Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

How Do Local TV Stations Protect Their Reporters during Live Shots?

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

How Do Local TV Stations Protect Their Reporters during Live Shots?

Article excerpt

Post-Gazette TV writer Rob Owen answers reader questions online every Friday in Tuned In Journal blog at post-gazette.com/tv. Here's a selection of recent queries.

Q: I'm curious to know how local TV stations protect their news crews. I've read about some news crews being verbally attacked while setting up in other cities. I would be disappointed if anything like that happened here.

- CHRIS, PITTSBURGH

Answer: I put this question to Pittsburgh news directors Kathy Hostetter (KDKA-TV), Jim Parsons (WTAE-TV) and Scott Trabandt (WPXI-TV) with an understanding of the sensitive nature of the query and a desire not to publish a response that gives away anything that could jeopardize news crew safety. Only Ms. Hostetter responded.

"We've had some incidents where crews have been approached and have felt uncomfortable," she wrote. "In every situation, they've done the right thing by getting away and calling 911 if they felt it was necessary. One such instance resulted in filing a police report in case it would become something more.

"Additionally, it's always been our practice that if a crew doesn't feel safe at a scene it is always at their discretion to leave," Ms. Hostetter continued. "It's never questioned. We trust our staff to practice good common sense and practice good situational awareness."

Q: I've noticed that KDKA-TV sports hasn't been doing their weekly "Extra Effort Award" lately. Did they drop it or is it on hiatus?

- RON VIA EMAIL

Answer: KDKA-TV general manager Chris Cotugno said: "With our enhanced relationship with the WPIALs, we are looking to revamp the program. The Extra Effort is just on a brief hiatus."

Q: Is Henry Winkler's show "Better Late Than Never" coming back on TV? I really like that show!

- RANDI,

SQUIRREL HILL

Answer: Last month, an NBC spokeswoman said a decision on the show's future has not been made. …

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