Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Still Photos Promo

A new promotional campaign kicked off today showing CBS 2's anchors and reporters at work through the use of black and white photos. The promos have a subdued tone with the apparent goal of earning the trust of viewers.

One 30-second spot features Chris Wragge and Kristine Johnson working together in the newsroom and in the studio:
Our world changes in the blink of an eye. Chris Wragge and Kristine Johnson... Working hard to bring you the news that matters most. Not only the headlines, but uncovering real stories. Bringing you the truth with the consistency you can trust. The news shaping our world. Chris Wragge... Kristine Johnson... only on CBS 2 HD.
The promo ends with both of their names on the screen in a typewriter-like font with the words "Honest And Consistent" beneath.

Another one highlights the work of reporter Pablo Guzman:
Pablo Guzman, on the streets, in the neighborhoods. When real people speak, they speak to Pablo. No one gets more people to open up and share their stories. CBS 2 HD's Pablo Guzman.
This one's tagline is "Sharing Your Stories."

Video of these new promos is coming up this weekend...

UPDATE: Some more transcripts:

This one has the tagline of "Working For You":
Kirstin Cole. With the economy in trouble, families struggling to make ends meet, Kirstin Cole will help you make it through hard times with sound advice and helpful information. CBS 2 HD's Kirstin Cole.
"Health And Compassion":
Dr. Holly Phillips, our medical insider, bringing you cutting-edge breakthroughs and the latest health alerts. When it comes to you and your family's health, turn to our doctor. CBS 2 HD's Dr. Holly Phillips.

"Truth And Politics":
Marcia Kramer. When scandal shakes up the government. When your tax dollars are in waste. When campaign twists and turns can change everything. There's only one political reporter who gets the whole story. CBS 2 HD's Marcia Kramer.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

CBS 2 at the March for Babies

The CBS 2 team participated in this morning's March for Babies in Lincoln Center. The walk, previously known as WalkAmerica, has been going on since 1970 and is organized by the March of Dimes to raise money to combat premature births and help premature babies. CBS 2 is the official media sponsor for the March for Babies.

NewsByte2 was at the walk and took these pictures:

Public affairs manager Sharon Persaud on the left, her assistant Karina Roa on the right, and Karina's parents in the middle.

CBS 2 meteorologist Elise Finch and sports anchor Sam Ryan.

The CBS 2 table offered coffee, donuts and tee-shirts to participants and fans.

Sam Ryan and Maurice DuBois chat with Super Bowl MVP Eli Manning, fresh off his honeymoon, live on CBS 2 News Sunday Morning.

Elise Finch provided the forecast from the site of the walk at the corner of Columbus and 64th. Her CBS 2 HD umbrella tells it all.

Sam Ryan and Maurice DuBois hosted the 9:00 kickoff program, which included Giants quarterback Eli Manning. The walk started at 9:30.

CBS 2 anchor Chris Wragge poses for a picture with a fan (me).

"WCBS - Grand" Anniversary

On this day eight years ago, "News 2" changed its graphics and music. The theme, composed by Edd Kalehoff, was called "WCBS - Grand" (it has since been renamed "Grandeur" and occasionally appears during the showcases on "The Price is Right") and represented a shift away from the "CBS Enforcer" signature. The opens featured shots of the city and the anchors in a filmstrip, with Don Lafontaine's voiceover ("From the heart of the tri-state area, street-level on Fifth Avenue...") making note of the fact that the newscasts were originating from The Early Show's studio.

The music continued to be used on CBS 2 until January 27, 2003.

Click here for a look at how NewsByte2 covered the story at the time.

Friday, April 25, 2008

"The McLaughlin Group" Moves to CBS 2

And now we know what's going to air before the second airing of Eye on New York...

Keisean sends in this press release, which announces that "The McLaughlin Group" will move from NBC's WRC-TV to CBS affiliate WUSA-TV next weekend. Here in New York, that means the show will move from NBC 4, where it's been for over two decades, to CBS 2, airing Sunday mornings at 11:00 beginning May 4th.

DuBois and Sullivan Host Folios

CBS 2 News This Morning anchors Maurice DuBois and Kate Sullivan were on hand earlier today to host the Folio Awards ceremony in Woodbury. The awards are given out annually by the Fair Media Council as a way to promote increased media coverage of Long Island. DuBois and Sullivan were joined on this busy news day by veteran White House reporter Helen Thomas, who gave the keynote address, as well as their colleagues from the other New York stations.

"Eye on New York" Adds Second Broadcast

Eye on New York, CBS 2's seven-week-old community airs program, is adding a second broadcast. The Sunday morning show, which had been airing at 6:30, will now re-air at 11:30 to give more people a chance to watch it. This week, Maurice DuBois talks with Wynton Marsalic about the 200th anniversary of the Abyssinean Babtist Church.

CBS 2 News Covers Bell Verdict

CBS 2 News broke in at 9:14 to report the news of the verdict in the Sean Bell trial. Dana Tyler and Jim Rosenfield tossed it right away to John Slattery, who was standing outside the courthouse in Kew Gardens, Queens, with news of the verdict: The three officers were acquitted on all charged. The news was significant because there were concerns that there might be a violent reaction to such a decision. Pablo Guzman was inside the courtroom at the time the verdict was announced and reported via telephone before he was able to get on camera. Jay Dow, Dave Carlin and Jackie Hyland also provided live reports on the community reaction. Chopper 2 HD provided aerial footage of the area.

As of this posting, CBS 2 News is still on the air.

5:04 P.M. UPDATE: The initial special report lasted until 10:29 and included the Bell family's march to the cemetery and press conferences from NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly and the PBA. CBS 2 broke in again at 11:53 to cover Mayor Michael Bloomberg's statement live from Jamaica, then transitioned at 11:59 to CBS 2 News at Noon. The newscast led with reports from Guzman, Carlin and Dow, but did eventually get to the rest of the day's news. Dana Tyler anchored another special report at 1:17, which covered a press conference by the Detectives' Endowment Association, including comments from the three officers who were found not guilty this morning. At the end of the special report, a brief statement from the Rev. Al Sharpton was played, before returning to regular programming at 1:43.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

May Sweeps is Here!

Today is the start of the May 2008 "sweeps" period. Over the next four weeks, look for stations, including CBS 2, to try extra hard to grab viewers' attention. We should find out how the ratings look on May 22nd.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

CBS 2 News Helps Identify Missing Man

Last night at 5:30, Sean Hennessey reported on an unidentified man who had been treated at a Queens hospital for two months. His family happened to be watching. Tonight at 6:00, Scott Rapoport shared the happy reunion. It turns out that 71-year-old man is from El Salvador and was on Long Island visiting his family.

CBS 2 Bug Goes Green

In observance of Earth Day, CBS 2's usually transparent logo bug on the lower-right corner of the screen has been green during newscasts today. The logo, which includes two leaves off to the top-right side of the eye-2, has also shown up occasionally in the past during environmental "Going Green" segments or reports. Several such stories aired today, including this one from Cindy Hsu.

The station also teamed up with Whole Foods Market to provide free cloth bags at select locations.

Monday, April 21, 2008

New Morning Ticker

CBS 2 News debuted a new ticker this morning that makes traffic and weather more available. The left side, titled "Roads & Rails," picked three locations (59th St. Bridge, Battery and Bayonne Bridge) and updated viewers on their statuses (which this morning were "no problems," "no delays" and "moving well," respectively). The right half presented the forecast for the morning, afternoon and tonight, including forecast icon, temperature and brief description.

It's not clear exactly when the new graphic is supposed to be visible as it shared the bottom of the screen with the usual ticker that's been in use for over a year.

(Snapshot from wcbstv.com's video library.)

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Wrap-Up of Pope's Visit Coverage

CBS 2 News provided several additional hours of coverage, anchored by Chris Wragge and Kristine Johnson, of Pope Benedict XVI's visit to New York.

The station interrupted programming at around 9:30 Friday morning when "Shepherd One" landed at JFK International Airport about 15 minutes early. The coverage continued covering the pope's journey to the United Nations, where he addressed the General Assembly. Live reports included Hazel Sanchez at the UN (she mentioned at 5:00 that she had been there since 3:00 in the morning), Lou Young interviewing some lucky kids who got to meet the pope, Deborah Garcia at St. Patrick's Cathedral and Pablo Guzman in Yorkville (which has been dubbed "Little Germany"). Magee Hickey also provided a report from Washington with reaction from victims of the sexual abuse. The 5:00 newscast attempted to recap the day in a "regular" format but returned to live coverage when the pope visited Park East Synagogue, continuing until 6:30.

CBS 2's coverage resumed Saturday morning after "The Early Show." Wragge and Johnson's broadcast began just before 9:00 and covered the mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral, signing off at 10:12. They would return at around 1:15 to cover the pope's moving from St. Patrick's to the Papal Residence. CBS 2 went back to CBS Sports' LPGA golf coverage at 1:52. Wragge and Johnson anchored CBS 2 News at 6:00.

More coverage this morning began after CBS 2 News Sunday Morning. Wragge and Johnson came on at 9:00 and covered the Pope's visit to Ground Zero. They signed off at 10:14 and joined CBS News Sunday Morning (which was already in progress from a tape-delayed 10:00 start time). Coverage picked up again at 2:00 as the mass at Yankee Stadium got underway and was simulcast in Philadelphia on KYW-TV and in Boston over WSBK (a CBS-owned independent station). Mary Calvi and John Slattery provided live reports from around the field. This coverage lasted until 5:12, when CBS 2 returned to coverage of the Verizon Heritage golf tournament. The 6:30 newscast was also anchored by Wragge and Johnson and provided a wrap-up of the events of the past few days. The final special report aired from 8:00 - 8:42 as a JFK departure ceremony honored the pope.

All of the coverage was streamed live on wcbstv.com, where on-demand video from every day of coverage is also available.

Feel free to post additional special report times as it was difficult to keep up with all of the broadcasts!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Glaros Leaves WPLG

According to Ken Kaye's Storm Center blog, Megan Glaros was scheduled to give her last forecast at WPLG-TV in Miami this morning. She told Kaye of her new CBS 2 job: "I'll be doing the weekend weather and entertainment reporting during the week. Crazy!" Her bio is still available but was taken off of local10.com's list this afternoon.

The Daily News reported last week that Glaros would be starting at CBS 2 News sometime next month.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

CBS 2 News Covers Pope Benedict XVI's U.S. Arrival

Pope Benedict XVI's airplane arrived at Maryland's Andrews Air Force Base a few minutes ahead of schedule, pushing up CBS 2's coverage. Originally planned to start at 4:00 p.m., CBS 2's special report kicked off at 3:52, making it the first local station on the air (the others started at the top of the hour).

Chris Wragge and Kristine Johnson anchored the report and spoke over live video of the pope's arrival ceremony. They were joined at the desk by Father Joseph Chapel of Seton Hall University's Immaculate Conception Seminary. Mary Calvi reported live from Washington, D.C. in front of the Catholic University and spoke with Father Mike Russo, a professor at St. Mary's College. She was later joined by the Catholic University's Frank Persico. John Slattery also reported from Washington and Tony Aiello was live at St. Joseph's Seminary in Yonkers, where the pope will visit Friday afternoon. The lower-third graphic during the live coverage provided all sorts of biographical and historical information but also reported that Pope Benedict XVI plays the piano, listens to Mozart and Beethoven, and is the first pope to own an iPod.

CBS 2 News at 5:00 began at its usual time (4:58) with a special pope-related opening. Calvi, Slattery and Aiello returned to provide live reports and Sean Hennessey also reported live from the Flatiron District with how the city's subways are stepping up security. Pablo Guzman, Jennifer McLogan and Scott Rapoport contributed packages related to the pope's New York visit. Lonnie Quinn came on in the third block of the newscast with an abbreviated weather forecast. After a recap of the papal top stories, the 5:30 half-hour covered the rest of the day's news. Lonnie Quinn's forecast at 5:50 included "Weather for Papal Visit," a summary of the weather for Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

At 6:00, Dana Tyler and Jim Rosenfield continued with more coverage of the pope. Calvi, Slattery and Hennessey were back with live reports and Hazel Sanchez, live at St. Patrick's Cathedral, joined the team. Rosenfield reported on the first time a pope visited the United States back in 1965, with appearances by Bill Plante and Harry Reasoner. It was the first time in recent memory that an entire black-and-white package has aired on CBS 2 News. The 6:00 newscast returned to the rest of the news in the second block.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Coverage Plans for Pope Benedict XVI's U.S. Visit

Pope Benedict XVI makes his long-awaited visit to the United States this week and CBS 2 plans full coverage.

It starts tomorrow afternoon at 4:00 when the station promises live coverage of the pope's arrival at Andrews Air Force Base. After three days in Washington, D.C., Pope Benedict will make his way to New York on Friday where he will address the U.N. General Assembly and visit a synagogue. Saturday he'll visit St. Patrick's Cathedral and then Sunday he is expected at Ground Zero in the morning and will celebrate mass at Yankee Stadium in the afternoon.

For a more detailed itinerary list, click here to go to wcbstv.com, and check out this promo:

Friday, April 11, 2008

One Year in High Definition

One year ago today, CBS 2 News began broadcasting in high definition. Chris Wragge anchored the first HD newscast at noon (Kristine Johnson was still on maternity leave), which sported an updated logo, new graphics, new music and an updated studio. Weatherman Lonnie Quinn made his CBS 2 debut that evening at 6:00 and 11:00

It was also the day that CBS 2 launched its "Going Green" initiative, with spots reminding viewers to protect the environment. More spots would air later with specific tips on what they could do.

Only graphics and studio shots were in high definition in the beginning, with all live shots and nearly every piece of video remaining in 4:3 standard definition. That changed on January 21st when the station upgraded its equipment and began airing most local video in 16:9 standard definition.

Click here for full NewsByte2 coverage of CBS 2 HD.

Megan Glaros Joins CBS 2's Weather Team

There have been rumors about this for the past month but it looks like it's official now: the Daily News reports that meteorologist Megan Glaros is joining the CBS 2's weather team. She comes from Miami where she served as WPLG-TV's morning meteorologist. She starts in May and will work either weekend mornings or weekend evenings (both of which are slots that had been filled by Elise Finch since last December).

According to Glaros' WPLG bio, she began her career in television in Parkerburg, WV but, after five months, she decided that the town was too small for her. She then joined Baltimore's NewsCentral and provided forecasts for up to four cities a night. She's been with WPLG since September 2004, has filled in on "Good Morning America" many times and earned her AMS Seal of Approval in November 2006.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Bartelstein Bests Colleagues in Bracket Challenge

Maybe it's the fact that he used to be a sports anchor... Weekend morning anchor Steve Bartelstein beat out the other CBS 2 "VIPs" in the station's Bracket Challenge. He scored 192 points, placing him in the 76th percentile. Chris Wragge, himself a former sports anchor, scored 188, followed by Ducis Rodgers at 170 and John Elliott, who was right in the middle at the 50th percentile, with 162 points.

Here's a look at where everyone finished:
Steve Bartelstein192
Chris Wragge188
Ducis Rodgers170
John Elliott162
Sam Ryan158
Kristine Johnson144
Jim Rosenfield140
Lonnie Quinn138
John Discepolo122
Dana Tyler98

Part of the reason Rosenfield ranked so low is that he chose his alma mater Duke to win it all. And as good as Bartelstein did, he was still 32 points from making it into the top 100. The grand prize is a 40-inch flat panel LCD TV.

Last night's college basketball championship went into overtime with Kansas beating out Memphis 75-68 meaning the late edition of CBS 2 News did not start until 12:23 a.m.

CBS 2 News Wins Five Emmys

CBS 2 News took home five Emmy awards Sunday night. Chris Wragge won two and Scott Weinberger, who was among last week's cuts, won one. Here are the winning entries:


Bronx Fire. March 8, 2007. (WCBS-TV). Chris Wragge, News Anchor; David Molko, Kathleen Rohan, Writers; Franca Braatz, Peter McGowan, Field Producers; Jeff Gesoff, Eric Berlin, Producers; Marcia Kramer, Magee Hickey, Reporters; Jay Dow, Field Reporter; Jim Fleischmann, Camera.


East Side Plane Crash. October 11, 2006. (WCBS-TV). Michael Haynes, Director; Brian Lowder, Assignment Editor; Jim Rosenfield, Anchor; Joe Biermann, Chopper Reporter; Scott Rapoport, Reporter.

HARD NEWS: Single Story

Red Light Rabbi. November 29, 2006. (WCBS-TV). Scott Weinberger, Chief Investigative Reporter; Carl Gottlieb, Executive Producer; Pat Quinn, Editor.


Chris Wragge. August 8, 2007. (WCBS-TV). Composite.


William Lee. July 15, 2007. (WCBS-TV). CBS2 HDTV Image Campaign

A complete list of winners is available here.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Friend Speaks at Hofstra

CBS 2 Vice President and News Director David Friend spoke to students earlier this evening at Hofstra University about how to get a job in the business. The talk was held in the Long Island campus' converged newsroom, called the NewsHub, just down the hall from the station's Long Island news bureau. Friend was originally supposed to speak at the university on March 10th but a big story regarding the governor broke and he had to reschedule the event.

Friend started off by giving some background of himself: He graduated from Columbia University's School of Journalism 30 years ago and sent out resume tapes but got rejected everywhere. (He even said he saved those rejection letters until a few years ago.) He ended up getting hired at WPIX-TV as a non-staff news writer and had been there for 12 months when he considered jumping ship and joining the Associated Press. The news director at Channel 11 told Friend that his career would advance much more quickly if he stayed in television. He ended up following that advice, remaining with WPIX and eventually became a producer. "I wanted to have control over the product," he said. "The true crafters of the news and information that goes out over the airwaves are producers."

He uprooted his family from Westchester and moved to Los Angeles in 1993 to help launch the "Extra" entertainment program, which debuted the following year. He eventually realized that it was not a very fulfilling career and moved his family back to the east coast in 1997 to join CNBC, where he would rise to senior vice president of business news programming. He now admits that he did not know much about financial news at the time. "I like to tell people that I got my M.B.A. on the fly," he said. He became CBS 2's news director in June 2006.

Friend explained to the students that he always gets a rush knowing things before other people and having the responsibility of informing everyone else. "It still gets me excited," he said. He added that he enjoys local news over cable news because it has more of a chance to make a difference in people's lives. "It truly is our calling to be the voice of the people," he said.

As a way to teach students how to land their jobs, Friend played some resume tapes, pointing out what worked and what didn't. He said it's the first ten seconds or so that has to grab his attention to force him to keep watching. "If you're not energetic, why should I watch?" he said. If the tape starts off with a montage, he prefers if it's kept tight, under 30 seconds, because he wants to see how the applicant constructs a story.

The ability to write well is something Friend said he really looks for. "It's not brain surgery, it's fundamentals," he said. "It's telling stories and asking good questions." He also strongly encouraged students to do internships that interest them. As for the resume, he said that it's important not to have any spelling or grammatical errors on it. He looks at experience and particularly education and says that some sort of a connection to the New York area is always a plus. Friend also looks for well-rounded employees who read a lot and are worldly. "You've got to know a little about a lot, not a lot about a little," he said.

The topic of new technologies and new mediums came up. Friend cited a recent study that said around 55 percent of the news viewing audience still views local news to be important. "That's comforting," he said. As for his station's website, "I view wcbstv.com as an enhancer of our news product," saying that he doesn't think it takes away from the television audience. He's seen the changes happen over the course of his career. When he first got into the business, Friend said the newscasts generally covered the news of the day; today, immediacy is vital as breaking news is covered instantly.

When asked about how he balances his career with his family, the married father of three said that it wasn't a tough choice for him. "I always put my family first," he said. The fact that there is not much traveling to do in local news makes spending time with the family easier.

The entire 70-minute talk was streamed live and is available via Hofstra University's NewsHub Live:

Harmon Joins CNN International

Byron Harmon, most recently the executive producer of CBS 2 News This Morning, has joined CNN International. TVNewser reports that he will fill the global network's newly created position of senior executive producer. From the press release:
As executive producer at WCBS Channel 2 in New York, Harmon consistently increased program ratings as he helped move the channel from No. 6 to No. 2 in the largest market in the United States.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Young Blogs the Economic Slowdown

Reporter Lou Young blogged about the likely recession and this passage is of particular interest in light of this week's events:
Add to that the news this week of layoffs. An industry like the one I'm in is facing so much uncertainty it's difficult to imagine how it all turns out. Shifting audiences, and new technology like the move to digital media are happening right as we enter the very expensive upgrade to HDTV. Put a recession in the mix and it's an equation with too many variables. I don't envy the people upstairs who have to make the books come out right.

The truth is, in economic terms, I don't envy ANY of us with what's likely to go in the next year or so. Before it's over there are likely to be more than a few of our neighbors who will need sympathy as well as a little help.

Daddy DuBois

Some happy news to end the week: Morning anchor Maurice DuBois is a new dad. The Daily News says that wife Andrea gave birth Wednesday to Brandon James. The proud father tells the paper that mother and baby are doing well.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

More on the Budget Cuts

Richard Huff in the Daily News reports more on yesterday's budget cuts, including that an unknown number of off-air staffers and freelancers were also let go.

"Sports Sunday," the 11:35 p.m. half-hour sports show anchored by Ducis Rodgers, is being canceled.

CBS 2 President and General Manager Peter Dunn told the News, "The strategic realignment of our team will allow the station to continue to invest wisely in the people and infrastructure that will drive future growth in ratings, revenue and community service."