Sympathy

It’s a bad week to be Denis O’Hayer. WXIA’s political reporter is a smart guy. He’s a good reporter. He’s got good connections. He’s one of the best reasons to watch WXIA.

O’Hayer ought to be in Denver, giving WXIA some local color from the Democratic convention. Instead, he’s home. And adding insult to injury, this talented reporter spent today’s noon news producing a live report on a tree that fell on a house. The tree injured nobody, though a college-age woman who “could have” been in the damaged bedroom wasn’t.

O’Hayer did it gamely. In his report, he spoke at some length about the root structure of the old tree, which had been compromised by excess rain. He sold the story as a Big Deal, even though it could have been adequately covered by anchor v/o. Selling such tripe is a TV reporter’s job. There’s no quicker way to get a phone call from the boss than by downplaying an a-section story as no big deal.

Meantime, while he’s at the latest weather mini-event, O’Hayer is encountering his colleagues and competitors. At each turn, O’Hayer is doubtless hearing the same question repeatedly: Why aren’t you in Denver? It is probably driving the TV and radio news veteran batshit crazy inside.

Sure, the national political conventions are hackneyed and stage-managed. Sure, local coverage doesn’t add that much. But we’d much, much rather watch O’Hayer face that challenge than see him take on a downed tree.

Adding to his misfortune is the fact that WXIA has extensive coverage from Denver on its website. It is touting blogs from TV reporters based at Gannett stations in Buffalo and Denver, who are covering the convention. Too bad O’Hayer isn’t one of them, though he’s still blogging about politics. It shows where his heart is while he’s standing outside talking about a downed tree.

Next time you see O’Hayer, our suggestion: Don’t ask him why he isn’t in Denver. A word of sympathy would sting much less.

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About live apt fire

Doug Richards is a reporter at WXIA-TV. This is his personal blog. WXIA-TV has nothing whatsoever to do with this blog, under any circumstances, in any form, zero, zilch, nada. For anything written herein, Doug accepts sole credit and full blame. Follow him on Twitter: @richardsdoug. All rights reserved. Thanks for visiting.

9 thoughts on “Sympathy

  1. rptrcub

    I watch C-Span for my DNC coverage, live and unfiltered, until I’m bored out of my mind. I’ll watch C-Span for my RNC coverage, too, if I can stomach it.

    Reply
  2. scott hedeen

    O’Hayer held his own with Nigut in the statehouse….and still managed to cover a bear sighting in Dorville. Denis is a professional…and should be “Mr. GO TO ” with any political.

    Huzzah Mr.O’Hayer…. yr “60 at 6″ is just a website away.

    Reply
  3. LBJ

    I worked with Denis years ago. He’s a pro, a nice guy, and was very nice to me when I was a 20 year old board operator who found the news fascinating.

    Reply
  4. Pingback: Atlanta blogs today | Fresh Loaf

  5. spaceyg

    Every blogger (except this one) in America is in Denver, fer chrissake. They just, like, went there. Couldn’t O’Hayer just moreorless just done the same?

    It’s hard to be a left-behind. Speaking of the left-behind ATL bloggerati, we’ll be at the usual place tonight, giving it, the stadium rock star show that is, the live, new media treatment… from Manuel’s.

    Reply
  6. passengerside

    Anyone who tunes in to Atlanta news knows, fallen trees trump politics any day…and if the video is good…twice in one show.

    Reply
  7. juanita driggs

    Denis O’Hayer at 11-Alive and Paul Yates at Fox Five are hands-down the best political reporters on Atlanta TV. It was right to send Paul to Minnesota to cover the GOP and it would be the right thing for 11-Alive to send Denis as well. Anybody who’s lived in town long enough to remember Denis hosting “Sixty At Six” on WGST(the Newsmonster) knows whereof I speak. As usual 11-Alive management is busy squandering a first-rate talent.

    Reply

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