of the season and got us into post season play. They won in round 1 to get to the quarter-finals and again in the quarter- finals to get to the semi-finals.

Basketball Debacle (9)

But tonight my boys had to watch the game, in picture just above this, as the Arcadia Heat played the Arcadia Nets in that semi-final game of the Davidson County Little League Boys (ages 11-13).

It's a game the 8 young men that made up my Hasty Braves should have been on the floor competing in instead of on the bleachers watching because they beat the Arcadia Nets in the Quarter-Final game this past Saturday, but there was another playing time issue coming from the scoring table!

Basketball Debacle (6)

The end of regulation of the quarter final game was a tie game, heading into overtime. Before the OT tip a county official came over and told me of the scoring concern. I begged and pleaded and showed him my play rotation sheet that puts the boys in the game at the appropriate times to make sure they get their playing time. He told me there was nothing he could do, they had to go by the official scoring sheet.

The sheet indicated that one of my players didn't enter the game in the middle of the first quarter to play the quarter's final three minutes when indeed he had played the final 3 minutes of the first quarter, shooting a failed attempt at a 3 pointer and drawing a foul. Unfortunatley those 2 stats aren't marked by the quarter in this league or we would have been OK.

The mistake caused the boy not to get his 6 minutes consecutively because this was the only time he was scheduled to play a back to back segment for his 6 minutes.

So my only option going into the 2 minute overtime was to get his 6 minutes in OT. That meant we couldn't win the game, we had to tie it, TWICE. I called a timeout during the OT to talk about this strategy with the guys and they fully understood what the consequense of winning the game meant at that point. It meant we would lose. So they set out to tie the game.

With 5 second left in Overtime we were down by 2 so we called a final timeout to stop the clock. We had to imbound the ball and run it the length of the floor and get two points to tie the game.

My power guy Landon promised me he could get it done. He took the imbound pass, dribbled 3/4 the length of the floor and took the shot at the buzzer. Nothing but net!!!!

The 3 point shot put us up by one point winning us the game yet at the same time sending us home with a disqualification.

Our only hope was for some kind of evidence. A picture, a videotape, something. There was only a single camcorder capturing the game and it wasn't mine.

Basketball Debacle (8)

I didn't have a tape for the game and the two other parents who sometimes tape the games decided not to this time. The game tape that did get made was by a parent from the other team. Needless to say it wasn't available. The official line was that his camcorder had messed up in that part of the game.

Basketball Debacle (7)

As with my earlier in the season scoring follies, the man who had to make the final decision was the Athletic Supervisor, Scott Hulin(above). He had to make the determination as to whether there were any scoring errors that he could prove. I talked to him after the game and then on Monday after the game. He asked me for a lot of details regarding my playing rotation and he says he looked at my past games' rotations looing for inconsistensies. He even offered to look at video taped evidence for this investigation. But since I didn't tape the game(kick myself hard) there was nothing I could do or say to change the fact that we were going home winners.

Basketball Debacle (4)

So on Tuesday night I told the boys they were welcome to join me at the game that was rightfully ours.

Basketball Debacle (3)

They did get a bit of court time to make some shots during halftime.

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Some of the boys wore their jersey's to make a statement.

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And the game was a pretty low scoring affair, showing here in the 2nd quarter.

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The team we beat, the Arcadia Nets, that did get to play in this semi-final game lost again tonight.

Our season is done.

I guess there's a lesson in all this somewhere. At least that's what I tell the boys.

They will walk away from this better over all. But that doesn't make it right!