Do normal people actually watch an entire hour of local TV news? After the shock of watching 2’s lead story, we were too stunned to leave our seat. Maybe that’s what they intended. Observations:
Rachel Kim had a forgettable story about a killing that won’t be news for much longer. The family declined to talk on TV. Neighbors were somewhat helpful. Kim is good at developing stories, but not on this particular evening.
Ross Cavitt had a nice enterprise story about WhiteWater’s plan to dig wells to supplement its water supply. The story gained nuance when Cavitt revealed that it ain’t likely the wells will help much.
Jovita Moore– substituting for the thankfully absent Monica Pearson– had the best scoop of the show: An exclusive interview with the new, and much-criticized CEO of Grady, Pam Stephenson. It was a nice lick for Moore, who frequently spends her days in the trenches covering news prior to her nightly anchor appearances at 5.
Lori Geary had a rare emotional story from the Capitol about school bullying. She deftly removed her earpiece during her live lead-in because a technical glitch created a distracting echo. Geary didn’t miss a beat.
Ashley Hayes had what could have been the show’s most interesting story: Cops in Hilton Head talked at length about the disappearance of an Atlanta couple, and the suicide of the main suspect. But the story lacked immediacy because it was obvious Hayes was relying on material fed from other TV stations based in SC.
WSB ran an anchor reader on a captured fugitive. They must have grit their teeth as they gave a photo courtesy to America’s Most Wanted, a show on their arch-competitor WAGA.
And then there was weather with Glenn Burns:
Afterward– live in the dreaded 6:30 slot– Tom Regan produced possibly the most watchable story of the day: A trade show that opened at the storm-battered World Congress Center. Apparently, the GWCC is in better shape than most expected.
Ryan Young had the gratuitous live shot of the night: “Live in midtown” with a story about a robbery in DeKalb Co. “Live in midtown?” That’s WSB telling the world that they’re making one of their reporters stand on the lawn of the TV station on Peachtree. Why? Who knows.
Sports had the best surprise: Bill Hartman reported on new seats at Turner Field, built in front of the previous front row. The story showed rows of seats that drift absurdly close to home plate– the closest spectator view in all of MLB, according to Hartman. Local TV sports no longer exists in many markets– yielding to the hegemony of ESPN. Atlanta retains a lively and competitive local sports presence. It’s often worth watching.
Perhaps we’ll slog through the 6 o’clock show of another station next time.