If WGCL is really serious about becoming a big-time player in the Atlanta news market, you wouldn’t have known it from its 11pm newscast Friday. That was the final night of the 2008 legislative session. WGCL covered it with a thirty-second anchor reader. The other stations had live shots from reporters who’d been at the Capitol since the session opened that morning.
With its midnight deadline, its last-minute dealmaking and the “sine die!” paper-tossing climax, the final day of the session is always worth covering. This year, the issues were accessible to average Georgians. And the infighting among Republican leaders gave it a soap-opera quality that makes political reporters smile. That day, the other three stations showed footage of the always tightly-wound Speaker Glenn Richardson blaming Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle for inaction on tax cuts during a House-Senate conference. WGCL had zip.
During the session, WGCL’s Rebekka Schramm made periodic appearances in the House press room, as she has in previous years. This proves that the legislature is somewhere on the radar of the suits at WGCL. But their failure to cover the final day– the most substantive and theatrical day of the session– is a mystery. The only thing big-time about WGCL was the way it dropped the ball.