May 16 – Neill McNeill, FOX 8 Evening News Anchor
Micah called the meeting to order and Jim Cartner led our prayer and pledge.
- Sam Powell gave an update on the illness and passing of his sister, Beth Powell. An obituary is coming soon and a reception will be held at the Powell Manor. The Powell Manor has been donated to Elon University.
- Welcome to Rodney Councilman – our newest member.
- Today is the 2nd reading for prospective member, Nathan Nesmith.
- Contributions to the Rotary Foundation need to be made prior of June 10th in order to be counted for this Rotary year.
- David Moore celebrated the birth of his first grandson!
- Deva Reece shared good news concerning our server, Doris’, daughter. She has finished cancer treatments and is doing well.
Member Spotlight – Trip Durham
- In June 2006, Trip received an award from the City of New Orleans for his company bringing the 1st convention back to New Orleans post Hurricane Katrina.
- His greatest sports moment was the NCAA 75th March Madness in Atlanta at the Final Four; at the post-game of the National Championship, he handed a hat to Kevin Ware who was coming off the bench and it was caught on national TV!
Neill McNeill – FOX 8 WGHP Evening News Anchor
Trip Durham introduced Neill Adams McNeill, news anchor for WGHP Fox 8 News. Yes, that is his real name and it is a common and historic Scottish name! Neill opened his remarks with the Don Henley song, “Living Off the Evening News”. He anchors 4 evening news shows each day with Katie Nordeen for a total of 3 hours of air time delivering more news time in the state of NC for a local news station.
Neill and his wife, Wendy, have two daughters and a Golden Retriever, Charlie.
Neill started his career with a degree from UNC-Chapel Hill in Radio, TV & Motion Pictures becoming a general reporter and later working in a consumer unit. Edward R. Murrow became his journalistic guide for presenting the news to inform, educate and help others. Neill reminded us of Frank Deal the loveable weatherman who truly understood why people watch the news. He learned from his father-in-law the key elements needed to engage viewers: appearance, body language, sound of voice, personality, treatment of others, then and only then will they hear what you say. Viewers watch to be entertained.
Neill was groomed for Fred Blackman’s position which included a make-over of hair, make-up, clothing and performance coaching. He affirmed the fact that we all need coaching.
Viewers choices are based on their likes not trust. Local news is ever evolving and content is king. Content has to be provided and an emotional connection made on all social media platforms and available on all devices.
He interviewed our own Mayor Ian Baltutis last week, highlighting a millennial mayor in a small town atmosphere. Neill’s funniest moment came during the United Airlines pilot strike in 1984 when he was caught waving to the camera of competitor station WFMY-TV. His most difficult story was just after 911 interviewing Phil Bradshaw who had just lost his wife on the plane in PA.
The meeting was adjourned and we all stood to recite the Rotary Four Way Test. Until next week…