2011’s Top Story

Thank goodness for Wikipedia.   It’s an essential resource when your TV station has made a commitment to devote much of its newscast to an unplanned, live event — yet your news team has run out of things to say about it.

Aeriel image of pig near I-75,1.27.11

This was the corner into which an otherwise-respectable Atlanta TV station backed itself when, one fine day in January during evening rush hour (and its evening two-hour block of news), a Vietnamese Pot-bellied pig was spotted alongside I-75 in Cobb County.  A chase ensured.  Helicopters and live trucks were dispatched.  It was, in some quarters, a “wow” moment.

I didn’t see the station’s extended coverage.  My friends who observed it say it went on for forty minutes and was a classic example of local TV news at its most overwrought.

My Suspicious Package parody is not intended to mimic any actual local TV news folk.  The anchor voice is a generic basso profundo; the hairpiece is on loan from Big Mike, with thanks.  The “field” material was shot by Richard Crabbe in the parking lot behind WXIA/WATL world headquarters.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

I now realize that my follicular shortcomings have been the biggest hindrance to my quest to become a highly-paid local news anchor.  Like many people, I find the male hairpiece to be mostly laughable.

But that’s a damned attractive news anchor.

This entry was posted in WAGA, WXIA on by .

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.

19 thoughts on “2011’s Top Story

  1. JimmyD

    Doug, thank you for making a crappy Monday a whole lot better!
    I could see one hit for about 20 seconds, but not more than that, surely…

    Of course, if you watch web traffic, just about any story with an animal will have double the hits of a normal story, which is, I’m guessing, what led some folks to blow it out of the water on this one.

  2. sammy

    Two points you failed to mention in your belated coverage:

    1. The live pig story was more entertaining than Dr Phil.

    2. The live pig story got higher ratings than Dr Phil

    Sadly, another embarrassing late new miss for 11 alive.

      1. sammy

        I though you may want to consider changing your blog name to LPC, but then again it appears you never actually covered a LPC.

        Live Pig Chase

  3. Scott Hedeen

    Shot in the parking lot behind the news building? Way to really get out there and shake the trees… Doug. Wow.. what a disappointment! … Really? So easy… maybe be sitting with pigs… getting their reaction to the pig’s chase.

    Remember what Spinal Tap was… a fine line.

    1. live apt fire Post author

      Scott’s ale-fueled screed compels a clarification. Though management condones and somewhat encourages my SusPak segments, I am expected to devote a minimum amount of time and effort to them. My primary job is to cover news. I can sneak a ten-minute shoot in the back yard of WXIA or on the steps of the Capitol while covering another story. But unless I happened to be covering news at or near a pigpen, Mr. Hedeen’s idea is out of the question logistically.

      1. Scott Hedeen

        Not “ale fueled”… i was actually spelling words correctly for a change. Ha. Anyway… I’m glad you are able to express yrself at work.. and have a boss who supports that. So.. yes… Please keep em coming!

  4. Mr. Bear

    Cumberland Island, along with most of the other barrier islands in Georgia, “enjoys” a feral pig population. Armadillos, too. How they got there is subject to conjecture, but the net effect is that the pig population is there to stay. This is because several different efforts have been made to round up the existing population and remove them to the mainland. No discussion here as to what happens when they are brought ashore to their new homes afterward.

    These periodic pig round ups have resulted in a startlingly smart, very fast group of pigs that defy capture. They were able to round up the slow and dumb ones, leaving the balance of the population to not only thrive but to collectively improve their survival skills. Wildlife management types come and go, but the feral pigs are there to stay.

    The cops were lucky that they were only having to deal with one pig and several media outlets.

      1. Mr. Bear

        Even by Mother Nature’s standards, the armadillo’s one strange critter. Possum on the half-shell. And, swimming is how they got to Cumberland and the other islands. Another odd fact: when startled, they jump up straight in the air. Driven over by automobiles on highways, they jump upward and meet their demise…. On the other hand, they’re the perfect lab animal for Hansen’s Disease researchers. Go figure.

  5. arky

    This raises an interesting philosophical question. What’s less useful? Taking 40 minutes of newscast time to cover a non-story, or taking three minutes of newscast time to send up the way someone else covered a non-story?

    1. dhazelrig

      I’m going to have to lean towards social commentary about non-stories demands more time than actual non-stories.

      1. AdamM

        It doubles as entertaining social commentary… and a way to get in yet another jab at the stations everyone else is watching.

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  7. Joey

    Nothing that happens on Atlanta TV (or in local print, for that matter) surprises me anymore. However, I confess I missed Live Pig Chase and news of it even at this late date raises my furrowed brow. I would have loved to have happened upon it so I could have done a similar lampoon outloud. Thanks for the effort here, Doug. It was very, very funny. And whomever was responsible for such a stunt ought to be ashamed of themselves. Really!

  8. Og Ogglby

    I have a (news) dream…that one day Doug will do enough of these stories so that people will finally wake up and start questioning the B.S. that is TV news in Atlanta. I am beginning to think of 11Alive’s news as being similar to WABE’s local news in the morning – real news and not the 50th bank robbery of the year and not the Bleeds/Leads mentality of the Barbie and Ken dolls on Peachtree.

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