When the Atlanta Press Club gathered the four Atlanta TV news directors for a forum last week, the first question from moderator Denis O’Hayer addressed this hypothesis: TV news stinks.
The hypothesis wasn’t shocking. The shocking part is that it came from the mouth of the VP of News at WXIA-TV, Ellen Crooke. Crooke uttered the words in a GSU journalism class (and flashed them on a Powerpoint slide). We dutifully reported it on this site.
Crooke expanded on her hypothesis during the forum. Predictably, the news directors at WSB and WAGA disagreed. Given the fact that their newscasts have the largest audiences in town, Marian Pittman and Budd McEntee told the audience that local TV news is mostly doing a fine job, thank you. WGCL’s Steve Schwaid gave a more nuanced answer that agreed with the essence of Crooke’s remark.
The four news directors were collegial and in mostly good humor. The forum was a unique look at the four most influential behind-the-scenes folks in Atlanta TV news. Below, there are four unedited clips from the APC forum in response to the “TV news stinks” question. We may post additional material in the coming days.
Video and stills courtesy of Grayson Daughters; she’s also the blogger known as “spaceyg,” who recently referred to me on this blog as “his royal smugness.” Thanks, Spacey. Next time, you’re buying.
Ellen Crooke, WXIA
Budd McEntee, WAGA
Marian Pittman, WSB
Steve Schwaid, WGCL