TVNewsCheck talks to WSB news director Mike Dreaden about the Atlanta ABC affiliate’s infamous 25-box. Dreaden said he was surprised at the attention it got: “This whole thing is kind of funny,” he said.
For Dreaden, however, the attention given to graphic has been misplaced. The truly noteworthy thing about the news box is that it graphically demonstrated the ABC affiliate’s technical and logistical prowess, he says. “I was proud of it because it showed the scope of our coverage.”
The WSB graphic, which first appeared on the station’s 4 p.m. newscast Jan. 29, was actually produced before the show. “Not everyone was actually live at the moment we went to air with the news box,” Dreaden says. “We do not have the ability to do 25 live shots simultaneously.”Advertisement
But the station had 25 reporters in the field ready to go live at any moment, Dreaden says. WSB used the news box to establish its presence in the field then switched to graphics with bullet points and text highlighting closings and other important storm news before anchors starting throwing the coverage to any one of the 25 reporters for a live update.