Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Emmy Award
The Winning Story

Having had a a few days now to digest the fact that I actually won an EMMY award I will start babbling, little by little, my trip to Nashville, the story that won and how Eric White and I had a great week of Newsgathering leading up to shooting that story.

Emmy Trip 07 (88)Emmy Trip 07 (84)

Emmy Trip 07 (89)Emmy Trip 07 (76)

The story that won the Emmy I had originally given the title "The Sticker Project" because a girl in the story uttered that line while placing the stickers during the cover up. Eric decided "NCAA Cover Up" had a better ring and an air of mystique.

Watch the Emmy Winning Story...

Eric and I found out about the NCAA advertising regulation after shooting at the Greensboro Colliseum on Monday. That story was a simple preview of the NCAA Men's tournament getting set up. That story was also a pretty good story with lots of action of the colliseum crew setting up the floor for men's basketball. We shot the story and had it on the air in about 3 1/2 hours after getting a late afternoon start.

Watch that story that we call "NCAA Preps" .....

Earlier that day while we waited for our appointment to shoot at the colliseum we were dispatched to the scene of a dog hit by a car near the station. Now, that may not seem like news but....well, watch the story.

The dog really left at the end of the story. You saw it get up and leave...that's what I saw. It walked out of frame, into the woods, and while we sat their and waited for 20-30 more minutes he never came back.

That story won an Honorable Mention in the NPPA Quarterly Clip Contest.(Region 6, 1st Quarter, News Feature)

So with those two stories under our belts by Monday afternoon we were stoked to have the Sticker Story lined up for Thursday night. But it wasn't that easy. Our plans were almost nixed for logistical reasons and the story almost never saw the light of day. But we worked out the details with the bosses and made it happen.

Three great stories in one week. It was a nice feeling then and the work it took to make it happen is really justified now!

Sunday, January 28, 2007



Those were my first words out of my mouth as I accepted my very first Emmy!


It was for a General News story called NCAA Coverup about the worker's at the Greensboro Colliseum covering up the ad-laden cup holders according to the NCAA policy.

I will write a more detailed roundup later but right now it's time to party!

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Road Trip
Emmy Awards

It's been a year since my first trip to Nashville, Tennessee, so I wasn't about to pass up the chance to go again. My station was nominated for 3 Emmys, one for News Excellence, one for Spot news and mine for General News.

My wife and I made the 6 and a half hour trek from the Piedmont of North Carolina on Friday and spent the evening in Nashville checking out a few sights.

Cooter's Place

I'm a big "Dukes of Hazard" fan so I wasn't about to pass up a chance to see the "DoH" museum at "Cooter's Place". After that it was off to do a little shopping and then round out the evening listening to some great bar bands down on Broadway.

General Lee

I'll leave you with this picture that I snapped in Knoxville on the way. (I hope they have a backup plan.)

Drive in Claims

Monday, January 22, 2007

Lenslinger - Published
Book Coming Soon?

I don't have to write a word for you to know what the below picture means...


Published from a blog entry of Stewart's with a few 'tweaks' for the magazine, these pictures depict his work that adorns pages 20, 21, 22 or the January 2007 edition of NPPA's News Photographer Magazine.

NPPA Mag 2

It's a great article and although it's loaded with a cup of satire, a tablespoon of sarcasm and a pinch of reality it's all excellent advice for any reporter who has the fervor and ability to produce great work, yet doesn't take themselves too seriously.

Hey Stew...The editors paragraph at the end of the article put's the pressure on for 2007.

NPPA Mag 3

Friday, January 19, 2007

News Chopper Reborn

Can someone get me one of these? Really, this thing is cool...and it's a great promo...WATCH...

Of course, their hand was kind of forced...WATCH...

Moral of the story...That's a sweet Aerial News Aquisition Vehicle and two computers are better than one. (this is their 3rd chopper since 1998 when they crashed one and started using that white one that crashed in 2004)

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

XD vs P2
Dealing with it All

In a move that kind of surprises me Panasonic has announced that it has struck a deal with Fox Entertainment Group to supply all of the Fox Owned and Operated TV stations with P2 cameras.

Camera Watercolor

That really surprises me considering we converted to Sony XD 2 years ago and they've been flawless as far as I'm concerned. The workflow with the XD discs keeps getting better and the cost of storage is super duper cheap expecially when compared to P2.

The cost comparison goes something like this XD = $1.30 per gig of storage. P2 = $275 per gig of storage. (That's no typo...XD less than 2-dollars, P2 almost 3-hundred-dollars PER GIG OF SPACE TO STORE VIDEO!)

XD Disc (3)

I don't know where in the world I'll store all of my future footage.(stuff I shoot way ahead of time.) Right now I have 15 or so discs, with hours and hours of footage, in the hands of reporters who are writing the stories for edit and air dates that are still weeks away.

I don't know a tremendous amount about the P2 but I do know that it's storage capacity is limited and expensive.

Hopefully we'll have some time before the P2 transition trickles down to us and it will be a world different. Right now I'm not looking forward to it.

Ont the bright side, I'll know where to get a good deal on an XDCam!



SECAUCUS, NJ (January 16, 2007) -- Panasonic Broadcast today announced that it has signed a three-year agreement with the Fox Entertainment Group, Inc. to supply P2 HD and P2 solid-state camcorders and recorders to all Fox owned-and-operated television stations.

Fox Television Stations, Inc. part of the Fox Entertainment Group, is one of the nation's largest owned-and-operated broadcast groups, and comprises 35 stations in 26 markets, covering nearly 45% of U.S. television homes. This includes five duopolies in the top 10 markets, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas and Washington D.C., as well as duopolies in Houston, Minneapolis, Phoenix and Orlando.

Under the terms of the three-year agreement, Panasonic will be the exclusive supplier of certain electronic news gathering (ENG) equipment for Fox’s owned-and-operated television stations. The agreement covers AJ-HPX2000 2/3" P2 HD camcorders, AJ-HPM100 P2 HD mobile recorders, P2 Cards as well as P2 drives and other P2 products.

John Baisley, President, Panasonic Broadcast, said, "We are very pleased to be chosen by Fox, one of our original development partners for P2, to supply its television stations with P2 HD and P2 equipment. This substantial commitment reinforces Panasonic’s leadership in high definition."

"P2 is a proven technology with extensive customer experience, and Panasonic is deeply committed to the continued development of innovative yet practical P2 HD solid state solutions that deliver substantial workflow improvements and overall operating efficiencies," added Baisley.

Currently, five Fox stations – WNYW-TV and WWOR-TV, New York City; WTXF-TV, Philadelphia, KRIV-TV, Houston; and KTVI-TV, St. Louis; are using Panasonic’s P2 standard definition equipment in their news production operations.

About P2 HD

P2 HD provides the reliability of solid state production, the immediate connectivity to existing IT infrastructures; the speed, ease of use and portability of P2 cards; and the interoperability with leading NLE systems. The core products within the P2 HD product line offer solid-state high definition recording without the mechanical wear and environmental limitations of tape, hard disk, and optical disc based systems. P2 HD insures the highest reliability, especially in challenging conditions of extreme temperature range, shock, and vibration. P2 HD products provide a significant reduction in maintenance costs, longer useful product life, and immediate access to recorded video (no need to digitize, ingest or create proxy video files) and metadata.

The multi-format AJ-HPX2000, the first shoulder-mount camcorder in Panasonic’s P2 HD series, features a native HD progressive 2/3" 3-CCD system that offers superb recording in 1080i, 720p, 480i, 576i and in a total of 17 high definition and standard definition formats. Designed to support versatile compression rates, the

AJ-HPX2000 is switchable between DVCPRO HD/50/25 and DV as well as the new AVC-Intra codec, the industry’s most advanced image compression technology.

The AJ-HPM100 P2 Mobile features multi-format recording and playback with a six-slot P2 card reader, versatile inputs/outputs (including HD-SDI, IEEE 1394, USB 2.0), an SD memory card slot, broadcast-level editing controls including a job/shuttle dial and audio faders, and a 9-inch widescreen HD LCD monitor with stereo speakers. The P2 Mobile offers the benefits of solid-state performance with on-the-go recording, editing and playback in the world’s leading video formats, including up/down/cross conversion between 1080i and 720p and between high definition and standard definition.

About Panasonic Broadcast

Panasonic Broadcast & Television Systems Co. is a leading supplier of broadcast and professional video products and systems. Panasonic Broadcast is a unit company of Panasonic Corporation of North America. The company is the North American headquarters of Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. (NYSE: MC) of Japan, and the hub of its U.S. marketing, sales, service and R&D operations. For more information on Panasonic Broadcast products, visit

Spot News - Log Truck Overturned

Tractor Trailer accidents can be very spectacular. When they wreck they wreck big. It's kind of like the old saying...'The bigger they are the harder they fall.'

Toss in 80-Thousand pounds of logs and an airborne passenger car and you've got a mess.

Log Truck Accident

I was in too big a hurry to pop off too many pictures. I was sent on this 25 mile trek at 4:30 with video expected driven back by 6. I would have about 10 minutes on the ground if all things went accordingly.

The only hitch in my plan was the backup of southbound traffic that was being forced into the right lane to pass the emergency vehicles staged near the scene. As all the vehicles in front of me cleared to the right I proceeded to pass them knowing I'd be pulling into the median to the left. But one truckdriver threw a rolling roadblock my way trying to keep me from passing him by rolling slowly in the left lane. I just went further to the left, into the grass and made the pass clean. I think he figured out when I passed him I wasn't just another passenger car in a hurry.

When I got on the scene I found out that a passenger car had jumped -emphasis on jumped- the median and, while still airborne(I was told), crashed nearly head-on into this tractor trailer logging truck.

The log truck overturned, spilling the logs, and shutting down northbound Highway 52 for several hours during the afternoon commute through the evening.

I was back at the station by 5:45, on the air with a VO at 6.

My Cat - My Desk

My cat has decided lately that my desk is her new favorite hangout.

Carmen on Desk 2

It's about time. She used to avoid me like the plague.

Carmen on Desk

Friday, January 12, 2007

Cingular Wireless in NASCAR
Ironic Ad Placement
Fate of the Team

I was reading about the merger of Bell South and AT&T where it relates to Cingular wireless name change and how it affects their NASCAR Sponsorship when I came across this article that had interesting ad placement. The Alltel Ad in the Cingular Story, now that's spending your money wisely.


As of the above artice it was still sort of just speculation, but it's been confirmed by AT&T that they are going to rebrand Cingular into AT&T Wireless. On a business minded note I think it sucks. When I think of AT&T wireless I don't think of a great cell phone service. Their service was never great around here.

From a NASCAR point of view, with the RCR #31 Cingular Race team based just 20 miles up the road I'm a little curious. You see, Cingular was already a sponsor NASCAR's Cup level of racing when it changed from Winston Cup Racing to NEXTEL Cup Racing. NEXTEL's deal with NASCAR as the premier sponsor of this series prohibits other competing companies(i.e. wireless providers) to be sponsors. The only exceptions were Cingular, Alltel and Sprint(before that merger with NEXTEL) who were all grandfathered in.

#31 Jeff Burton

Now that AT&T want's to change Cingular Wireless to AT&T Wireless that means that the race car colors, logos and marketing will have to change to but the NEXTEL Contract (according to what I've heard, read, know) doesn't allow the competing company to change it's branding.

So if AT&T can't get it's rebranding it might just have to drop out of NASCAR's premier series and they've been one of the better sponsors so that would be a shame.

It's going to be interesting to see if NASCAR can mediate this one.

If I was in charge I'd leave the Orange Cingular Logo intact on the car but use the AT&T Colors (and maybe the logo) but without the wording. They may could slip that through. And then verbally call it "Not Cingular" It's all going to be about interpreting the sponsorship. And it may be better for the new brand in the long run to take advantage of the hype and talk that will surround them being locked out of the series.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

New Toy
2nd Video From it...

You might remember this video back before Christmas of Lenslinger opening up his new toy. Well that video was shot with my new toy.

Vid Camera

This is the Pure Point and Shoot Digital camcorder. Our station did a product test on it and I new I had to have it. It records in a compressed proprietery format that looks and acts a lot like MPEG-2. The video is actually pretty good, although the audio is a little hot.

Exporting can be done a couple of ways. It plugs in to a USB port (just a like a Thumb drive) and it comes with software to help you share the video but I find that kind of useless. I just open the files and grab the video files and import them into Windows Movie Maker or Adobe 6.5.

Vid Camera (1)

Shooting with it's great. It has an LCD screen on the back and you can see everything you are shooting. Don't expect any bells and whistles. All you can do is Point and Shoot, like the name implies. But for around $100 what did you expect?

Now...Here's another video from my new toy. I've been hanging onto it since before Christmas...It's from a day when we had to drive 5 hours round trip for a 5 o'clock pkg....

Friday, January 05, 2007

Toyota Plant?
Davidson County, NC?

Remember the old Toyota ads...


Reporter Angela Rodriguez does too. I didn't shoot the story with her but I did get to go do the Live Shot about it at 5 and 6.

Live at Twighlight

With the Wall Street Journal reporting that Toyota is getting closer to choosing a location for it's newest plant and that North Carolina is still on the list it was a perfect day for another Toyota follow.

The story has been floating around Davidson County for months with strange sightings of land surveyors and people digging test holes on large areas of land in Southwest Davidson county near I-85.

A-Rod Preps

Angela went down their and found a couple of landowners who all but said that Toyota has approached people in the area about buying land.

Cindy Lou Who...
Here's a Bookshelf for You...

Our morning show co-anchor Cindy Farmer told me about one of her New Year's Resolutions for 2007. These pictures are the resolution in action.

I need space

Her pledge to be more organized sent her on a hunt for a bookshelf and after securing this $20 unit she set about putting it together.

It's mine

She got it all done by herself until she got to that section that goes on the back and demands that all the holes line up. Even me and our EP had trouble with that one.

Cindy Screw Driving

But now she has a place for all those books that had cluttered up her desk.


Wednesday, January 03, 2007

2007 - Day Two
Miss January
and a side note

Some days are destinted to be good days. This was one.

I was able to spend most of the day working on our station's contest entries and then had to run out and shoot a quick VoSot, that I actually wish could've been a full blown package.

April Roberts

The girl in the picture with me is April Roberts, her birthday's in June, but she's Miss January in the America's Female Firefighters 2007 Calendar.

I don't really know what I was expecting when I got to the firehouse with my assignment sheet in hand...but this wasn't it....

April is a professional firefighter on the and has been for 4 years. She applied for the chance to be in the calendar last spring and in May traveled to Miami for the photo shoot.

The sale of the calendar supports the People's Burn Foundation and the Firefighters' Burn Foundation by raising money to help burn victims.

If you'd like a calendar you can get one directly from April by sending her an email -(COMING SOON) (and if she sells the most calendars she will be back in the 2008 issue!)


And on a side note that wouldn't be a side note on any other day....

After all the excitement of meeting Miss January I picked up a 6 o'clock live shot for another photog which meant I got to work with our newest reporter Miss Leah Beano.

Leah Beano

We had a fun conversation and I took a few hurried pix but I'll save all that for another day and time. (No offense Leah :))

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Happy New Year!
Let's Get This Party Started!

First, Happy New Year!

If I keep track of the years by the stories that I do - and I do for the most part - 2006 was a great year. I went to Virginia to see Crash Test Dummies, to LA to hang with Chris Daughtry and learned that dogs have feelings too.

What I didn't really have a lot of was run and gun, action packed, spot news. Somehow I missed out on most of the good stuff this year. I have a feeling that's about to change.

I'm back from vaction as of 7 o'clock Monday morning (yes, New Years double pay, I mean, day.)

Yeah, 7AM. I'm on call for this first week of the year and overnight 4 inches of rain pushed creeks in Winston-Salem out of their banks and into peoples homes. About 25 families were evacuated from their apartments and it was drawn out enough that I was able to get there and have plenty of semi-hectic action to shoot.

Of course being my first morning back, I wasn't fully prepared. I was missing one of my 3 camera batteries when I picked up my gear Sunday night and one of the two I did have I found out wasn't charged until I was on the scene of the flood. So I had to shoot with ONE half ass battery and hope it didn't die at a crucial time. And of course....It did.

I had a lot of good stuff but firefighters were about to bring a couple out of their apartment through the rushing water and the battery went dead. It's more complicated than that though. These 2 year old batteries are dying when the camera says they have 50% capacity left. I think it's a camera issue, but never-the-less the camera is powering down. I turned the camera off, let it sit unti the couple was coming out and I was able to get enough of the shot to make it work.

I had already made a dozen update calls back to the station and I did a live phoner at 8-30 and after this couple was out and my battery said goodbye again I hit the road back to the bureau to feed tape for the end of the show and to get fresh batteries .

I later met my reporter for the day, Eric White, back at the scene and we gathered more video, sound and information and went live at 5 and 6 with 2 pkgs. (and not a single digital picture to show for it....I suck!)

Welcome to 2007!