KBTV’s Mike McNeill Shoots Story on iPad 2

By Andrew Gauthier 

KBTV anchor-reporter Mike McNeill is probably the first person to shoot a news segment using the iPad 2, which went on sale last week.

“Being the first to be able to do this is the geekiest honor ever,” McNeill, a self-proclaimed Apple fanboy, told TVSpy.


McNeill shot a piece for Fox-affiliate KBTV, which is located in the Beaumont-Port Arthur, TX market, this week about beer recommendations for St. Patrick’s Day. The segment aired on Tuesday on the station’s 4:00 p.m. news and lifestyle show, which McNeill co-hosts.

“All the experts who know how to shoot these kind of stories are out on real stories,” McNeill explains in the video. “So, I just grabbed my iPad 2 and decided, ‘Hey, you know what, we’re Fox 4, we’re innovators.'”

The segment, shot inside a liquor store, is unedited and includes an interview with a local beer expert. McNeill explains that KBTV’s 4:00 p.m. program is a “personality-driven” show so viewers weren’t alarmed to see a quirky, YouTube-style video.

McNeill told TVSpy that he was brainstorming story ideas with his producer a couple of hours before Tuesday’s show when he just decided to grab his iPad, which he bought on Saturday, and head across the street to the liquor store.

For the segment, McNeill employed the iPad’s front-facing FaceTime camera so that he could see himself while he was shooting. He said that the iPad certainly has its limitations, especially if you’re shooting by yourself, but he was impressed with how easy the production process was, especially on the back-end. After he was finished shooting, McNeill simply exported a .mov file and imported it into the station’s Avid system. He estimates that it took just 7 minutes to have the video ready for air.

And McNeill will likely be doing more segments with his iPad. He’s now considering doing an iPad franchise for the 4:00 show.

>Update: A representative for News Corp.’s The Daily asserts that the tablet-based news magazine was in fact the first to shoot a story using the iPad 2. On March 12th, The Daily posted a story about the iPad 2 that was shot with, well, the iPad 2.