Thursday, February 25, 2010
INNOVATION AT 6ABC
I experienced something pretty neat tonight on the 6abc.com website during the 5 p.m. "Action News". The station decided to create an online webchat complete with webcams not only on the weather set but also on-set with Rick & Monica as well as a third webcam in the control room. Additionally, there was live audio on-set as well as on the weather set so you could see and hear the talent while each reporter's package was airing during the live broadcast. According to webchat host, "Corey", this was the second time they've done this...the first during the last storm which I actually caught one morning during the "Action News Morning" broadcast not long ago. Corey indicated this was a special webchat event and not currently "the norm".
As we watched Rick & Monica during the live show, we got to see Rick teaze Monica about her "baby belly" and say that her outfit was designed by Barnum & Bailey's. We also learned that Monica's twins are boys and she is due in June. Also, that Rick is suffering from a nasty head cold and taking something over-the-counter..."though, if I need something more my wife can always write a script". She must be a physician. Also, that Rick's home is only two minutes walk for his child to walk to school while Monica has to fight traffic for her son to get to school on-time. By 5:45, we heard Monica say "mmm, I'm ready for some dinner", to which Rick replied, "ugh, I'm ready for my bed". Before we knew it, they were saying goodbye and to stay tuned for Jim Gardner and "Action News at Six".
Rick packed up his laptop (they must be able to bring their own laptop on-set) and both he and Monica disconnected their mikes from the main anchor line, got up and turned over the chair to Jim Gardner, wearing a dark blue pair of jeans, shirt, tie and suit jacket.
Within two minutes the news open began and Jim was off and running. Sports guy, Keith Russell, arrived on-set within the first few minutes of the broadcast, sitting next to Gardner. During the first commercial break, Gardner looked to Keith to remind him to keep the language and demeanor professional, then turned to the webcam to welcome the viewers behind the scenes. At another point, Gardner turned to Adam Joseph to ask for a quick explanation of why we didn't see accumulations from today's snow. Joseph's answer was that the snow was light with a combination of tempearatures, especially GROUND TEMPERATURES, being too warm. Cecily Tynan's accuweather teaze eminated from the anchor desk and she commented on one of the snowtograph pictures that were displayed of a cute local boy she took a liking to. During the break, she talked with producers in the control room to confirm she would be getting a PennDot camera shot of I-95 near Philadlephia airport to illustrate road conditions and snow falling.
Gardner then threw it to Cecily at the end of the newscast for a quick throw to Adam Joseph in the weather office...to advise viewers that new computer storm models would come out at 10 p.m. and that they would both be combing over the storm details for the 11 p.m. forecast. Gardner then quickly teazed a segment for the 11 o'clock of a look at Dave Roberts' retirement through this cold and snowy winter. THAT should be some fun viewing!! --->VIDEO HERE<---
At the end of the newscast, Corey asked Keith & Jim if they would mind sticking around for a few questions from web viewers. The first question was for Keith, from "Mike", asking who does his hair. Obviously, being bald--it was a bit of comic question to which Russell replied, "a razor, soap and water...".
The next questions were directed to Jim, asking what he does for dinner to which he replied that he goes home for dinner each night, allowing him about 45 minutes to spend some quality time with his family. I thought he said he has little ones who are very important to him, but, that must be incorrect as I thought his children are grown. Another viewer asked when 6ABC went on the air, however Corey nor Jim knew the answer. According to wikipedia--WPVI signed on in April 1971. However, WFIL-TV signed on as a Dumont network in September, 1947...changing to ABC (the first ABC affiliate in the country) in April 1948 but continuing to carry the Dumont network until its demise in 1956. Someone also asked who his most memorable interview was which took some thinking on his part...at that point--I signed off as my dinner was eagerly awaiting me!
Good job to Corey and the powers-that-be at PVI for an innovative way to bring the viewers behind the scenes of "Action News".
Posted by ~PHILADELPHIA TV NEWS~ at 6:42 PM