News & Views » Media notes

More News at 10

And talking ATMs

by

comment
More news is good news at Fox18, as they launched an hourlong 10pm newscast last week, extending their current, top-rated format by a half-hour.News director Ken White tells me it's anything but a slow August in his WCCB newsroom, what with its conversion to a dual set-up with Columbia, SC station WOLO, which will produce its news from here in October; the demise of his 6:30pm newscast; and the extension of the 10pm.

He says the longer 10pm will "stick to the harder news in the first half-hour," and will continue to be anchored by Kristina Hartman and Andy Dominianni. Ashley Anderson and weather guy Mark Mathis anchor the new, lightened-up second half-hour. Mathis is getting water cooler talk around town due to weather presentation that's laced with a big shot of humor. Expect a local movie reviewer and actual local entertainment news as well.

"We'll also be doing what we call "Last Chance News' at 10:58, with a quick recap of the headlines and weather," White says.

All the better to send you off to sleep before watching the 11 0'clock news on other stations, my dears.

Even though these are the dusty days of late summer, the spring Arbitron radio ratings have burst forth with some interesting numbers, notably WBAV-FM, which is continuing a strong growth year.But the biggest news is that for the first time in 10 years, the sonic Hee-Haw known as WRFX's "John Boy and Billy Big Show" has dropped to 2nd in the morning radio race.

Turns out the winner, by a sliver, was WLNK's "Bob and Sheri," in the ad folks' favorite category, people aged 25-54.

Though I often lament that both shows are more generic than local-local-local, their popularity here shows why both make it in other markets. "John Boy and Billy" is syndicated nationally to over 100 stations, while "Bob and Sheri" sells its show to over 65 stations.

The other good news at WLNK is that where once the station was in a ratings slump after "Bob and Sheri" went off the air, "Matt and Ramona" is doing well in the afternoon drive. Savvy radio gurus theorize that "M&R" afternoon listeners keep the car radio on the same station when they leave for work the next morning, thus more ears for "Bob and Sheri."

Hey, how about "John Boy and Sheri" for a week? We'd get different philosophical views about "hooters."

Speaking of unholy alliances, we had to say "huh?" when we read about the advertising agreement between Charlotte's own Bank of America and CNN in a recent Wall Street Journal article. We aren't talking TV commercials. No, frighteningly enough, it's ATM commercials that could be coming to a cash dispenser near you.The article was about the Santa Rosa, California bank customer who filed a formal complaint after CNN anchor Connie Chung's voice promoted her new TV show via an audio output on the machine. The customer is peeved, especially since you have to use the ATM in order to avoid a buck-fifty charge for a teller.

"There's nothing you can do," he says. "You can't turn it off. You can't walk away. You're trapped. It's like the nightmare advertising you hear about happening in the future."

The bank says it's also looking for more money to put toward upgrading its huge ATM national network, some 12,000 ATMs strong. If that happens, newer ATMs could have features that generate more revenue for the bank, such as running more ads, or allowing customers to pick up concert tickets while checking a balance.

P.R. PUFNSTUF: No details, but plenty of buzz about the resignation of WSOC-TV news director Vicki Montet at the end of July. No shock that she was going somewhere, as her home had been up for sale, but more were puzzled why an ND would leave a ratings winner like Channel 9, with no announced plans for the future. Newsie Internet message boards, which are often acidic, gossipy places to visit (I've been called an idiot and this column "a joke" on one not too long ago) weighed in on Montet, with comments ranging from positive to calling her "Darth Vicki." With Cox Communication's history of promoting from within, it's no tough prediction that that's where 9 may go for its next newsroom manager. The ND at Cox's Dayton station has already paid a visit. . .

WSOC-FM loves its NASCAR, and dogs like trucks so the biggest radio vehicle we've seen lately belongs to them. The country station now boasts of the "Monster," a 50 feet long broadcast truck. No word if Jeff Roper will be rev it up for monster truck competitions...

WCNC-TV's Nicole Allhouse has been promoted to nightside reporter, and will no doubt miss the glamour of her former beat, the Rock Hill bureau.Stay tuned.

Shannon Reichley is the executive producer of Talk2DIY on the DIY cable network and former news manager at WBTV. E-mail with story tips and feedback at (Shannon.Reichley@cln.com)

Add a comment