The Stories You Remember

Hope everyone had a great 4th of July.

As I was coming into work, I was reminded of a party I went to July 3rd at a friend’s house. It was at that time one of the guests at the party was complementing the work we do on Channel 4. She said to me she especially loved the part of the morning program when Kelly and I talk to Good Morning America’s Robin Roberts about what’s coming up at 7am. She says it’s the one part of the morning she never misses.

It got me to thinking about why viewers watch certain local newscasts – and I have discovered in my time what separates one news station from another isn’t always the way we cover the big stories, although we do a great job of that. However, viewers never come up to me and say “great job covering the fire downtown or that three-car pile-up”. What sticks in their minds are defining stories — stories that are out of the ordinary or that bring a human side of life to Pittsburgh.

Whether it’s Wendy Bell dressing up as an old lady to see how courteous Pittsburghers really are, Mike Clark’s “Beetle Boy” story, Jim Parsons chasing down a fleeing city councilman, Michelle Wright playing pool with Sidney Crosby or yours truly flying with the Blue Angels, all these stories are ones people remember – sometimes for years. People still ask me about my on-camera try-out for the Duquesne University football team when I put on the pads and went through a practice — and that was 9 years ago.

I had a chance to do one of those kinds of stories on July 4th. It was a simple idea – ask Pittsburghers how much they really know about Independence Day. The quiz involved grabbing people at random and letting them answer questions about July 4th — things like how old the country is, who wrote the Declaration of Independence. The answers – or rather the lack of answers – were very funny and it made for a memorable story on a less than exciting news day.

You never know when stories like that will pop up, but it’s nice to know that we have the flexibility to do such creative pieces — and that we are striking a chord with you.

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