Raleighs student franchise


NBC-owned WNCN-TV Raleigh, N.C., has hired entertainment reporter Larry Pickett, a 21-year-old dervish who has his own cable-access show and a radio show and feeds two Web sites on local bands. General Manager Mike Ward says the move is intended to reach out to the area's many students and that Pickett was the perfect choice.

Ward first saw Pickett last fall when he was interviewed with other volunteers coordinated by the station to help clean flood-damaged homes following Hurricane Floyd. Ward says he was impressed by Pickett's ease in front of the camera, and, when the two met later, Ward encouraged Pickett to apply for a job with the station.

Pickett brings a following-his local band- oriented Web site gets 40,000 hits a month. And the station has launched its own site based on Pickett's entertainment reports.