Secret Squirrel

Close your eyes and listen, as the reporter tags his story: “We were told the suspect, through the sheriff, declined to be interviewed by us.” The passive tense, the fractured syntax, and the sheer audacity that any freshly-arrested suspect would consider being “interviewed by us” signals the presence of one man: WSB’s Mark Winne. This particular bit of copy aired Thursday at 11pm.

Winne breaks news for WSB. He has great sources in hard-to-reach places. He’s got a secret-squirrel quality about him in the field. It suits him well and keeps his competitors guessing. He also writes, shall we say, very dense copy. One WSB reporter loves to recount the story of a producer, tasked to re-write a Winne story, viewed the story three times. Afterward, she announced that she had no idea what the story was about. If there are copy editors at WSB, they need to be on their guard around Mr. Winne.

But when Winne shows up in the a-block of WSB’s news, the bossfolk at competing TV stations turn down the audio of their own newscasts and watch Winne. Frequently– they’ll shake their heads afterward and say “huh?” But often enough, they’ll send their own staff out to chase a Winne scoop.

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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. For anything written herein, Doug accepts sole credit and full blame. Follow him on Twitter: @richardsdoug. All rights reserved. Thanks for visiting.

7 thoughts on “Secret Squirrel

  1. RonBurgundy

    Winne is a fabulous news reporter with absolutely no writing skills whatsoever. What’s nice is that when he beats you on a story, all you have to do is present it the next day in a way people at home can understand, and it’s like he never beat you.
    I can’t understand why WSB doesn’t send him to writing school. Maybe they have. Maybe it’s hopeless.

    Reply
  2. rptrcub

    He’s good at digging stuff up; I just find his tone of delivery irritating. I suffer through it to get the story.

    Reply
  3. SpaceyG

    Winne is a gen-u-ine crime reporter of the best old-school fashion. Ever since AJC management drove Kathy Scruggs to an early death, he’s all we’ve got in this town. Other than The Wire.

    Reply
  4. liveapartmentfire Post author

    I still miss Kathy Scruggs. She was right about the Richard Jewell story– she just happened to talk to sources who had the wrong suspect. There oughtta be a Kathy Scruggs Award for crime reporting.

    Reply
  5. Pingback: Winne Watch 9.19.08 « live apartment fire

  6. Pingback: Cameras in our heads « live apartment fire

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