Out of Context is the first of many new segments to come out of the revamped btvn. Out of Context primarily involves familiar on-air talent shown in unfamiliar situations. Examples of such unfamiliar situations would be movie cameos, cable programs, non-news related advertisements, and in this case, vintage ads from former markets. Today’s Out of Context focuses on a 1992 advertisement from Virginia’s WTVR-TV that asked “Who is Mike Wankum?”
While most of you know Mike Wankum as the effervescent meteorologist over on Channel 5, many viewers remember Mike Wankum as the chief meteorologist at WTVR-TV in Richmond, Virginia.
Mike Wankum joined WTVR in 1990, where he served as the chief meteorologist until his departure for WLVI in 1993. During his tenure at WTVR, the station made a large expansion to their building that allowed the weather department to operate in one cohesive area. It was at this time that the station began to promote Wankum, airing various spots which include the video on which this article is based.
The station, in an attempt to counter their decline into second place that had begun in the late 1980s, began airing several advertisements to explain to viewers that “6 Stands for News.” The weather spot bears significance to the Boston market because it conveys the style that we have come to know and love.
The “man on the street” style of promotion used here, popular in the 1990s, provided viewers with a chance to “connect” with those who brought the news home each night. 7 News used a similar format for their “Boston’s Buzzing About Pete” ad in the mid-Naughties. The WTVR ad did not air for long, however, as Wankum left the station for a similar job at WLVI’s The Ten O’Clock News.