In-depth TV: Barefoot teams with Newsplex for longform local news
Coy Barefoot's already known around town as a radio host, historian and author, and he's adding another title to his already lengthy resumé: TV host. On Sunday, May 19, Barefoot's latest effort, Inside Charlottesville, premieres on the local CBS affiliate WCAV, channel 19.
"It's a tremendous opportunity to do what television does best, and that's tell stories," says Barefoot, whose first guests are Rutherford Institute founder and First Amendment champion John Whitehead talking about drones, and photographer Ed Roseberry, whose classic photographs of Charlottesville and UVA cover more than half a century.
The half-hour weekly show, which will air at 11:30am on Sundays following Face the Nation, features a Charlie Rose-type set– two chairs with Barefoot and his guest– but it won't be limited to studio taping. Barefoot, who's also executive producer for the program, already visited the site of the 250/McIntire Interchange.
"It's going to completely transform the landscape down there," he says of the project, noting that he plans ongoing coverage. "We'll go in every few months and document the work that's being done. Not only are we doing smart, compelling television, but at the same time, we're creating some important historic documents."
Barefoot's relationship with the Newsplex, also home of the local ABC and Fox affiliates, began about a year ago when he launched "Barefoot Excursions," a once-a-week feature on CBS in which he visits various local sites to explore local history.
General Manager Jay Barton, a Nelson County native who arrived at Newsplex in December after working at stations in Texas, New York, and Louisiana, says he was immediately impressed by Barefoot's contributions and began brainstorming with News Director Griff Benner on novel ways to explore local issues and news in more depth than typical newscasts allow.
"We wanted to find some outlet and turn it into a show that is really directly aimed at serving the community in a thoughtful way," says Barton. "I'd like people to feel they benefited from watching our product, that they feel a little smarter. This is a step in that direction. We'll address issues that won't be boiled down to five second soundbites."
While the show will primarily focus on local issues, Barefoot notes that, like his weekday WINA radio program, Charlottesville Right Now, Inside Charlottesville may also feature guests and topics of state, regional, and national interest.