http://danvillesanramon.com/print/story/print/2009/05/08/abc-meets-with-danville-residents


Danville Express

Newsfront - May 8, 2009

ABC meets with Danville residents

Program sends news team to towns throughout Bay Area

by Geoff Gillette

There were no cameras rolling and no one was planning for a closeup, but a dozen Danville residents turned out last week to meet with officials from KGO-TV, the local ABC affiliate.

News Director Kevin Keeshan addressed the residents at the Danville Town offices Wednesday evening and explained that they were visiting towns throughout the Bay Area as part of ABC Listens. The 6-year-old program is aimed at giving local residents a conduit for getting story ideas to the newsroom at KGO.

"One of the complaints we get is that you never come to our town unless something bad happens," Keeshan explained. "With this initiative, we're trying to get to every town in the Bay Area."

Keeshan said that so far they have visited at least 60 towns throughout the 10 counties that comprise their viewing area.

"We call them the 10 Balkan states," he joked.

Keeshan and other newsroom staffers speak with area residents, get their ideas for what might constitute a good local news story and exchange contact information.

"We always get a better feel for the towns that we're covering if we get a chance to visit them," he stated.

Security guards monitored the proceedings and escorted the news reporters back out to their cars afterward. Keeshan said they bring security with them for crowd control as much as to safeguard the TV personalities.

"Depending on the community, we can get 40 or 50 people at these meetings," he said. Security guards help to maintain order and keep the meetings moving.

He added that because they are on television they do get devotees who follow them from town meeting to town meeting, so having the security on hand provides a level of protection from any overzealous fans.

All was quiet in Danville, although Keeshan said he enjoyed the byplay with those who spoke up.

"We got great feedback," he said, "we'll go back and talk about the ideas we were given and see what we come up with."

He added, "We have to find the stories that are broad enough to be interesting to everyone."

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