When NC SPIN first aired September 27, 1998, our goal was to produce a balanced debate about issues affecting North Carolina, an honest, civil, balanced debate that wasn’t influenced by any corporate, political or philosophical group dictating what panelists could or could not appear, what topics could or could not be discussed or what “spin” was to be attached to those topics. After 700 episodes NC SPIN has earned a reputation for presenting issues that mainstream media either don’t cover, won’t cover in depth or fails to present without biased reporting.
The creator, producer and moderator of NC SPIN is Hall of Fame broadcaster Tom Campbell. A 50-year broadcast veteran Tom has been in front of and behind the microphone. He also served as chief deputy for former State Treasurer Harlan Boyles. In that capacity he gained unequaled insights and experience in state government, since the Treasurer serves on more boards and commissions than any other statewide elected official. Nobody in North Carolina brings such a rich background to bear on public policy issues.
Four topics are selected for discussion each week, based on what is timely and topical for each show. Four panelists are carefully chosen to debate these topics based on political, philosophical and demographic diversity. The end result is intelligent and balanced civil discussion each week.
Who, not how many
Nielsen data shows NC SPIN averages more than 100,000 viewers statewide each week, but informed ad buyers understand that with Sunday talk shows the important factor is who, not how many are watching.
Bob Schieffer, veteran CBS newsman and host of Face the Nation, says it best. “Sunday mornings are a different time on television. The food fights and shouting matches that mark the prime-time cable programs are rare occurrences on Face the Nation. We have learned that our viewers are more interested in content than how loud someone can speak, and that is what we try to provide – serious discussion and analysis and no sound effects. The evening news programs bring a comprehensive digest of the day’s news, but time constraints limit them to just that – being a digest. On Sunday mornings, there is time for longer discussion. Face the Nation and the other Sunday programs have never attracted huge audiences by prime-time standards. It has always been who – not how many – watched our broadcast that has counted. Sunday mornings may be staid, even old-fashioned, but it is a time when those who shape opinion and make policy watch and listen to each other.”