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Wednesday, June 25, 2014


I haven't written a blog post here in more than a year. MORE THAN A YEAR.



Oh, well, I guess I could blame my lack of motivation... the business of the day to day grind... being a father and wanting every free moment to be with my little man, not a keyboard.

BUT... today I found my motivation. I'm at work right now, but don't have to leave for said grind for another 30 minutes. And my little man is at the pool with mommy right now.

So, no excuses.

My motivation came in the form of a phone call to our news assignment desk just a few minutes ago.

Like a slimy sleazeball I eavesdropped upon the entire conversation from a distance.

"We do plenty of positive news, sir," the assignment manager said into the phone. "But a lot of bad stuff happens in town these days."

Yada, yada... you can probably guess what this conversation is all about.

There's too much negative news on TV... not enough positive, fun or uplifting news.

WELL... without getting into whether people actually want positive news, or are just saying that to be a little preachy to us news people (because what's more fun than bashing the media, eh?)

My favorite bumper sticker on the road right now... subtle, understated.
I'll just put it out there... positive news can be boring and really hard to pull off without making it just one big cheerleading session.

And frankly, while EXTREMELY awesome and impressive... it can be hard to make someone's 105th birthday, or 60th wedding anniversary exciting television.

Often, these stories require long interviews... careful writing to the heart of the story, shooting that makes a bunch of sitting around look "active"... and all that takes TIME.

But I love it.

And luckily I've been given the freedom to take my days and commit my energy to positive, interesting, funny, odd, not-blood-splatter-on-the-windshield stories.

Here's hoping that continues.

For just about four years at FCN I've done these stories. But still, people will walk up to me on the sidewalk, grocery store or during my daily horseback ride and say "Hey Lewis, I'd watch you more if you did some positive stories from time to time."

After the horse is done rearing back, and I get her calmed again, I smile and say "Thanks for the suggestion, and we appreciate you watching."

That's the canned response. Gotta take it all with a smile.

What I want to say is, "You're watching the wrong station... for four years all I've ever done is positive stories."

Sorry... just venting.

From now on... I'll just refer them to this blog post... and tell them nicely, politely, "you should start watching FCN more, because here's some of the positive you've missed:

Rare "Corpse Flower" blooms, stinks up Mandarin

Yulee Amputee on American Ninja Warrior

People of Jacksonville: The Dog Man

Soldier killed in Vietnam given high school diploma

First reality show romance sizzles 60 years later

Colbert Talks Smack About the Jags, Rebuttal

Lights After The Flood

From Foes To Friends

The Jacksonville Cap Lady

Dart at a Map: Everyone has a story

Mother finally gets to adopt the boy she's always loved

The Vacuum Repairman

The Typewriter Repairman



Sorry about that rant. Those are just some I've found with a quick search. There are way more... not bragging... just giving people a reference point here.

But here's the question... the deeper point... I've been doing what I consider pretty good stories, positive stuff, and above average quality television. Yet, people still fall back on the ole "I don't watch because there's no positive news" excuse.

So, do people really want it? Or do they just say that because it sounds good?

Just curious, really. Because either way, I'm gonna keep doing what I love.

Thanks for reading... time to get on the grind.

By the way, if you want some positive, not bloody, news today... check out my story I'm leaving to go work on now. It's about a local firefighter who was on the TV show Naked and Afraid. How can that not be a cool story?


Thursday, November 29, 2012

7pm Twitter Challenge

If you haven't noticed, or don't watch too much of the news... First Coast News has allowed me to anchor the 5:30 and 7:00pm shows.

This is a mega-huge honor for me, as being a news anchor has been something I've wanted to do my whole life.

But, let's face it, I'm no Tom Brokaw. 

I'm no Brian Williams.

Turns out I'm going to do this my way.

So, the 7pm show is where I'm going to start. 

It needs the biggest boost, ratings are tough at that time because let's face it... We're up against Pat Sajak and Vanna "North Myrtle Beach" White on NBC (also First Coast News).

Gonna start getting aggressive with social media and web interaction. If you haven't been to the 7pm chatroom on www.firstcoastnews.com yet, come in during the show. That's going to shape parts of the newscast... just straight stop the news and read chat/talk to folks mid stream.

Why not? Is that something that would make you curious enough to watch every so often? Every night?

Maybe DVR it at least and watch while you crochet? 

I'm also starting to do a daily twitter/facebook challenge. Something that will air during the 7pm show, something that will come from viewers.

To prove my dedication to this, here's a look at how the twitter challenge went down on Wednesday:

It all started with that challenge from a twitter follower... work in the word "scuttlebutt" during the newscast. 

Sure I'd do it... if that's what people wanted to see... and the qualifier was retweets. Needed 50 of them, and  we got 'em.

That got 52 retweets in an hour... so I upheld my end of the deal. Here's proof:

Yes, that's ridiculous... A gimmick? Maybe. But it's evidence that I'm listening intently and not just blindly posting my stories from the day and ignoring everything else. Sure I post my stories, I love my stories and I want to share, but that's just a small part of it.

There will be more twitter and facebook challenges... BIGGER challenges. 

Just some ideas to throw out there:

1. Tweet where you'd like me to anchor the news live from. Your house? The Main Street Bridge? A bowling alley? If it resonates on twitter or facebook, I'll do it. And we'll find a way for it to make sense in the newscast.

2. What stories should we begin our newscast with and invest most of our time in?

3. A twitter follower of the day: gonna have your handle all over the news cast... reading posts... could help with your number of followers. But, you'll have to earn that... no idea how yet, we'll see.

Anyway, participate... get angry... laugh... learn...

Here are my twitter/facebook pages. Follow/Like. And let's make some awesome TV/internet.


Oh... and here's one last video, just for fun:

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Clearing Something Up

Hello everyone.

Perhaps over the last few days you've noticed a TV spot running on First Coast News that includes me and a couple Highway Patrolmen.

This spot is called a "PSA" as we are doing everyone a public service, reminding them not to drink and drive,

It's a reminder that cops are going to be all over the place looking to bust drunk drivers during the Georgia-Florida week.

We taped this spot last year... and at the end the director had one of the patrolmen say "Go Gators"... thus instructing me to say "Go Dawgs."

Yes... I did say "Go Dawgs" at the end of the spot. And, yep, that's been airing all over the friggin First Coast.

Fine and dandy.

Let me be clear... while I'm certainly no Gator... NO NO NO... I am not a Dawg either.

I am a proud graduate of THE University of South Carolina and a card carrying member of the Gamecock Club.

I guess if I had to choose a side it would be UGA's, but, from where I'm sitting, it's like choosing which of my sisters to kiss. ARGH.

Anyway, let the record show that I merely said "GO DAWGS" at the end of the commercial due to pressure from an oppressive director.

Just wanted to be honest with you,

Thanks for your continued support of TurnerLoose.


Friday, August 31, 2012

Laettner and Lewis Basketball Minute From London

I don't know what prompted me to look back at these interviews.

Maybe I'm nostalgic. Maybe I'm experiencing the so called "Olympic Hangover" and I need a little hair-o-the-dog. The Olympics was a heck of a time, and getting to hang with Christian Laettner only made it better. 

I figured some cable sports provider would have seen my riveting television moments created with Laettner and signed us on for a billion dollar 2 year deal.

No dice yet.

But to enhance those chances, here's a look at what we did:

Sample #1- A quick intro and tag to a fine basketball chat... not the full version because the subject was actually pretty boring: Team USA Basketball vs. Nigeria... ARE YOU KIDDING ME???

Then a week later this is how we did Sample #2... I feel we really grew as a television duo:

Oh, and I know this is late... but if you missed my final Olympic Journal from London here ya go:

I hope you enjoy, the next blog will include some excerpts/photos and overall thoughts from Hurricane Isaac... specifically my trip with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters into the storm.


Wednesday, August 1, 2012

I'm going to Bob Costas Bob Costas

Another day at the Olympics. I got out into the streets. An area of London known as Angel... or maybe Angel Park? I should have paid more attention. It's a lovely area with a few flowers and a park bench. 

It's where Christian Laettner chose to meet me for a sit down Bob Costas. (I'm referring to interviews as "Bob Costas-es" now, just gonna use them interchangeably so try to keep up.

Example: "I really hope to Bob Costas Bob Costas." 

Anyway, that's what I'm doing with my life right now.

Here's some fun on video tape... roll that film son.

I should just film an entire movie like that.

Ha. I'm kidding.

Here's the badminton link I promised in the video:


Thanks for reading, give me a call sometime... my number's still 911... alrightythen.


Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Hey dude, you gonna eat that?

I've been asked how the food is over here at the Olympics in London. 

I think because black and white, grainy images of porridge and gruel pop in folks' head and they get a negative feeling about British food.

Thanks a lot Charles Dickens! jerk.

Actually the food has been quite nice.
And even better... free.
I'm working in the NBC cluster of offices in the  INTERNATIONAL BROADCAST CENTER CENTER CENTER CENTER CENTER center ......



Kidding. Just adding some audio effects to the blog... ahem.

But this place is friggin huge, Mr. Bigglesworth. And a sneeze echos for 9 hours... and all visible light disappears into its extreme gravity and its mass dissolves even the strongest covalent bonds and the food is free.

((2:16pm QUEEN'S TIME: I just took a bite of this awesome British chocolate with caramel in it and now it's all over my computer, but i don't care.))


Point: The food is good. The picture at the very top of this Everest Edition of the Turnerloose novella is from a BBQ restaurant I found on the street:


Not free.

But it was so good, I'm trying to find 30 minutes of free time so I can get a pulled pork sandwich again.

Oh, and there are sports going on here too.

Olympics Blog,


Thursday, May 3, 2012



I mean, you all are on twitter aren't you? If not, then I am so sorry for this post please forgive me and find a place in your heart that will welcome me back in one day.


If you are into twitter, then you understand hashtags... I've really started to enjoy the "#DuvalThings" tag that people use when posting something about Jacksonville.

They are always so interesting.

Sometimes a bit dirty, or upsetting... but interesting.

Here's an example of a few:

Some are repetitive, but perhaps we're getting the idea here.

Let me get to the point... I'm going to start doing a series of stories based solely on #DuvalThings focusing on the positive and cool stuff.

Not the "jogging in white jeans and a mesh tank top" stuff. #DuvalThings.

This all stemmed from my story today, about Big Jim... a steam whistle that's been sounding off in Jacksonville since 1890.

You can click here to see it in case you missed it.

Anyway, how about some awesome #DuvalThings... neat places, cool people? Anything... I'm all ears.