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From the Anchor Desk
Tuesday, June 13, 2006
By Brian Bailey

Radio deal brings back memories


Replay clips from the past year's Brian Bailey Show.


The new radio network flagships East Carolina athletics announced Friday brought back memories from when WNCT-TV lost the broadcast rights to the coach's shows and to ECU games to WITN-TV.

WNCT-TV 9 was there to give East Carolina exposure when no one else would. Our station formed the groundwork in the 90’s. It was my privilege to be a part of the broadcast team for games and to help produce the coach’s shows.

That all changed when WITN-TV 7 put together what must have been a better deal. I don’t know anything about the specifics. I do know the feeling, though, of losing something that you really enjoy being a part of.

Over the years, I have joked that WNCT-TV is the “unofficial” station of the Pirates. When we lost the “official” status, we decided to regroup and do the things that we thought the viewers would want most.

We had several options. But after working through the hurt feelings we decided to stay with our strengths. We might not be “official”, but we were going to do whatever it took to cover East Carolina as well or better then any other station.

Sometimes it is difficult. As the official station, you get one or two seats on the plane for road games, a big advantage over the rest of the market.

Still, we try to go to as many road games as we can. Last year I went to Dallas for the ECU-Southern Methodist game. We also work with other stations for road games, to try and get the best video and interviews that we possibly can.

While I miss much about the coach’s shows, I don’t miss the work that is involved. When you sit down to watch the show on Sunday, several people have been working most of the night to get the show together.

Coming home from road games is especially difficult. On at least a couple of occasions we had a coach forget about us after getting back.

One night we had to call Coach Steve Logan’s home at about 3 a.m. We had gotten back about midnight and had to edit the game highlights. We were supposed to meet Logan back in Greenville at 1:30 a.m., but the coach fell asleep. Not to worry, though, as he woke up and we knocked it out in no time.

The challenge that Pirate Radio 1250 and 930 now faces is the same one that we faced several years ago at WNCT-TV.

When something goes on at East Carolina University, like a coach hiring or firing, we all want to be the station that Pirate fans turn to.

I believe that we have been able to do that at WNCT-TV and I believe that Pirate Radio will do the same.

Ironically, I do a little work for both Pirate Radio and Talk 1070 and have great relationships with both.

Henry Hinton worked with me to move my radio show to his station when he moved back to Greenville in the early 90’s. Henry is like a Dad to me in some ways, and I’ve always appreciated the opportunity that he has given me. Or course, he reminds me from time to time that I have more gray hair than him, but that’s another story.

Troy Dreyfuss and Jonathan Ellerbe with Pirate Radio are like my brothers that I get in trouble with. I enjoy working with them on their pre-game show for football, and on a media roundtable show on Tuesday nights called “The Press Box.”

Many feel change is a good thing. I hate change. That’s why I have worked at WNCT-TV so long. This will be my 23rd year of Pirate football this fall.

As far as the radio goes, I certainly understand the need for high powered coverage for the Pirates.

Maybe in the long run it will be a win-win for all involved.

Still, it takes a while to get over the sting of losing something you enjoy.

Send an e-mail message to Brian Bailey.

Click here to dig into Brian Bailey's Bonesville archives.

02/23/2007 01:33:49 AM


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