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Triad Today still going strong at 200

by Jim Longworth

Four years ago, in the fall of 2003, “Triad Today” premiered on WXLV ABC 45 and WUPN 48 (now WMYV). Then, as now, it is the only locally produced public-affairs series on commercial television in the Piedmont, and this week we will air our 200th episode. Program No. 200 will include FOX 8 morning anchors Brad Jones and Cindy Farmer, former Mayor Jim Melvin, Piedmont Authority for Regional Transportation Executive Director Brent McKinney and an exclusive interview with “Hart to Hart” stars Robert Wagner and Stefanie Powers. Wagner and Powers will talk about the importance of no-kill animal shelters. Melvin (who was our first guest back on Oct. 3, 2003) will look back at the success of Greensboro’s new baseball stadium, of which he was the chief visionary. McKinney will update viewers on regional transportation options. And Cindy and Brad will discuss some of the charities and events they have helped to promote over the years. Immediately following that show, we will also present a special anniversary edition featuring four pairs of regional leaders with four different perspectives on progress made in the Triad over the past four years. Guests include mayors Keith Holliday and Allen Joines; sheriffs BJ Barnes and Bill Schatzman; civil rights leaders Darryl Hunt and NC Rep. Larry Womble; and school superintendents Terry Grier and Don Martin.

Certainly these are special programs, but they are also typical of the caliber of guests and topics we feature each and every week, 52 weeks a year, and we couldn’t do it without the help of a lot of folks. My thanks to ABC 45 General Manager Ron Inman and Production Manager Jay Paul and his crew. Kudos are also in order for webmaster Fletch Goode, whose creativity has resulted in a first-class website (triadtoday.com) complete with streaming video interviews. And thanks to ABC 45’s Jeanette Pruitt for her invaluable support. I also want to recognize our Knights of the Round Table who each week participate in lively discussions of current events. Our pundits include FM 101 morning duo Brad Krantz and Britt Whitmire, Winston-Salem Journal columnist Scott Sexton, Sheriff BJ Barnes, veteran broadcaster Dave Plyler and my good buddy Ogi Overman, a legendary journalist and broadcaster who is the heart and soul of our discussions.

I am also particularly grateful to our family of sponsors: Southern Community Bank, Forsyth Medical Center, Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Forsyth, Winston-Salem State University, Grey Oak Wealth Management, PART, High Point Regional Health System, Annese Public Relations and Truliant Federal Credit Union. All of them share a common vision of, and dedication to community service.

And I want to thank my wife Pam for keeping me grounded. We often disagree about specifics, but we both see the same big picture. Speaking of which, I want to thank viewers of “Triad Today” and readers of YES! Weekly. In the beginning I limited my commentaries to light-hearted topics. But as time passed, I felt that life was too short not to try and make a difference. And so I shifted gears, began taking a stand on issues, and started railing against policies that I thought were detrimental to our fellow citizens. As expected, I take some heat every week from readers and viewers. Some of you think I’m too liberal, while others accuse me of being too conservative. In actuality, I am neither. Still, I welcome your comments and criticisms.

Recently when I mentioned to someone that I had my 200th anniversary coming up, he said, “Really? You don’t look a day over 199.” In truth, “Triad Today” keeps me engaged in public discourse, and that, in turn, slows the aging process for both me and the show. And so I look forward to the next 200 programs. I hope you’ll join me for the ride.

Jim Longworth is the host of “Triad Today,” which can be seen on Fridays at 6:30 a.m. on ABC 45 (cable channel 7) and Sundays at 10 p.m. on WMYV 48 (cable channel 15).

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