Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Spotlight Feature: Covering the Chardon High School Shootings

WKYC Anchor Russ Mitchell on location in Chardon
By Frank Macek

One of the hardest stories for journalists to cover is the senseless killing of innocent children, especially in the one place they should feel safest - at school.

Over the past 72 hours, everyone at WKYC has been deeply involved in the tragedy at Chardon High School. From the reporters in the field, to producers making sense of it all, to the production crew airing our coverage, you can't help but feel a personal connection to the event.

After all, Chardon is a small, rural town where tragedies like the deaths of 3 students and the injury of 2 others is not supposed to lead the national news broadcast. Like Columbine, it's hard to understand how the shooter was driven to committ such an act.

We feel it important to bring you the stories of many of those involved as we can. Some families don't wish to speak to the media and we respect that. But, many anothers have wanted to tell their stories as a way to help the community heal, in addition to the prayer vigils and memorial services.

One of the bright outcomes of this story is the fact that local media still has a powerful presence in bringing the story home to you. Obviously the story is not about us, but rather how the use of broadcast media, social media and new technology combine to help people deal with such an event and provide instant communication of the events in real-time.

We have heard from people on our Facebook and Twitter pages about how much they appreciated us providing wall to wall coverage on Monday and our expanded coverage on Tuesday. As one viewer, Jes Zelasko, posted on our wall "God bless you all. It must be hard to report all that you are. Take care of yourselfs too as you take care of all of us."

Yes, it is hard. All of us have families and can relate to the pain and agony that so many families are going through right now. Life in Chardon will never be the same, but the community will heal. We know Chardon is strong in spirit, as we have seen over the past 3 days.

The Chardon High School Shootings is an important story we must cover to its legal conclusion. But more importantly, we hope some of the stories we share with viewers can help to prevent this sad story from being repeated.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Legendary Broadcaster Fred Griffith Signing Off Cleveland Television

Fred Griffith (right) with WKYC Program Director Terry Moir (left)
By Frank Macek

Longtime Cleveland broadcast Fred Griffith will sign off from local television on Wednesday, February 22nd, after a 50 year career in broadcasting in Northeast Ohio.

Most recently, Fred was a host of Channel 3's 10 a.m. weekday program, "Good Company" with Andrea Vecchio, Michael Cardamone and Joe Cronauer.

Fred first joined Channel 3 in May 2000 after leaving his longtime home at WEWS where he worked for 33 years, as a reporter, news producer, news and public affairs director, and for over 26 years, host of the daily two hour Morning Exchange program.

For nearly five years he was also co-host of the hour-long Afternoon Exchange.

Fred holds the national record for time on live TV, with more than 13,700 hours.

He is in the Cleveland Press Club Hall of Fame and holds the Distinguished Service Award from the Society for Professional Journalists and the Cleveland Association of Broadcasters Award for Excellence. He has received Emmys for his work and in 1992 was inducted into the television academy’s Silver Circle.

Griffith grew up working in his family’s restaurant in Charleston, West Virginia. He majored in philosophy at West Virginia University. After service as an Air Force officer, he became a broadcast journalist, working as a radio news director in Charleston before moving to Cleveland in 1959.

He has been a serious climber and a long distance runner, and is among the small group of people who have stood at both the north and south poles. He has been to every continent.

He has worked with his wife, Linda, on six cookbooks. Nuts, their most recent work, was published in April 2003 by St. Martin’s Press. The Best of the Midwest (Viking, 1990) profiled creative chefs in the region. The New American Farm Cookbook (Viking, 1993) grew out of a study of the farmer-chef connection. Their first book for Chapters, Onions Onions Onions, (1994) won a James Beard Award. Cooking Under Cover (Chapters,1996) was a best seller and a main selection of the Book of the Month Club. Garlic Garlic Garlic from Houghton Mifflin was published in 1998. He has also written Cleveland; Continuing the Renaissance (Towery, 1997). He is a columnist for Currents, published by the Chagrin Valley Times.

Between them they have five children and 10 grandchildren.

As WKYC Program Director and former Morning Exchange Executive Producer Terry Moir said in a note to the Channel 3 staff, "Fred does have the distinction of being geographical bipolar having stood on both the North and South poles!" and we wish him well wherever his new adventures in life take him in between.


Click on the picture below to view a photogallery taken from Fred's farewell this morning, courtesy of our WKYC ace photographer, Ryan Haidet:

Click photo for a photogallery


Click on the video below to watch a segment of Fred's Farewell from "Good Company" on 2/22/12:

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Spotlight Feature: How To Lower Your Cable Bill To $7.99 Per Month

Photo Courtesy: Hulu
Special to the Director's Cut Blog
By Matt Granite, WKYC Ways 2 Save Reporter

CLEVELAND -- The cost of cable and satellite services are too high for many families to afford, so today by viewer request... how to lower that monthly bill to $7.99.

While this certainly isn't for everyone or the most demanding viewers, I have successfully lowered my bill from the previous $100 per month I was paying.

Considering I was only watching eight of the channels in my provider package, I've made the personal decision to go Roku.

Here's how to sever the ties:

1) Buy a Roku for a one-time fee of $49.99 (more on Roku in a minute). CLICK HERE
2) Get a subscription to Hulu Plus for $7.99 a month (so you can watch your favorite new primetime shows, as well as previous episodes). CLICK HERE
3) Buy a good HD antenna so you can still watch us! CLICK HERE

So what is Roku?

It's a beautiful little box that you might want to consider that allows you to watch most of your favorite TV and movie content on demand.

For the new low starting price of $50, this system, which doesn't require a subscription fee, streams most of the content you're paying for through your cable/satellite provider to your TV, in HD for free.

Roku provides free access to dozens and dozens of channels via its new and improved interface. Some of my favorites include Crackle, a free movie service, NBC News, Wall Street Journal Live, CNBC and CNET. If you're already an Amazon Prime member or Netflix subscriber, you can also watch all of that content in its HD glory on your TV via Roku. You can also pause, skip and return to most content on your Roku at any time.

So what are the other savings?

Most importantly, you're not paying to rent your box (like you'd be paying with a cable or satellite provider). You can watch as many movies or TV shows on demand as you want (with a Hulu Plus subscription or Netflix). I will admit though, if you want some of the brand new content available through your cable or satellite providers, you definitely won't find everything on Roku. Also, in most cases you'll be getting your primetime programming a day after everyone else via Hulu.

Personally, I prefer Roku over Apple TV, as it allows you to connect to shows on Hulu and provides dozens of additional channels for free. The higher-end models of the Roku also offer 1080p HD, while the Apple TV does not.

At this price, and if you have a decent high-speed Internet connection, you could very well fall technically head-over-heels for Roku as I have. CLICK HERE

We receive absolutely no financial compensation for mentioning any company, product, or deal. The purpose of this segment is to find great deals -- that's it.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Promo: Faces Of Channel 3 News

2012 has seen lots of new faces, along with old friends at Channel 3 News.

Here is one of our new promos that introduce you to what are all about in the new year and and with a brand new attitude!

Click on the video to watch:

Monday, February 13, 2012

Behind The Scenes: 'Cash Explosion' Celebrates 25 Years

Special to the Director's Cut Blog
By Jason Nguyen, WKYC Web Reporter

We are taking you behind the scenes of the only state lottery game show on air in the United States -- "Cash Explosion."

For 25 years, Ohio's own lottery game show has made a difference in the lives of thousands of people.

"We said back then that we didn't make life changing money, but we gave away make a difference kind of money," says host Sharon Bicknell.

It's money that has inspired many people to buy a lottery ticket, scratch it, and hope there name gets picked.

Dalton's own Stephen Cruchfield wants to win big to change another's life, his wife's.

"She needs surgery to be able to see clearly. She has never been able to see clear her whole life," says Cruchfield.

You'll have to wait until March 10 to see how much he is taking to the doctor's office.

Moments like this tend to happen on a show that was only slated to last for 13 weeks in 1987.

Click on the video or a behind the scenes look at what it takes to put on a show:

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

WKYC's Russ Mitchell Kicks Off Press Club Of Cleveland's 125th Anniversary

The Press Club of Cleveland is hosting a meet-and-greet luncheon with WKYC's lead 6pm and 11pm anchor, Russ Mitchell, on Friday, February 24.

The event, "Meet Russ Mitchell -- From CBS to Cleveland," will take place at the Hilton Garden Inn in downtown Cleveland from 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.

Most recently, Russ was anchor of the CBS Evening News weekend editions and The Early Show on Saturday and served as a national correspondent for CBS News Sunday Morning, the CBS Evening News, and The Early Show.

He joined the WKYC staff on January 16.

With a special introduction by WKYC-TV 3 News Director Rita Andolsen, Russ will discuss his decision to leave the network and move to Cleveland and local television news. No doubt Russ tell a few tales from his years at CBS as well.

"Meet Russ Mitchell -- From CBS to Cleveland," marks the start of a year-long celebration of the 125th anniversary of the founding of The Press Club of Cleveland.

Founded in 1887, The Press Club of Cleveland is an organization for journalists, communications professionals, aspiring communications professionals and anyone who works with them.

The Club serves it members by providing social and educational opportunities, promoting excellence in journalism, and honoring and maintaining the rich history of journalism in Greater Cleveland.

Monday, February 06, 2012

Super Bowl draws Record 111.3M Viewers On NBC

NEW YORK  --  For the third consecutive year, the Super Bowl has set a record as the most-watched television show in U.S. history.

The Nielsen Co. said Monday that an estimated 111.3 million people watched the New York Giants beat the New England Patriots on Sunday night. That narrowly beat the 111 million who watched Green Bay's win over Pittsburgh last year.

NBC was blessed by a competitive game between two teams that played one of the Super Bowl's most memorable games four years ago, with one of them representing the largest media market in the country.

Source: The Associated Press

Photogallery: Behind The Scenes WKYC Promo Shoot

Our very cool web guy Ryan Haidet was on hand at the recent promo shoot for WKYC's new on-air talent campaign. We started airing these new commercials during the Super Bowl on Sunday night.

To view a behind-the-scenes look at the filming of those promos at Classic Studios in Broadview Heights, click on the picture below:

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

WKYC Names Jennifer Nickels Morning Show Executive Producer

WKYC News Director Rita Andolsen has announced that Jennifer Nickels will be joining Channel 3 News as Executive Producer of Channel 3 News Today from 4:30 - 7 a.m. weekday mornings.

Jennifer comes to us from Hearst station WLWT-TV/Cinncinati where she has been Executive Producer of "News 5 Today" since 2007.

Jennifer is a Cincinnati native and a graduate of University of Missouri-Columbia.

She will take over the morning show reigns on March 5th and is an avid reader of the Director's Cut Blog. Welcome Jennifer!