‘I look good without a shirt’

“Well, this is just great.  You go to Suwanee.  You’re producing a TV story on the unveiling of an $80,000 piece of public art.  You know that elsewhere, cities and counties are laying off schoolteachers and cutting government services.  You go looking for somebody who might question the wisdom of such a government purchase in these economic times.

“And this guy is the best you can come up with?”

Not that there’s anything wrong with this guy, a roofer named Dwayne Boss. He was sunbathing in a camping chair on the vast green space outside of Suwanee’s City Hall.

Mr. Boss was bright.  He was articulate.  He wasn’t mouth-foaming outraged.  He just questioned the timing, in these economic times and all.

Most importantly, Mr. Boss was agreeable.  When approached by a TV reporter who’d exhausted his other possibilities, he allowed a lav mic to be clipped to his wooden-necklace-thingie, and shared his thoughts about public art.  As the mouthpiece for those skeptical, Mr. Boss became a shining knight, in a manner of speaking.

But he wasn’t exactly dressed for TV.

With that, here’s another attempt at the Friday Open Thread. In these economic times, threads are important.  Make yours count.  And if you use them for abdominal coverage, all the better.

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About live apt fire

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.

14 thoughts on “‘I look good without a shirt’

  1. Monroe insider

    Now a moment of professional passing.
    Bob Walker leaves WXIA after 14 years as General Manager.
    He leaves a very small foot print- -size 3 narrow.
    Did he do anything here?
    I have been in this market 6-years and I can’t think of anything in that time.

  2. Jim

    On topic-I had a similar experience the other day. Guy answers door for a scheduled interview-no shirt, pants half undone. Now this is a nice house, not what I expected. As we’re talking about the interview/choosing a location, it becomes apparent that he has no intention of putting a shirt on. And, unlike your roofer, he was not tan…and he had man-boobs-big ones. Just as I was framing the shot to be neck up, his wife shows up, chewed his butt out, and he put a shirt on.

    Free-for all-when will WXIA sue 46 for stealing the pothole idea? Although, I gotta say, Harry’s doing a good job with it. The whole “boss wants me to fix potholes bit he did the other day was beyond cheesy though. Fun, but silly and cheesy. Was a nice counterpoint to the tough questions mantra.

  3. Mike

    I once interviewed a sex offender on a reverse two-shot (to conceal his face). He refused to put on a shirt, so it appeared that the dude was naked during the interview. The anchors could barely contain themselves in the tag.

  4. Jim

    I do have to say that commuter dude 2.0 has taken the whole gig and made it work. It’s sort of fun to watch the duelling pothole patrol.

    I’m waiting for the day when they both meet up at the same pothole:-)

  5. atlanta tyke

    It’s fun to watch the children fight.

    I love how Harry has taken the commuter dude and smacked him upside his head.

    Harry Samler is my hero.

  6. Jim

    I think we need a showdown at the pothole corral. Harry’s good, but it’s hard to top handing the Mayor-elect a busted hubcap…

  7. live apt fire Post author

    Harry deserves a level of discourse beyond that found on an elementary school playground. Kudos to the Dude’s backers for declining to take the bait. To folks outside the industry: Honestly, we’re not this childish. Most of us, anyway.

    Here’s my guess: WGCL’s research shows that WXIA’s Commuter Dude has gotten some traction with the audience (I’m talking about research, not ratings). WGCL’s sudden emphasis on “Harry Pothole” shows it understandably wants a piece of the action, such as it is. I’m always a bit blown away by the fact that a sizable chunk of the audience expects TV news to fill potholes and fix the plumbing in their apartments.

    @ Element: Yeah, there were axis violations. But the wide shot was sooooo wide, I made the decision to sneak it in there, figuring only purists would notice. The photog shot it as a b-roll shot rather than as a two shot. Thanks for noticing.

  8. wgclguy

    Sorry Doug. We’ve never heard the managers cite research as the reason for the Pothole Patrol.

    The station started the segment back when schwaid first arrived.

    By luck one day Harry got the assignment. Everyone loves how he tells the story and the viewer response has been tremendous.

    And Harry Gets Action.

    1. live apt fire Post author

      At this point, allow me to gently and helpfully suggest that WGCL’s management never shares its expensive, proprietary research with its staff. Unless they’re out of their minds, which I don’t think is the case.

      Nor are managers likely to cite research, except when it’s self-serving. They’re disinclined to suggest that managerial brilliance comes from anyplace other than the brainstorming sessions of managers.

      I don’t dispute that WGCL ran v/o’s in 2008 with graphics text that read ‘Pothole Patrol,’ a term coined by Shirley Franklin.

      I don’t dispute Harry’s viewer response, nor his ability to get action. It mirrors the Dude, who paved the way (so to speak) for Harry’s fine work.

  9. Jimmy

    wgcler is wrong.

    The pothole segment started this past January.

    The commuter dude had been going LONG before harry started.

  10. Cheeto Crumbs

    Doug wrote: “WGCL’s sudden emphasis on “Harry Pothole” ..”

    Thank you. I now have a new porn star name!


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