By G. Michael Dobbs
SPRINGFIELD WGBY's new show, "Connecting Point," is designed to add further news coverage to Western Massachusetts, according to Jim Madigan, the station's director of public affairs.
The show airs from Monday through Friday at 7:30 p.m. and takes the place of a number of shows produced by the station, including, "Making it Here," "On the Menu" and "Making It Here Teenstyle." Madigan said that elements of some of those shows would be included in the new program.
On Friday nights, the show will include the kind of interviews Madigan has been conducting with newsmakers on his program, "The State We're In."
He said that various authors or speakers who have been "shoehorned" into the format of "The State We're In" would fit more comfortably in "Connecting Point."
"We have more opportunity to do more," Madigan said of the new show.
The program will feature two to three elements each night to allow producers to cover a topic in "significant depth that a commercial station isn't able to do," he explained.
Recent segments have covered the effects of the repeals of the 6.25 percent sales tax on alcohol in the state, whether or not property taxes are unfair, the status of high-speed rail, earthquake preparedness, local involvement in the Haitian recovery efforts and a local ski maker.
The show's host and writer is an award-winning reporter with considerable newspaper and radio experience. Carrie Saldo has worked at the Berkshire Eagle and the North Adams Transcript as a reporter and was the Berkshire Bureau chief at WAMC Northeast Public Radio.
The show will include segments both in the field and in studio and Madigan said many pieces would be taped the day of the broadcast to "keep it as fresh as can be."
Saldo said the show will be "live to tape," meaning that whatever happens within an interview stays in the finished show.
Madigan and Saldo didn't rule out an occasional live show, either.
Saldo had produced web-based videos while working for the Berkshire Visitors Bureau and "really enjoyed working with the camera."
She said her new assignment has all the demands of her previous reporting jobs, but now includes "connecting to someone on a visual basis."
"You want to develop a connection," she explained. "That's an additional challenge. Fore more information on the show and to view previously broadcasted interviews, go to http://connectingpoint.wgby.org.
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