As the mega millions jackpot soared beyond $600 million, newscasts were catching lottery fever. But one station suffered a black eye for its handling of the story. You know, those typical reports where people are asked what they would do with all that money.
We were saturated with them yesterday, but WPIX took a different tack. Reporter Arthur Chi’en delved inside the numbers, showing how rare it was to win the huge payoff. Chi’en got the expertise of a mathematical professor. Formulaic equations indicated shelling out $175 million for lottery tickets would be enough to take home the big prize.
Another common angle is to show the odds of winning the lottery as compared to other events. Chi’en threw that into his piece last night as well. The veteran Channel 11 reporter pointed out that you were “50 percent more likely to be struck by lightning.”
But Chi’en took it to another, more inappropriate level, saying you were “8,000 times more likely to be murdered.”
By JERRY BARMASH
CBS Radio’s NOW-FM/WNOW-FM and Tribune’s WPIX/Channel 11 are adding to their display cases.
The stations scored the most wins at the annual Awards for Excellence in Broadcasting presented by the New York State Broadcasters Association.
Despite perpetually poor ratings, PIX’s talent was recognized by the NYSBA, with four trophies.
Channel 11 was named winner in the Outstanding Hard News Story and Outstanding Feature News Story categories.
WPIX also was selected this week as Outstanding Locally Originated Newscast for coverage of the East River ferry crash in January. Reporters Dan Mannarino, James Ford, Kirsten Cole, and Arthur Ch’ien were singled out for their work.
PIX also won for Outstanding Documentary.
WNYW/Channel 5 won for Outstanding Locally Produced Show, along with Westchester’s RNN, which also earn the hardware for Outstanding Public Affairs Program or Series.
The other TV winners were from upstate or the Hudson Valley.