Reinventing the newscast

Randy Beamer

At News 4 San Antonio we’ve always prided ourselves in really stepping up to cover the big story. But over the past year or so, it seems like many of the national headlines have been written right here in our own backyard.

In late November 2016, Detective Benjamin Marconi was senselessly shot and killed in his police car.

“Approximately at 11:45 SAPD Detective Benjamin Marconi made a traffic stop in front of police headquarters. He fired a gunshot toward Detective Marconi. Striking him in the head.”

That hit hard and it felt like it had a ripple effect on San Antonio. It seemed like there was one event after another, and right around that time we decided to change the way we bring you the news nightly here and also those huge events just way too big to ignore.

Weeks later tornadoes ripped through our city. News 4 San Antonio stayed on the air until the danger passed. And when the clouds cleared, we realized this wasn’t a story that was going away any time soon.

“And it was because there was so much damage.”

It hit my street and it was just an incredible sight. Houses torn apart, families in shock. This is not supposed to happen here.

In May, San Antonio lost another hero.

“You can see the heavy, dark smoke. Of course that means this fire is still active.”

Firefighter Scott Deem lost his life battling a blaze allegedly set by the owner of a gym in Ingram Square.

“The kind of a firefighter that’s stronger than anything.”

As San Antonio was healing from yet another tragic loss, the story of the century began to brew over the Gulf. Hurricane Harvey set its sights on the coast.

“This hour Harvey is now a tropical storm. We’re continuing our team coverage tonight. People up and down the coast, preparing for the hurricane. A lot of damage to buildings, wind gusts there 55 miles per hour…”

The storm cost the state nearly $200 Billion in damages. Most of which came from wide-spread flooding.

Harvey was the tipping point. We had all this damage and destruction. We had video coming in from one place, sound from another, and us in the middle trying to bring you the latest, more accurate information.

As devastating as Harvey was to Texas, News 4 San Antonio pressed forward. Reinventing our newscast. Straying away from the traditional anchor and news desk combo. Reaching beyond our newsroom. Right to the story as it unfolds.

“I’m Randy Beamer live from Sutherland Springs tonight. This is the scene of what the governor’s calling the worst mass shooting in Texas history.”

That was the hardest test. Not only gathering information and getting it out to you. That’s our top priority. But making sure that some of us weren’t overwhelmed while doing that.

And now it’s an organic kind of thing. I’m in the newsroom at the assignment desk, bringing you the latest information there. The editors are bringing in the latest video. Then I’m back in the studio, we’re going to the live desk. It’s just a better work flow to bring you the latest information, right from the scene, to your living room.

Today News 4 San Antonio has the biggest newsroom in south Texas. And a format unlike anything else you’ll see on TV. Bringing you news as it happens. Telling you the story as it comes to the newsroom. And sharing stories as only News 4 San Antonio can. It’s not just me and a camera, it’s all of us here. From producers and reporters, photographers and editors. All of us are in this now, and so are you.

Your help, your voice is what makes this news our news for our city. It’s why we built this newscast for you.

This is News 4 San Antonio.

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