Drawn, for some unknown reason, to WGCL’s 4pm news Wednesday, we can draw one conclusion: We had to wait 35 minutes to see the best story in the show. Other observations, by the numbers:
- Four. The number of trees shown toppled in a mercifully quick anchor v/o recapping Tuesday’s storms.
- 4:03pm. The first appearance by Dagmar Midcap. She teases an upcoming weather segment.
- Two. The number of times we heard the dreaded word “closure” during an otherwise solid Mike Moore report on a cold-case murder.
- 4:20pm. Midcap conducts a live talk-back with reporter Elizabeth Manresa, covering Hurricane Dolly. Manresa is a CNN Newssource reporter, apparently.
- 20. The number of seconds Manresa’s live shot lasts before going to black unexpectedly.
- 4:21pm. Following a traffic update, Midcap returns with Manresa. The second talk-back is successful.
- Two. The number of times Manresa’s photog used a cloth to wipe the camera lens on-air during the pouring-rain live shot. It didn’t seem to help.
- 4:35pm. Renee Starzyk delivers a report detailing the extraordinarily slow response of Gwinnett firefighters to a house fire a half mile from a fire station. The house burned to the ground. Starzyk’s story is easily the most interesting one in the broadcast.
- 4:37pm. Midcap appears on camera, mute, in a bump voiced by anchor Stefany Fisher: Dagmar is tracking Dolly! The weathercaster is looking downward, ostensibly studying her weather gizmos. It’s sheer voyeurism, and an awkward moment for those of us not wishing to objectify Midcap. Thankfully, her pose is neutral and her shirt is rumpled.
- 4:41pm. Wendy Saltzman appears with an exclusive about Gwinnett taxpayers grossly overpaying for a piece of swampland. A grand jury is investigating. We lean forward. Damn! It’s a tease for 11! We shake our fist at the set and utter an oath.
- 4:48pm. Fisher does a live interview with a lab-coat wearing doctor about prostate cancer. The doc mentions a new treatment “where you’re actually operated on by a robot.” Do what, now? Fisher doesn’t follow up.
- Two. The number of times WGCL teased its web site during its coverage of DeKalb’s contaminated tap water. WGCL could have used the time to convey info about the geographic location of the advisory. Instead, it told viewers to find the info on its web site. A pet peeve of many viewers, we hear.
- Two. The number of times WGCL promoted its “best newscast” Emmy.
- Eight. The total number of appearances by Midcap during the hour-long show, including two promos.
- Zero. The number of times WGCL claimed to be covering “breaking news.”