Lee Minard, former creative services director at KLAS in Las Vegas, died last week at his home in Fountain Hills, Arizonia.
The local TV marketing community is a tight-knit group, especially among long-time veterans.
Many of us are thankful to the mentorship of others in the business who helped us along the way, and so it is for many who crossed paths with Lee Minard.
Lee had an especially long and varied career in television, starting as an art director in 1962 at KEPR Pasco, Wash. Over the years he worked at WREX Rockford, Ill.; KIMA Yakima, Wash.; WFAA Dallas; KCNC and KUSA in Denver; WDIV Detroit; WCBS New York; and WMAR Baltimore. In addition to his work in local TV, Lee also had top marketing roles at PAX-TV and the Food Network.
Last week, I wrote a short piece announcing Lee’s death and asked for anyone to write a comment. Family and friends sent me emails while others posted their comments at the end of that column.
The use of drones and the aerial photography they can provide are becoming more and more mainstream in local TV news coverage. And with good reason, as they provide viewers with a point-of-view previously available only via an expensive helicopter.
This is a story about Lincoln, a goose who seems to have fallen in love with a car owned by area resident Holly Schallberg, and wherever the car goes, Lincoln flies right alongside it.
Or as the reporter so eloquently puts it, “this honker has the hots for Holly’s hot rod Lincoln.”
Trust me, take a few minutes and watch this story, it will make your day.
But it’s also a story about technology, KTVB’s first 360-degree digital local news story.
According to the Tegna-owned NBC affil in Boise, Idaho, this story was picked up by tech blog, Gizmodo.
“I assumed a local news station was just using a gimmicky new technique to jazz up a ho-hum story,” says the writer. “I was wrong. I was so wrong.”
KTVB used a GoPro Omni camera to capture Lincoln as “he escorts his four-wheeled paramour down the road, his wingtips inches from the vehicle.”
Viewers on mobile devices can follow Lincoln as he flies around the car by moving in a 360-degree radius. Viewers on desktop devices can use their mouse to move around the video.
Kate Morris, KTVB’s news director, says this project is part of a partnership aimed at bringing more innovative storytelling to Idaho.
“We were inspired by a meeting with the Idaho Virtual Reality Council last November. From that meeting we decided to invest resources to learn the tools for 360 storytelling. It’s an exciting time for local news and we get to help lead the way for the future of storytelling, bringing unique stories to life in way we never thought possible.”
Drew Fowler, marketing director at Tegna’s Sacramento affil KXTV, sent me this morning promo and I had to share it.
Even though I haven’t seen La La Land, I know this is a take-off from the film’s opening.
It’s one continuous shot, I believe. I watched it several times and if there is an edit, I think I know where it is.
Fowler said this will air in the Academy Awards on Sunday night, “and will run in local movie theaters and on social.”
“It’s part of a relaunch of our morning show, trying to find a position that’s unique in the market (and in the industry). A hybrid of really good solid news, with some fun.”
The music is from Killer Tracks, but, and this is amazing, ”the voices are the anchors’!”
“We did about a month of prepro, including having a friend of the station choreograph the number for the dance, and getting kids from a local parkour gym involved. Production was all done in-house, with in-house equipment.”
I smell awards all over this spot, very well done. Memorable. Gutsy, Effective. Not the same old blah-blah.
NOTE: At deadline, I talked to Drew who said the featured dancers are the station’s talent. I promise to have more information about all this on Monday.)
There’s a Facebook group I follow called Storytellers, and here’s a story it posted that caught my eye.
This is from KSL, the NBC affiliate in Salt Lake City owned by Bonneville International.
NOTE: In the early ’70s, a couple of friends and I were on a winter ski trip out west. One day, at the suggestion of a friend, we went to Yellowstone.
The park was deserted. We each rented a snow mobile and off we went, racing three abreast down the snow-covered road.
That’s me on the left.
Since the snowmobiles were capable of doing 50 mph, we were able to cover the entire 150 miles of the park, all without seeing another human being.
We did see plenty of wildlife.
At a place called the Painted Pots, where the steam melts off the snow so the bison can graze on the grass, we got off the snow mobiles and traversed the raised path that wandered through the hot springs.
There was a herd of bison crossing the path right next to us, and my friend had a motor-driven camera that made a weird noise as he snapped pictures.
The bull bison eyed up suspiciously.
The clouds of steam swirled around us, sometimes hiding the bison, sometimes hiding us.
Later, we found out that several tourists a year are run down and killed by the male bison in situations just like this.