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Sparks & Bentley: Raw & Unscripted

You are going to see something this week (Tuesday & Wednesday Oct 5th & 6th at 9:30 PM) that you never get to see on television news.”
 
You’re going to see your candidates for governor raw, unscripted, and behind the scenes wearing a TV news microphone out on the campaign trail for hour after hour. We will condense it to bring you the most informative and most entertaining parts of their day. The candidates move fast and the stories will move even faster.  You will see the animals (political animals) in their native habitat.
 
You won’t see this on any other television station and frankly, we made these stories happen only with a commitment that is unprecedented in modern broadcasting.
 
First, it meant getting both candidates to agree to wear our microphone everywhere they went without restrictions. None. In these days of “gotcha” journalism” I was pleased both candidates trusted me enough to give me that kind of access. I told them up front I wasn’t looking to hurt them, but that I would not protect them if they screwed up.
 
Second, it meant assigning two photographers, two of the best in the business (Aaron Lee and Mike tucker) to be with me every minute we spent on the campaign trail. Committing two photographers to a single story for that many hours  is unheard of by local TV news, but management (Assistant News Director Lantz Croft and Assignments Manager Jeff Shackelford) did not hesitate to do it.
 
Third, it meant getting up at 3 a.m. one day and 3:30 a.m. another day to make the long haul to hook up with the candidates and put a wire on them for their first event of the day. Hey, I’m not looking for a pity party – I’m honored to do the stories. I’m just saying that after working evening shift for 30 years, I barely get to sleep by that hour!
 
Fourth, it meant management giving the stories extra time on the air so you can get some context and depth. A typical taped report on television will run just over 1 minute long. Each story on Sparks and Bentley will run nearly 8-1/2 minutes. That is a difficult time commitment to make in a local newscast, but management (News Director James Finch and Executive Producer Angie Bierley) were all for it.  My thanks to them for supporting the coverage so strongly. 
 
Next step is up to you.  Watch Tuesday and Wednesday (October 5th & 6th) at 9:30 PM and see what you think.  And let us know what you think.  About the candidates…  And about our coverage.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

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