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On Your Side Tonight celebrates successful first year with remarkable ratings growth

Updated: Apr. 10, 2019 at 4:07 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - There aren’t many anchors who can cover upward mobility, affordable housing issues, and exploring the legality of sports gambling like WBTV’s Jamie Boll.

The On Your Side Tonight host is one of the ways the show has set itself apart from other local news programs in the market.

A year ago, when the show launched, Boll said the goal of the program was "to teach ourselves and our viewers something new every night and we’re excited to get going.”

The show’s goal has changed - according to Boll - it’s still all about putting a spotlight on stories that are important but don’t necessarily get the attention they deserve.

“That was the idea - take a topic and dive into it a little bit more and to help you have a better understand of these things,” said Boll. “I think we’ve done it in a way that’s interesting and I think people are responding to it.”

He says keeping an open conversation with the community is his top priority.

“There is so much going on in our community that can get lost in the day turn of the news,” he said. “I want our show to become a destination for news makers.”

Over the course of it’s year on-air, the show has found success with community driven segments like “Good Question,” where the team, including producer Jess Dyer and segment producer Jordan Sawyers, tracks down answers to questions submitted by viewers.

On Your Side Tonight captures repeat viewership with educational staples like “3 Things” and revealing the truth in “Fake or Fact.”

But the program really shines in it’s opening minutes every night.

The biggest news story of the day is showcased unlike any other local news show in the market.

On Your Side Tonight has touched on everything from the remarkable journey of a South Carolina teen, who suffered a traumatic brain injury in a head-on in a car crash in Georgia, to the controversial charges and potential second chance for a man found guilty of a violent rape in Concord in April 1976.

The show was a platform for WBTV veteran Steve Crump to discuss his leave of absence from WBTV. Months later, Crump chose to open up to viewers on the program about his battle with colon cancer.

“All of these stories start with a conversation between us: Why is this important?” explains Dyer.

She believes constant questioning is the recipe for On Your Side Tonight’s success.

“Before this show, I knew our community was facing issues - but I didn’t fully understand them... Once you understand, you see why it’s so important to be a part of the conversation and find solutions."

Since it’s inception, OYS Tonight with Jamie Boll has brought more viewers to WBTV at 7:30 p.m. than the previous program in the time period, Access Hollywood.

Viewership has increased 40% over the last year in that time slot compared to Access Hollywood ratings.

DEBUT: WBTV launches ‘On Your Side Tonight with Jamie Boll’

“All of our newscasts leave me feeling better informed," said Assistant News Director Kim Saxon. "On Your Side Tonight leaves me feeling smarter.”

WBTV captured a glimpse of what it’s like to launch the new show in a documentary-style episode for On Your Side Tonight as the program was launching. The first episode can be viewed here:

“On Your Side Tonight with Jamie Boll” airs weeknights following “WBTV Primetime” at 7:30 p.m.

About WBTV

WBTV was the first television station to sign on in the Carolinas and is considered the “most trustworthy source of news and information” in the area according to research. WBTV First Alert Weather is the certified most accurate forecast for the market as measured by WeatheRate. Being “On Your Side” for viewers, clients, and the community is the guiding principle of WBTV and helps drive its award-winning newscasts and quality local journalism.

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