The folks over at Fox10 have a new news boss. Scott Flannigan was announced earlier this month as the station’s news director, replacing Bob Cashen, who left in October of last year.

Flannigan grew up in Mobile and still has family here. He comes to FOX10 and WFNA CW55 from WCBD-TV in Charleston, S.C., where he was director of digital journalism.

“Scott is an accomplished news professional with a successful track record in this industry,” said Gary Yoder, president and general manager of WALA FOX10 and WFNA CW55. “He also grew up right here on the Gulf Coast and has first-hand knowledge of our community, our weather and our rich culture.”

In Charleston, Flannigan led the station’s news production and marketing departments, while also serving on the board of directors of the Radio Television Digital News Association of the Carolinas.

“I am extremely excited about coming home to lead a talented team of professionals who are committed to keeping Gulf Coast viewers informed,” Flannigan said in a press release. “I’m ready to roll up my sleeves, getting to work on serving the community that shaped who I am.”

Flannigan has also worked as a news director for KPLC in Lake Charles, La., and has held management and production positions in Florida and Alabama. He is a graduate of Auburn University.

Little local rodeo

Local15 General Manager Bobby Totsch is determined to bring a little fun to the airwaves in the form of a new show called “Gulf Coast Country.”
Totsch says the idea is one that’s been on the air for a quarter of a century in St. Louis, with great success. He’d like to see that repeated here.
“We’re trying to bring some local programming outside of news,” he said.

What he’s come up with is a hybrid country dance show that features videos and occasional live performances. “Gulf Coast Country” will debut Saturday April 5, airing on WPMI-TV at 6:30 p.m. and again on sister station WJTC on Sunday. The show will tape at the Midnight Cowboy, a club at 7790 B Tanner Road, and it will also feature hosts from country giant WKSJ. Totsch said DJs Colton Bradford and Shelby Mitchell will be flipping host duties for the show.

“It’s primarily locals dancing, along with professional videos and there will also be some contests and performances,” Totsch said.

GCC will run as a half-hour show, but Totsch said they won’t be afraid to take it a bit longer if something big is happening.

“This is really just going to be some fun,” he said. “And it’s unique for Local 15.”

If he can get Greg Peterson riding a mechanical bull, I’ll be glued to the set.

Clement Townsend gone

The ranks of the sportscasters in Mobile continues thinning. Local15 sports anchor Clement Townsend bid his station and audience farewell March 6, as he and his family head to Lynchburg, Va. for what he termed “a new opportunity in sports broadcasting.”

Townsend worked almost eight years at WPMI, and it was nice to see him go on-air with well wishes from his co-workers. Townsend’s departure leaves the dwindling ranks of television sports anchors even a bit smaller locally.

We wish him luck.

These shoes were made for walking

A seismic event took place in the local advertising world in the past two weeks as media giant Shoe Station switched its business to Lewis Communications from Red Square Gaming.

The switch will officially take place April 15 and existing schedules and contracts will be transferred to Lewis. While the reasons for the switch were not made public, Shoe Station has been one of the area’s largest advertisers.

New faces…

Lagniappe has had a couple of personnel changes as we prepare to take your favorite newspaper weekly.

Dale Liesch joins us after a bit more than a year at the Atmore Advance, where he wrote, edited and designed pages. Prior to that, Liesch worked as a reporter for a year-and-a-half stint with the Tidewater News in Franklin, Va., and he also spent three years reporting at the Alexander City (Ala.) Outlook as a reporter and photographer.

Dale is a journalism major and creative minor from the University of Alabama.

Jason Johnson comes to us after more than a year-and-a-half at The Southeastern Sun in Enterprise, Ala., where he served as a reporter. Jason was also an intern and staff writer at the Alexander City Outlook. He studied print journalism at Troy University, while minoring in music.

We welcome both men aboard and we’re sure they will help us provide even more aggressive local coverage.

Last bi-weekly

So you’re holding in your hot little hand the last of the 305 bi-weekly Lagniappes that started printing July 24, 2002. From now on we intend to put one of these babies on the streets every Wednesday afternoon/Thursday morning.

Yes, it’s unusual these days to see a newspaper increasing circulation, but nothing is very usual about what’s been happening in Mobile, and we hope our coverage isn’t the run-of-the-mill either. With the loss of a daily newspaper, we hope Lagniappe going weekly will help fill the information gap for readers.

Of course, we also want to serve advertisers still looking for a great print vehicle. Thank you to all of you who have joined our “Friends With Benefits” program. With the support of our friends, advertisers and readers, we hope to give Mobile the best weekly newspaper around.
The weekly schedule starts April 3.