Tag Archives: Fox 6

Alabama Associated Press 2009 broadcast award winners

The Alabama Associated Press 2009 broadcast award winners were announced last week.

Birmingham radio stations swept 14 of the 16 awards in their category, nine won by WBHM (90.3 FM). Birmingham TV stations took home 13 awards, with Fox 6 winning six awards.

AP News Cooperation award

Radio

  • WERC

Television

  • ABC 33/40
  • WHNT
  • WSFA

Radio

Note: All radio awards won by Birmingham stations, except for Nos. 7 and 15.

  1. Most Outstanding News Operation: WBHM
  2. Best Regularly Scheduled Newscast: WZZK, Don Dailey
  3. Extraordinary Coverage of a Scheduled Event: WBHM, Tanya Ott and Andrew Yeager, “Larry Langford Trial”
  4. Best Coverage of a Spot News Story: WERC, Neal Vickers
  5. Best General Sports: WBHM, Andrew Yeager and Tanya Ott, “Tide Flu” and “Greening the Green”
  6. Best Public Affairs/Documentary: WERC, “Strokes”
  7. Best Investigative Reporting: Alabama Public Radio, Brett Tannehill, “The Case of Bridget Lee”
  8. Best Hard-News Feature Story: WBHM, Tanya Ott
  9. Best Soft-News Feature Story: WBHM, Andrew Yeager, “Silly Bands”
  10. Best Reporter: WBHM, Andrew Yeager
  11. Best Anchor: WZZK, Don Dailey
  12. Best Commentator/Editorialist: WBHM, Marie Sutton, “Gay Marriage”
  13. Best Sports Reporter: WBHM, Andrew Yeager
  14. Best Sports Anchor: WERC, Tom Morgan
  15. Best Specialized Reporter: Alabama Public Radio, Alisa Beckwith-Ayilliath, “Health Coverage”
  16. Best Use of Tape: WBHM, Tanya Ott, “Grocery Auction”

WBHM posted its award-winning stories on its site.

Television

Note: Birmingham winners in bold.

1. Most Outstanding News Operation:

  • TV A: Fox 6 WBRC
  • TV AA: WHNT News 19
  • TV AAA: WTVY News 4

2. Best Regularly Scheduled Newscast

  • TV A: CBS 42, 5 pm News
  • TV AA: WHNT-TV, Tiffany Golden, Preston Benson, Denise Vickers, David Williams
  • TV AAA: WVUA-TV , Lynn Brooks, Terri Brewer, Wes Wyatt, Gary Harris, Jerome Davis, Jennifer Hamner, Jonathan Newman, Clare Stewart

3. Best Documentary

  • TV A: CBS 42, Cynthia Gould, Larry Ragan, Scott McDowell, John Johnson, Bill Payer, Bill Ballard, “Poison In The Air”
  • TV AA: WAFF 48, Jeff Castle, Kim Essex, Daniel Farmer, Kim Hester, Daniel Hopkin, Liz Hurley, Ben Isenhower, Amanda Jarrett, Blake Mann, Remeisha Shade, Mark Thornhill, Brad Travis, Todd Wade, “20 Years Later: The Twister That Changed It All”
  • TV AAA: WTVY, Denise Bradberry, “Surviving The Storm”

4. Best Series

  • TV A: ABC 33/40, Yenu Wodajo, Bruce Nix, and Bill Castle, “Jobless”
  • TV AA: WHNT-TV, Carson Clark and David Wood, “Murder in the Snow”
  • TV AAA: WVUA-TV, Terri Brewer and Jerome Davis, “Justice for Bridget”

5. Best Investigative Reporting

  • TV A: Fox 6 WBRC, Ronda Robinson, “Davita Dialysis”
  • TV AA: WHNT-TV, Wendy Halloran, Shane Hays, Denise Vickers, Joe Glotzbach, Jacob Greene, Breach of Trust”
  • TV AAA: WTVY-News 4, Skylar Zwick and Jason Wright, “Uninformed Security”

6. Best Spot News Story

  • TV A: ABC 33/40, Ainsley Bruister, Jon Pinnick, Melissa Riopka, Chris Reid, Bill Castle, Jerry Wade, Pam Huff, Tracy Haynes, Wyatt Caruthers, Teresa Tolson, Kim Roy, Angie Ephrom, “Officer Shot”
  • TV AA: WSFA 12 News, “May Montgomery Floods”
  • TV AAA: WVUA-TV, Alex Joseph, “Cows on Interstate”

7. Best Feature Story

  • TV A: WKRG, Alan Sealls, “Hurricane Fastball”
  • TV AA: WHNT-TV, David Wood and Dan Satterfield, “Dan in Space”
  • TV AAA: WVUA-TV, Terri Brewer abd Jerome Davis, “Behind the Badge: Self Defense”

8. Best Sports Story

  • TV A: WALA Fox 10, Cary Chow and Kevin Sullivan, “Taylor Haugen’s Legacy”
  • TV AA: WAFF, Scott Thiesen and Blake Mann, “Running Wild”
  • TV AAA: WTVY-News 4, Denise Bradberry and Chris Harris, “The Last Football Game at EHS”

9. Best Sports Feature

  • TV A: ABC 33/40, Jeff Speegle and Todd Dewey, “The Game Goes On”
  • TV AA: WAKA-TV, Dee Jackson, Stu McCann, and Stephen Carter, “The Game That Changed Auburn”
  • TV AAA: WTVY News 4, Brad Sherwood, “Ultimate Frisbee”

10. Best Sports Program

  • TV A: Fox 6 WBRC, Rick Karle, Mike Dubberly, Brian Pope, Rob Davis, Fox 6 Photography Team, “Sideline 2009″
  • TV AA: WAFF-TV, Scott Thiesen, Carl Prather, Eric Sollman, WAFF Photography Staff, WAFF Production Staff, “Friday Night Fever”
  • TV AAA: WVUA TV , Gary Harris, Rodney Orr, John Huddleston, Todd Hoyer,Jonathan Newman, Jennifer Hamner, Scott Spence,Ron Hamner, Keith Dobbins, Lynn Brooks, “Tider Insider TV Recruiting Special”

11. Extraordinary Coverage of a Planned Event

  • T VA: Fox 6 WBRC, Scott Richards, Janet Hall, Jonathan Hardison, Ashley Nix, Anthony Moore, Jamie Johnston, Perry Dawson, Neal Posey, Lloyd Alford, “Larry Langford Guilty”
  • TV AA: WHNT-TV, Denise Vickers, David Williams, Jerry Hayes, Allison Duff, Tiffany Golden, Shane Hays, David Wood, Carson Clark, Andrew Wilkins, “Tornado 89: Then and Now”
  • TV AAA: WVUA-TV, Lynn Brooks, Terry Saban, Keith Dobbins, Amy Eifler, Jennifer Hamner, Jonathan Newman, Scott Spence, Roy Clem, Clare Stewart, Terri Brewer, John Huddleston, “UA Homecoming Parade”

12. Victor Irving Best Staff Photography

  • TV A: WALA Fox 10, Kevin Sullivan, Rob Lehocky, Franz Barraza
  • TV AA: WHNT-TV, Gregg Stone, Shane Hays, David Wood, Andrew Wilkins
  • TV AAA: WVUA-TV, Jerome Davis, Parrish Alleman, Todd Hoyer, John Huddleston, Alex Joseph

13. Best Web Journalism

  • TV A: CBS 42, Bill Payer and Chris Mitchell
  • TV AA: WHNT-TV, Claire Aiello
  • TV AAA: WTVY News 4, Toygar Ayla, News 4 Staff

14. Best Reporter

  • TV A: WPMI, Andrea Ramey
  • TV AA: WSFA 12 News, Cody Holyoke
  • TV AAA: WVUA-TV , Tyler Morton

15. Stan Tarilton Best Photographer

  • TV A: WALA Fox 10, Kevin Sullivan
  • TV AA: WHNT-TV, David Wood
  • TV AAA: WTVY News 4, Erica Proffer

16. Best News Anchor

  • TV A: WPMI, Greg Peterson
  • TV AA: WAKA-TV, Stefanie Hicks
  • TV AAA: WTVY News 4, Skylar Zwick

17. Best Weather Anchor

  • TV A: ABC 33/40, James Spann
  • TV AA: WAKA-TV , Chris Bailey
  • TV AAA: WVUA-TV, Wes Wyatt

18. Best Sports Anchor

  • TV A: Fox 6, Rick Karle
  • TV AA: WAKA-TV, Dee Jackson
  • TV AAA: WVUA-TV, Gary Harris

19. Best Specialized Reporter

  • TV A: Fox 6, Ronda Robinson
  • TV AA: WHNT-TV, Wendy Halloran
  • TV AAA: WVUA-TV, Terri Brewer

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iPhone app review: Fox 6

More and more TV viewers are seeing the news, not from traditional 5-6-10 p.m. broadcasts, but from online and other sources. Two Birmingham stations have custom apps for the iPhone (which are also compatible with the iPod Touch and soon-to-arrive iPad).

In this post, we review Fox 6′s free iPhone app.

Birmingham-based iPhone developers Josh Grenon and Brian Cauble served as our guest reviewers.

Fox 6 app news Fox 6 app weather

Fox 6 iPhone app: News and Weather tabs

What was your overall experience?

Josh: Great! Great user experience!

Brian: Overall, the experience was mixed. The interface is clean and understandable, but features such as sharing stories are very awkward.

Do you get the sense that this is a custom app, or a “skinned” app for TV station affiliates?

Josh: This application could be skinned to various TV stations. I would recommend that other TV stations use this type of application for their news.

Brian: This definitely feels like a skinned app. It seems like an app intended to be used by many affiliates with minor changes.

Fox 6 app videoAs a news consumer, what did you like? What would you add?

Josh: I liked the main categories listed in each tab: news, videos, weather and traffic. Those are the first categories I would look for in an iPhone news application. I liked that no ads were in this application. [Note: A later upgrade has added advertisements, as shown in the screenshots, taken after the review.]

Brian: I liked the ability to have sports and movie information. I would add more local video content for sports and traffic accidents.

As an app developer, what did you like? How would you improve it?

Josh: I had a great user experience with this application! I love the use of the tab bar control to separate the news categories! The only thing that would improve this application would be the Three20 icon menu used in the iPhone Facebook application; this would allow more categories on the front screen when the application starts.

Brian: Not much. The app has way too basic of a look and feel. I would improve the aesthetics and allow users to customize which topics are most important to them.

Since it’s a free app, would you pay money for it? How much? Why or why not?

Josh: I’d pay 99 cents for this application.

Brian: I would not pay for it. It would need two features to be worth paying for. First, it needs to be customizable. People want customizable news content from a local source. Second, it needs push notifications. People would like to be notified when breaking local news happens.

• • •

Our other review: the CBS 42 iPhone app.

• • •

Josh GrenonJosh Grenon (@joshgrenon) is a .Net developer by day and an iPhone developer by night. He started developing iPhone applications — such as Bham iCamp — in early 2009. Josh is also executive producer of Inspirageek, a casual yet informative video blog for geeks, and founder of user group Birmingham Mobile Tech.

brian caubleBrian Cauble (@briancauble) is the co-owner of Appsolute Genius, an iPhone application development company in Birmingham. His other interests include promoting local entrepreneurship through Birmingham Entrepreneur, participating in social media and a huge attachment to college football.

• • •

What should Birmingham media outlets do online?
Ask our all-star panel on Feb. 16.

Fox 6′s Bill Bolen retires

Anchorman Bill Bolen, a fixture in Birmingham television and radio for 56 years, signed off today after 41 years with Fox 6. The 81-year-old Selma native ended his long career on the morning show “Good Day Alabama.”

Gov. Riley declared today as “Bill Bolen Day.” Mayor William Bell presented him with a key to the city.

Bolen graduated from the University of Alabama with a bachelor of arts degree in radio arts. He served in the Air Force and worked different positions in Birmingham radio, including at WSGN (610 AM). He started on television with CBS affiliate WBMG (now WIAT) in 1965, joining WBRC-6 in 1969.

General manager Lou Kirchen said [video]:

In a time, when we may believe that chivalry is dead, we only have to look at the life of Mr. Bolen to know that’s not so. He will be long remembered for his generous smile, his deep, warm voice, his sense of humor, his faith and its manifestation in his commitment to our community. We are really going to miss you Mr. B.

Bolen received the American Cancer Society’s Life Inspiration Award in 1997 after surviving his own bout with the disease.

• • •

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Birmingham reporters cover Langford trial with Twitter

fox-6-coogler-interview

Trial coverage to a big step forward in October, thanks to a federal judge and tech-savvy reporters. During the corruption trial of then Birmingham mayor Larry Langford, Twitter became a primary source of live updates throughout the eight days in session.

Federal law prohibits broadcasting from within the courtroom. And a sign just outside the courtroom instructs that cell phones must be turned off. But Judge Scott Coogler allowed members of the media to use their phones to send updates to their Twitter accounts.

Followers were able to read live accounts of testimony, arguments and the mechanics of a high-profile trial from their computers and phones. It’s likely the first time a major trial received this level of scrutiny.

Coogler told Fox 6:

“The difference is Twitter is like a reporter taking notes, if you will, instead of having to take the notes back to their office, they’re writing them on a device which then goes out.

“It’s their own interpretation of what’s going on in the proceeding, and when I looked at it, it seemed pretty clear to me.”

During the trial, Coogler instructed jurors to isolate themselves from media coverage, but also included blogs, Twitter, Facebook and other sources of information. But he also took time to praise reporters for handling the coverage with decorum in and out of the courtroom.

Trial Twitterers included:

It’s clear that for citizens and for reporters, Twitter has changed how trial news is reported and consumed.

For more, see the story and video from Fox 6.

How would you grade the media’s coverage of the Langford trial? Did you follow along on Twitter? Leave a comment at the beep. Beep.

• • •

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CBS 42 owner clears bankruptcy

cbs42-logoNew Vision Television, owner of CBS 42 (WIAT) in Birmingham, emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy this month. We first reported the bankruptcy in July.

The company, based in Atlanta and Los Angeles, owns 14 stations nationwide.

“New Vision now has one of the strongest balance sheets in our sector,” Jason Elkin, CEO and founder of New Vision, said in a statement. “Being debt-free will enable us to invest in our people, our product and complementary acquisitions to drive New Vision forward, while our competitors continue to focus on daily liquidity and covenant compliance.”

New Vision made no job or benefit cuts linked to the reorganization, the company said.

Other local TV notes:

• • •

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EXCLUSIVE: Fox 6 has another round of layoffs, drops Saturday 5 p.m. newscast

Second round of cuts in 2009 for Raycom-owned station

Fox 6Media of Birmingham has learned that Fox 6 (WBRC) had another round of layoffs on Monday, eliminating several part-time positions and declining renewal on a few contracts, affecting marketing and editorial departments.

Fox 6 laid off 10 employees in February, adding to the dozens of TV jobs cut in Birmingham in 2009.

In addition, Fox 6 has eliminated the 5 p.m. Saturday newscast.

Montgomery-based Raycom Media owns the Birmingham Fox affiliate.

Station management did not respond to e-mailed questions.

Update 7/20: We were going to peg the number at 13 laid off, but we found out today that reporter and weekend morning anchorwoman Tiffany Bittner was let go today, bringing the total to 14 total.

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How a UAB student blogger scooped Birmingham mainstream media

uab car crash commons

When a car sped through a busy UAB campus green and crashed into the dining hall window, the news went out quickly on Twitter and Facebook. But not a single mainstream media outlet responded.

andrew stoneInstead, UAB student blogger Andrew Stone posted the story and photos to his site, Iloveuab.com. That single post, “BREAKING NEWS! Car crashes into UAB Commons!” led to high traffic and queries from those media outlets.

We asked Stone to share how the story came together, and how he managed to build on that one fateful post.

Reporting

April 27 was a normal day, and as usual I was brainstorming about what I needed to write for the day. I’m sure you know how it is: Sometimes, there’s tons to talk about, and other times, you have to force the words to flow from your fingers. However, all that changed very quickly!

Continue reading

Fox 6 lays off 10 employees

A third Birmingham TV station has cut jobs. Fox 6 (WBRC) cut 10 jobs Friday, as first mentioned by veteran former TV reporter Ike Pigott and later by the Birmingham Business Journal.

In January, NBC 13 and ABC 33/40 cut 25 jobs total.

Business Journal reporter and MOB member Jimmy Debutts wrote:

Fox 6

Fox6 WBRC cut 10 jobs, including on-air personality Chris Montana, on Friday.

Fox6 General Manager Lou Kirchen confirmed the station trimmed its staff in response to economic pressures. Kirchen would not comment on individual positions cut but a source familiar with the layoffs said Montana was among those affected.

Kirchen said the layoffs will not affect the station’s mission.

“Our news coverage will continue intact,” Kirchen said. “It was very difficult. We feel bad for the staffers and families affected by this.”

Local TV, owner of Fox 6 since July, has swapped stations with new owner Montgomery-based Raycom Media, with the transaction to be completed in the first half ot this year.