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Scoops on the Net

Teen runs local television website

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She got fired, he got hired, and here's today's latest Mark Mathis alert. It's the typical fodder for a local television news website, the kind many other cities already have. These websites aren't so much a blogger's paradise as a combination of "who's gone where" scoop, "editorials" and links to newspaper and magazine articles posted elsewhere on the Internet.

So for civilians interested in TV news, or the people who work (or used to work) in that business, these sites can be pretty addictive. Thousands of newsies get a daily, free dose of industry news from sites like ShopTalk, and pay-for-scoop sites like Newsblues.

Now we have "CharlotteTelevision.com", which popped onto a laptop near you around Thanksgiving. It's a mix of links to media-related stories, ratings numbers, and the comings and goings of on-air news people in the Charlotte market.

I imagined that someone with ties or experience in the biz had created the website, but when I tracked it down, I found out it's a 19-year-old CPCC student who's behind CharlotteTelevision.com.

"I'm still in the middle of trying to find the right design," says Matthew Sigmon, "but I'm doing it because I'm a media connoisseur. I like to keep track of who's coming and who's going; I look at it as a hobby."

With friends Rick Barnes and Michelle Kennedy, the website was launched last November, and also includes commentary, links to local TV station websites, and radio ratings.

"We have broken stories about things going on," Sigmon says, "and I want to keep it more journalistic." The site is not a moneymaker, but after all, Sigmon does have to go to class, too, with aspirations of working in broadcasting one day.

Maybe this is how Matt Drudge got started.

Weather props to News 14 Carolina for doing it, not promoting it on the morning of January 29, as snow and ice slowed down the area. While Channel 3 had on its Saturday morning infomercial lineup and 9 and 36 did cut-ins, News 14 had more and aired more when it was needed.

CharlotteTelevision.com is a mix of links to media-related stories, ratings numbers, and the comings and goings of on-air news people.

We stand corrected in thinking that WCNC's recent Alfred I. duPont-Columbia award was a first for a Charlotte TV station. Longtime producer/writer Mark de Castrique recalls that WBTV won the duPont-Columbia back in 1974 for a documentary on Charlotte school busing. The producer, Kathy Moore, went on to work for CBS Evening News.

Tanner in the Morning debuts this week on WSOC-FM, hosted by Rob Tanner, who came here from WPCV-FM in Lakeland, Florida. Frank Laseter, Kara Edwards, and Chris Allen join him in the 5-10am slot.

Stay tuned.

Shannon Reichley is the producer of How To I Do, premiering the week of February 7 on the DIY cable network. E-mail at Shannon.Reichley@cln.com

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