Category Archives: winne

Don’t tase me, bro

“Classic Winne” may be a fit description for the live shot Mark Winne performed to lead WSB’s 6pm news Monday. He stood in front of DeKalb’s police headquarters, holding a live taser pistol. We know the pistol was live because we saw Winne pulling the trigger, and saw the sparks emanating from it. Thankfully, Winne didn’t assume a Charlie’s Angels-style pose while doing so. But it was close enough– the buzzing from the taser, the sparks flying, while Winne delivered his material in “classic Winne” melodrama. The story? An “exclusive” interview with DeKalb’s police chief, saying he’d like to arm his cops with tasers. Not bad, not great. But the campy live shot gave the material, shall way say, an added Winne-style jolt.  Would I have done the same thing?  Absolutely.

Two other stories were noteworthy in WSB’s 6: Amanda Rosseter took the slow plane ride to China with Gov. Perdue on Delta’s inaugural flight to Shanghai. The guv’s people were doubtless tickled pink to have an opportunity to make their drawling, Sunday-beer-sales-opposing guy look like a jet-setter. Delta got a couple of minutes of free advertising for the airline’s newest route. Did WSB buy tickets for that flight? Take a wild guess. WSB apparently doesn’t consider its investment in this story sufficient to give it a website posting.

And deep in the show, there was a Tom Jones story about two billboards erected by Clayton Co. Sheriff Victor Hill. Hill’s election opponent complains that Hill is using Sheriff’s Office money to fund a “quality of life” billboard (“no loud music / no loitering” etc.) that looks suspiciously similar to a “re-elect Sheriff Victor Hill” billboard, funded by Hill’s campaign. Jones botched the opening live shot, trying to show a photo of one billboard while standing in front of another. The audience never got to see the photo Jones was holding. And within the package, Jones twice described the two billboards as “identical.” Similar, yes. Identical? Surely Mr. Jones knows the difference between the two words. This story isn’t on the web site either. Wonder why.

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Secret Squirrel

Close your eyes and listen, as the reporter tags his story: “We were told the suspect, through the sheriff, declined to be interviewed by us.” The passive tense, the fractured syntax, and the sheer audacity that any freshly-arrested suspect would consider being “interviewed by us” signals the presence of one man: WSB’s Mark Winne. This particular bit of copy aired Thursday at 11pm.

Winne breaks news for WSB. He has great sources in hard-to-reach places. He’s got a secret-squirrel quality about him in the field. It suits him well and keeps his competitors guessing. He also writes, shall we say, very dense copy. One WSB reporter loves to recount the story of a producer, tasked to re-write a Winne story, viewed the story three times. Afterward, she announced that she had no idea what the story was about. If there are copy editors at WSB, they need to be on their guard around Mr. Winne.

But when Winne shows up in the a-block of WSB’s news, the bossfolk at competing TV stations turn down the audio of their own newscasts and watch Winne. Frequently– they’ll shake their heads afterward and say “huh?” But often enough, they’ll send their own staff out to chase a Winne scoop.