G’night 29

With 97 percent of precincts reporting and George Allen showing just the slimmest of leads– less than 1/4 of one percent– the NBC29 news anchor wished viewers a good night at midnight and signed off. "We'll continue our election coverage in the morning," she chirped.

Huh? One of the most hotly contested senate races in the country, with a record voter turn-out in Virginia and with much of the action leading up to the election happening right here in Charlottesville, and 29 signs off? Luckily, the Newsplex came through. As Jay Leno cracked his opening jokes on channel 29, CBS 19 interviewed Matt Smyth from UVA's Center for Politics. Not to be outdone, ABC 16 welcomed Sorensen Institute executive director Sean O'Brien to offer his take on the political scene. And suddenly Webb was in the lead. No– Allen. No– Webb.
Competition is a good thing– not just for elections, but also for local stations.

19 comments

Since 29 has been accused of running news "stories" that were actually promotional videos for businesses (i.e. clients), maybe the Allen and Webb campaigns just didn't come through with enough payola for them to cover this "news" event.

Good for the Newsplex!

hear, hear! the newsplex is getting there, i must say.

What the heck do you expect from "Storm Team 29"? Now, if last night's rain had been falling just a little harder, the red jackets would have gone into 24-hour mode.....

The most hotly contested senate race in the country, with a record voter turn-out Blah, Blah. You act more like a bunch of silly little children, which know Santa is coming but can't wait 'til morning to find out what you have received. Either way that the vote turns out, (after the elaborate recount that is eminent) do you really think there will be any significant changes in our leadership? Will gas prices or the cost of housing plummet? Will the war end with an astounding victory with no more US soldiers dead. No we will go on working hard to pay for generations of welfare recipients who all seem to stop having kids at six, which coincidentally is the most welfare, will pay for. Pay more than our share in taxes, live in houses valued at twice what it would cost to build a new one, all the while thinking that the president really has the power to change the world when in fact he is more of a figurehead than a power hungry warmonger, as the Democrats would have you believe. If as much attention and resources were placed on feeding, educating and providing adequate health care for our homeless and hungry as has been squandered on TV smear campaigns we would have , less of a towering burden and more to show the world that maybe, just maybe you should listen to us. Just look how healthy and hard working our country is. We have some really smart people in our government, but I believe that they spend their time trying to figure out ways to get their hands deeper in to our pockets than doing what is best for us together as a whole. Taxing the public on property that declines in value (like a car), on a daily basis is immoral, unfair and should be illegal. I would like us to leave Iraq as much as anyone but the cold hard truth is this, War is Hell and to win is to be brutal and their will be innocent casualties along the way, but if we continue to police Iraq while we accumulate losses every day we have lost already. To win is not rated G it is horrible and horrific. That's the part of war that reminds you not to do it again unless you have no other alternative. The Generals can win it for us, they know how, but not with political strings or correctness holding their hands behind their backs and muzzles over their mouths. So how important is your Senate race now?

It doesn't matter how important the election really is. What matters is that most of the U.S., including Charlottesville, thinks it's important. That is what makes news - what people think is important, not necessarily what's really important to the country. 29 competes fiercely with the plex and the Progress, so if they want to be the preferred source of news for Charlottesville, they'd better be up to date with what people care about. Of course, there are probably many people who care about Leno more than the election and would've been annoyed had his show taken a back seat. But to go six hours - if that's how long it was - without doing any election updates seems a little odd to me. However, I think it's safe to say that those of us who really wanted up to the minute info about the race would go to the state board of elections site or CNN or someplace that's a little more reliable than 29, which half the time can't even spell anyone's name correctly.

NBC29 has been heading downhill in recent years, but they are the only local station with HD during primetime viewing hours.

If NBC29 has to compete fiercely with the Regress then they might as well stop broadcasting. The Regress is an embarrassment to media (unless of course this is still 1950).

NBC29 News is more entertaining than all the shows on network television combined. An NBC newscaster or reporter who's any good will move on after about a year. Many do.

Their little red Storm Team 29 windbreakers are just precious. Most of the reporters look embarassed as hell to be wearing the silly things.

As for the lone daily in C-ville, I cannot fathom why the Regress stays in business. It takes less than 10 minutes to cover that paper adequately; most of what is worth knowing is available free on their website anyway, so why would someone subscribe -- much less pony up 50 cents on a per copy basis?

The elections were very helpful- they kept the news from just being about the Britney Spears/ K-Fed split. Count your blessing where you can.

Rumsfield is resigning- I think the elections matter.

I'm not ready to give the freakin' Newsplex any Emmys, but the reporter covering the Webb party at 29 really pissed me off last night. She was doing a live spot from Webb's camp at around 11, when everyone was dying to know some specifics of the race and what counties had not yet reported, but instead, her live reported consisted of a rehash of the campaign. Nothing applicable to the issues at hand or what had transpired within the last 24 hours. Pathetic.

Nigel G - I'm curious: did you vote yesterday? Just wondering. I would imagine that most people who did were, indeed, very interested in the outcome.

I really enjoyed the local abc 16 coverage of the election last night. They proved to me that they're my source for good
local news.

ch. 29 has taken us for granted for yers. I'm surprised we didn't get overnight live coverage form the weyers cave street sweeper race.
Kudos to the new guys and their committment to true local coverage.

outskirts guy... this is an honest question: is HD really that important? i don't have it or anything, and i don't understand what the big deal is. not to turn attention away from the important election issue at hand, but i'm curious why HD would trump good journalism in a choice of tv stations.

(and i may be alone, but i'm still thinking the progress is the best option in town for local news.)

The Newsplex was pretty good. I watched them during the night, and looked at their site from time to time. I think I crashed around 12:30am, so they were good having insightful coverage up until that point. They are just more than a year old I think, but are making stride in this town. They just went with the flow with the staff from the politics center at UVA. I often find myself watching them more and more because of their commitment to local news in charlottesville. It matters to me-- not some other crap from the valley. They'll be as popular as Dateline 29 in a few years, or so.

I agree with you Joyce. I love hd but that doesn't decide my choice for local news.
Plus I hear all three of the new tv stations will have hd by new years. I have a friend in the know.
The yong couple on channel 19 do a great job.
Excited about seeing the CSI on hd with channel 19.

Asleep at the Wheel. You got me, indeed I did not vote. The whole smear thing disgusted and to tell you the truth there wasn't anyone worthy of voting for unless of course you were trying to get the Democrats in to power, If we weren't force fed all this garbage by paid ads, we the people would have to learn about them through news print and gossip, which I would prefer. Maybe some self educated country boy like Abe Lincoln would be able to help this country get back on its feet and take control of the massive corruption choking the hell out of our pocketbooks. Does anyone remember that we went to war over unfair taxes remember the Boston Tea party, tax then was 3 penny's on a pound? That's about a years supply and we would rather go to war. How about the fact that our income tax was 3% in 1862 and that's if you made over $800 a year that's almost $40.000 today, anything under that was exempt and property taxes were a whopping 0.3% take notice of the decimal point! To tell you the truth I think we need to re-structure our whole system of election and lobbying. I hope we all understand that big money wins elections, not worthy opponents. There is so much good ole boy back room politics going on that is shady and underhanded you don't even want to know. There have been a few good movies done about our wasteful government but we would rather take action on things like non-smoking restaurants or tightening DUI laws, which is another whole scam in it self, money is the motive and propaganda is the ammo. Sure you would like to think that new laws are written to protect us but there are always hidden agendas when it comes to politicians and new laws secretly undermine what our fore fathers intended our country to be run by. A government who protects us and fairly taxes us in exchange, not to dig one hand in your front pocket while one is over your mouth and two more are in your back pockets leaving you one front pocket to pay for over inflated property, energy, more taxes like the one on a gallon of gasoline $.35. Then people like me who have worked hard their whole lives find that your income which has not increased in ten years can barely feed and clothe your family while rents have increased from $500 a month to $1000 in the same amount of time. The only vote I am interested in is bringing the cost of housing and taxes down to where they should be. In the last 10 years the cost of a 2x4 stud for house construction has increased fro @$2 each to $2.97 today so tell me how a house built for $90,000 on a lot 10 years ago would sell for $400,000 today? The people who don't care are the ones who bought that house ten years ago and sold it. The people who do are first time home buyers starting families and running into a wall that only money can climb, the ones who can have usually wealthy families to help or I hope you enjoy slum living. No, I didn't vote, but when a great leader like Bill Clinton, Ronald Regan or Abe Lincoln comes along I will.

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who is the new drunk reporter they hired on NBC 29?