After yesterday’s post on local TV coverage of the public execution of Guy Ray III at a National City Bank, I heard from several folks, including the chief videographer for WHAS-TV, Dan Chesser. One aspect of the event I may have overlooked is the toll it takes on those whose job it is to record such events. Videographers don’t appear on camera, but they’re often the first to arrive on crime scenes and the first to see blood spilled. But think about how unusual, and unnerving, it must be to see an individual get killed through a camera’s lens.
Competition among stations for kingpin status on coverage of high school football on Friday nights is pretty intense. Stations are able to sell special sponsorships for their segments, like Cricket on WAVE-TV’s coverage. With the short time frames and hip-hopping across town, however, it’s a tough assignment for sports staffs.
That said, it was shocking to see WAVE-TV’s veteran sportscaster Bob Domine anchor his station’s Touchdown Friday Night show on high school football and make a colossal mistake. He showed several clips from Manual’s 20-13 win over Central, then turned to the camera and said, “I haven’t the slightest idea who won that game,” before asking someone to call in with the score. Let’s see, isn’t the whole point of sports reporting to tell your audience who won?
To be fair, the game started late because of the heat, and was delayed because of a power outage. The winning score came in the final minute, which was getting close to 11 p.m. But it seems pretty simple to get this one right. Just give your cell number to a player’s parent and have them call when the game ends. I’ll be at all the Manual games. I’d be glad to do it.
There was no disagreement among stations on Aug. 27 about what was the lead story on newscasts — a mentally ill 44-year-old man was shot dead about Noon at a National City Bank near Bashford Manor. But the coverage of the accident varied widely, and WHAS-TV outhustled its competitors.
WHAS-TV videographer Ron Johnson captured Guy Ray III’s death at the hands of Louisville SWAT team members from 70 yards away, while the station’s helicopter filmed the same scene from above. The station, which blurred the image as Ray is hit and falls to the ground, was the only local station with the dramatic video of Ray being gunned down.
The video itself is clear and detailed. The station counted 11 shots in the 7 seconds it took for Ray to walk out of the bank with a rifle in hand, apparently with a death wish. And even though all local stations talked with Ray’s father, only WHAS clearly lableled it for what it apparently was: suicide by cop.
The station had this quote from Ray’s father: “Suicide by cop is exactly what happened today.”
Enough with the heat already. High school football starts up around here tonight and maybe we’ll have something to talk about other than “you know what.” Don’t tell me your troubles – I’ve been riding around in a car with no A.C.
Don’t Drink and Dive – On Wednesday, local stations led newscasts with live reports from Cherokee Park, where it was later learned that 46-year-old Jeffrey Sullivan drowned after taking a leap into the lake. He and a few buddies reportedly had a few beers and decided to go swimming, or looking for golf balls. WHAS’ Emily Zander checked it out, and said there were no “No Swimming” signs posted. C-J
Office Depot Arena? – The Louisville Arena Authority unveiled its design Tuesday. It looks a little bit like a giant office scanner. Wait a minute. Did Jim Host having naming rights sales (that would be $27 million in the budget) in mind when he consulted with architects? C-J
The Cheerleader-Journal – The local paper has pretty much given the arena project a free pass, so it’s not surprising the paper’s editorial board penned a gloating editorial Tuesday, calling out skeptics (I think they mean Billy Reed here) and giving the Mayor credit for envisioning the $2 billion in downtown investment that includes the Water Co. block. But with Louisville Gardens being renovated in hopes of landing a minor league hockey team, just what will fill the new Arena’s 340 dates that don’t involve U of L basketball? C-J
With the launch of Page One Kentucky, The ‘Ville Voice gets a great new big brother. Look for some changes, all for the better, as Full Signal Media grows. Nothing wrong with a little shameless self-promotion:
PAGE ONE LAUNCHES IN KENTUCKY TO COVER POLITICAL NEWS
(LOUISVILLE, KY) – A new website focused on Kentucky politics and media, Page One, has launched and is now being published at http://www.PageOneKentucky.com.
The site is owned and operated by Full Signal Media Group. The principals are Jacob Payne and Rick Redding of Louisville. The new company also owns The ‘Ville Voice, a year-old website covering Louisville media and politics.
Since its Aug. 13 launch, Page One has posted several original news stories, including an exclusive interview with Oldham County physician Michael Kelley, who announced his challenge to U.S. Rep. Geoff Davis for Kentucky’s Fourth District Congressional seat. The new news organization also was the first to report that University of Louisville football player JaJuan Spillman had a court appearance related to a DUI charge.
“My vision for Page One is to become a primary source for political news in Kentucky,” said Jacob Payne, a political consultant with extensive campaign finance experience. “We plan to use our political resources and contacts to provide an alternative to the mainstream media.”
Both Payne and co-principal Rick Redding most recently were on the campaign staff of entrepreneur Bruce Lunsford, who ran for the Democratic nomination for governor in May.
“There’s a great business opportunity for a new media venture like Page One,” said Redding, a veteran journalist who has written for Business First and LEO, among others. “We expect Page One to include not just our voices, but those of the premier political voices in the Commonwealth.”
The site will include original audio and video clips, and will employ the most advanced technology available. In the first week, it was the only statewide news operation to air video footage of local Iraq War veteran Andrew Horne’s appearance on the cable news network MSNBC.
“I’m excited to see that Jake and Rick are starting this site,” said Bruce Lunsford. “I have no doubt they will build upon the great investigative work that is being done in the political arena on the Web. I’m confident that Page One will provide a straightforward view of Kentucky politics that will be a welcome addition to the state’s media.”
Payne and Redding are the sole investors in the new company, which begins with two properties – Page One and The ‘Ville Voice. The sites will supported by advertising.
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About Full Signal Media Group. The independent media company, formed in August, 2007, currently owns and operates Page One and The ‘Ville Voice. Other interactive media projects are currently in production.
It occurred to me that during these dog days of August we’re seeing some shameful and embarrassing acts by our elected leaders unfolding in the media. Thankfully, there are bulldog reporters on their trails, exposing their actions. But, really, when the Governor gets away with appointing an outlaw hunter to oversee the Fish and Wildlife Department, what can regular folks do? For one, keep your dog on a leash.
It’s been a good time for a few hard-working journalists. To wit:
Who Let the Dog In? — Thanks to LEO’s Cary Stemle for helping us understand the complex Metro Louisville dog ordinance, an example of local politics gone bad. Metro Council members have been barking at each other for more than two years to come up a way to keep dangerous dogs in check, while not infringing on dog owner rights. It’s somehow devolved into a partisan battle.
The football coach starts to appear on magazine covers of non-sports magazines, HEAT, player scrapes with the law are in the news, and guys talking about fantasy aren’t referring to sex. Some local oblong-ball related stuff:
* Our sister site, PageOneKentucky, broke the story that U of L’s JuJuan Spillman has some ‘splainin’ to do about an incident early this year in which he was involved in an auto accident, was subsequently arrested for DUI and was found to have about a joint’s worth of pot in his car. He had a court appearance this week, and must be back in court Sept. 21. Some say Spillman is the fastest Cardinal, who made a name for himself as a freshman when he returned a kickoff against Rutgers for a TD.
If you’ve got a spare eight minutes, take a look at this video, produced last month as part of the 48 Hour Film Project, a national movement that encourages and promotes filmmakers to produce watchable projects in limited time. This is one of 48 produced in Louisville, and it won one of the two dozen or so awards: Best Choreography.
My old pal from Iroquois High, Larry Bolton, is responsible. He and his wife Ingrid own a bustling graphics design business, Ingrid Design.
If you want to see more Louisville projects, do a search at YouTube. I hear there’s a movement to air some of these shows on a local station, but no details are available yet. I’ll let you know when I hear something.
Topped With Nuts
Followers of local film news – mark Oct. 5 on your calendar. That’s the release date for the long-awaited theatrical release of “Grace is Gone,” among the first films to emerge from Louisville-based Hart-Lunsford Pictures. The film sold at Sundance for a tidy $4.2 million to The Weinstein Company, which just announced it landed Clint Eastwood, yes that Clint Eastwood, to compose the score of the film.
Eastwood, best known an an actor, producer and small-town mayor, has composed the score for several of his films, including “Million Dollar Baby.”
I was fortunate enough to see an early cut of the film early this year — without music — and was fascinated by the story and by Cusack’s character. It’s not the usual Cusack role, as he plays a rather scatterbrained father of two daughters who learns his wife was killed in Iraq. The girls almost steal the show. I’m anxious to see the finished version.
The film’s release, a month before the fall elections, will undoubtedly stir up some political interest because of its subject matter and Cusack’s Democratic political opinions, though it’s not an anti-war film. It’s a simple story about a man’s ability to cope with his wife’s death, and how he holds his family together.
I’ve been working on a new project for a while now — in fact, it goes back to the start of this blog more than a year ago. It’s called PageOneKentucky — and it’s just what it sounds like. It’s a Web project designed to call attention to stories that the mainstream media either misses or doesn’t think is important, with a focus on original reporting and commentary on Kentucky news.
If you follow the ‘Ville Voice, it isn’t going away. In fact, it may grow along with PageOne by virtue of the blog-site expertise of my partner in PageOne, Jacob Payne. It will focus primarily on Louisville media, so if you’ve come to depend on the site for news about the news, you’re probably going to be happy that I’ll be giving the site more attention.
On the Lunsford-Stumbo campaign, Jake and I made up the local arm of the staff, and spent a few of the countless campaign hours discussing our vision for a Kentucky-based Web site that would have the bells and whistles of technology, along with inside information culled from dozens of sources in politics and media that we’ve come across in our careers.
Of course, this isn’t a solo endeavor. With both The ‘Ville Voice and PageOne, success won’t come without feedback from readers. If you want to talk, send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.