We hear that Ellen Crooke, the new news director at WXIA, likes to write detailed critiques of the station’s newscasts. In that spirit, we watched WAGA’s 6pm news Monday. We won’t bore you with too many details.
Morse Diggs’ lead story was the best piece in the show. He produced a story about the restructuring of the Atlanta Fire Bureau. It was well-told and covered all the elements. Grade: A-
Kaitlyn Pratt’s piece on how the economy has affected local food banks was problematic. It’s a story WXIA has been doing for weeks. It was cut by a dissolve-crazy editor who needs to get past the novelty of non-linear editing. And the storytelling was flatfooted. Grade: C-
Stacy Elgin’s piece on the dwindling investment accounts of retirees was predictable. Her subjects really, really want to have enough money to go to Disney World next year. The photographer’s lens was covered with dried slime. Grade: C+
Tom Haynes’ nightly chore seems to be to promote WAGA’s web site. While standing in front of a large monitor showing the site, Haynes used the word “great” four times to describe it. WXIA’s and WGCL’s sites are better. Grade: C-.
Ken Cook made the first of three appearances, telling the audience that the weather is nice and would remain that way. Cook is the subject of a Facebook group called “Ken Cook doesn’t forecast the weather, he tells it what to do.” Grade: Omnipotent.
Paul Yates did a good job on another poll showing the US Senate race tightening. Saxby Chambliss was campaigning on the coast and was unavailable. Yates still gave the piece balance and covered the story well. Grade: B+
Aungelique Proctor was at the Nichols trial. The testimony was dry. Proctor did well to make it as interesting as it was. Grade: B
Patty Pan talked to the mother of a teenager killed in a car accident over the weekend. The mom’s remarks were moving. Pan went into too much detail about the accident, given the superior material she had with the grieving mom. We’d like to see somebody find another way to say “makeshift memorial.” Grade: C+
Ken Rodriguez delivered an amusing and informative sportscast. This, in spite of a self-promoting bit about a luncheon he hosted; and in spite of the fact that WAGA showed video of the Georgia-Tennessee game while Rodriguez talked about Clemson and Vanderbilt. Grade: B-
Overall: There was only one live shot, which showed nice restraint. Likewise, there was no sketchy “breaking news.” That’s always a plus. Grade: B-