WPIX’s Quick Thinking Mario Diaz, Cameraman Get Creative with Dual Rooftop Interview

Mario DiazNo blockbuster Spiderman in the theaters this summer? No problem.

A man set off some early “fireworks” by scaling down the Brooklyn Bridge on the Fourth of July.

While the daredevil had already left the scene, Channel 11 got there to retrace his descent.

Mario Diaz with his photojournalist Ken Evseroff were granted exclusive access to the roof of Grimaldi’s Pizzeria. Instead of just shooting some exterior shots, they got lucky.

Once on the roof, a neighbor’s guest, who was an eyewitness to the incident, emerged. Diaz initially was screaming across the building to the man, Johnny Peters. Ultimately, the intrepid reporter gave his cell phone number.

What happened next was a great piece of local news coverage.

WPIX bridge2Peters called Diaz’s cell phone and was put on speaker, thus capturing the brief interview. At the same time, Evseroff established the “two-shot” angle between Peters and Diaz. The cameraman then zoomed in on the conversation between the two men.

The story included a mention of Philippe Petit, who high-wired between the Twin Towers in 1974. Surprisingly, though, there was no mention of Nik Wallenda. Just weeks ago Wallenda announced that he’d like his next tightrope walk to be in New York City, either between skyscrapers or over Central Park.

We’ve written numerous pieces about Channel 11’s turmoil and poor ratings. But despite the Wallenda omission, this was a well-deserved moment for PIX to shine.

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