2016 St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway
WRCB works with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis each year to promote the Chattanooga Dream Home Giveaway. The campaign typically kicks off when tickets go on sale in mid-March and includes airing one story each week leading up to the one-hour live special broadcast of the giveaway of the home and other prizes. The past few years have been a sellout, bringing in nearly $1 million for St. Jude. I enjoy writing and promoting the stories leading up to the giveaway and planning, coordinating and field producing the live broadcast from the home. This is the live broadcast for the 2016 giveaway.
2015 Share Your Christmas
Share Your Christmas is a day-long food drive and fundraiser for the Chattanooga Area Food Bank started by WRCB more than 30 years ago. We broadcast live from the collection site at First Tennessee Pavilion in downtown Chattanooga, as well as collection sites in Cleveland, Tenn. and Dalton, Ga. from 4:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. The fundraiser is one of the largest of the year for the food bank and I’m proud to help serve the community with WRCB in this way. We air stories that highlight the needs the food bank meets within the community in the week leading up to the giveaway, which is typically the first Friday in December. I plan, coordinate and field produce our live coverage and special stories and work with our producers to promote the food drive in the weeks leading up to the event. It’s a long day, but a fun and fulfilling one.
Our live coverage includes dozens of on-site interviews, but one of my favorite parts of the day is when school groups come to drop off the canned goods they’ve collected and stay to sing during our broadcasts. Here are a few examples from 2015:
The State of Education: A Town Hall Meeting
In July 2016, WRCB teamed up with the Chattanooga Times Free Press to host an hour-long, live town hall meeting inside our studio to highlight the state of education in Hamilton County. Panel guests included the Hamilton County Schools interim superintendent, Hamilton County mayor, school principals, a teacher, representatives of local nonprofit education groups and foundations, a former private school headmaster, and the dean of the College of Health, Education and Professional Studies at the University of Tennessee – Chattanooga.
Beat the heat field produced mini-block
Hot, humid weather is no surprise in East Tennessee in the middle of summer, but on July 20, 2011 we decided to brainstorm the many different ways heat impacts the daily lives of our viewers and address as many as possible in a field-produced segment within our 6 p.m. A-block. I was excited to be able to work with our photographers to collect the information and interviews, write it and and oversee it from the field.
Lady Vols head coach Pat Summitt reveals Alzheimer’s diagnosis – 6 p.m. newscast
August 23, 2011 is one of the busiest and most memorable news days I have ever worked. It was one of those days where the story that started out as my lead, barely received a mention by the time the newscast aired. The news that legendary Lady Vols head coach Pat Summitt was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease turned everything upside down. While we responded to that news, an earthquake rattled the East Coast and other news stories continued to develop. The result was a particularly long A-block and a 6 p.m. newscast jam-packed with breaking and developing news.
Partial government shutdown hits East Tennessee – 6 p.m. newscast
The partial government shutdown in October 2013 had an immediate impact on East Tennessee. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which is consistently the most visited national park in the U.S., had to close down during its peak month of the year. Other nearby national recreation areas had to close their gates as well. Government contract workers were furloughed. On top of that, the Affordable Care Act health insurance exchange launched with a website full of bugs and delays that prevented most East Tennesseans attempting to find coverage from being able to explore their options. With so many big stories taking place, I decided a produced and edited “super open” for the show would be better than headlines and allow our viewers to know up front we’re covering all angles of big issues that have a direct impact on their lives.
Fatal church bus crash – 6 p.m. newscast
On the afternoon of October 2, 2013, a bus carrying a group of seniors from a North Carolina church blew a tire and hit a tractor trailer and SUV on Interstate 40 in Jefferson County. Eight people were killed and 14 others were hurt. By the 6 p.m. newscast, it was still a breaking news situation, but we were starting to learn more about the horrible situation. We ran into a technical issue with a soundbite, but otherwise our team worked hard together to present a clean, informative newscast that kept our viewers up to date on a developing story that we followed for days.
March 12, 2014 – 6 p.m. newscast
An example of a 6 p.m. newscast on a “normal” day that didn’t include breaking news. We looked at changes in the evacuation zone for emergencies in Oak Ridge, how a proposal to change the names of European cheeses in the U.S. could impact an East Tennessee dairy farm and the possibility of late-season snow as more cold weather moved into the area.
July 13, 2015 – 11 p.m. newscast
This is an example of a regular 11 p.m. newscast on a “normal” Monday night. We led with weather because of some storms in the area that evening and the chance of more the next day. Our anchors produce a “super open” that airs in the 11 p.m. instead of headline teases to encompass the most teaseable elements of our newscast right off the top in a nicely produced format.