Friday, September 27, 2013

Shannon Moss returns to television in a new role - By Michelle Libby

For years Shannon Moss has been coming into homes in southern Maine as a news anchor for Channel 6 and then Channel 8 for 15 years. Now she is branching out in a new direction producing her own television show Split Screen with Shannon Moss. 

The premise of the half-hour show, which will air on WPXT and WPME, is that it’s a 15-minute interview with a public figure in an unlikely place, then the second interview is with a person you might not know, but should, Moss said. Half of the interview is fun and then after a natural commercial break, they will talk more about topics pertaining to them or their position. “Every interview will be different,” she said. 

“We met and she talked about the show and I thought it was a great idea,” said Tom MacArthur, general manager for both WPXT and WPME. “She’s a veteran broadcaster in the marketplace. She came with another side to Shannon - unique, interesting and dynamic that didn’t usually come across in a news environment.”

MacArthur expects that people will tune in initially out of curiosity, then they’ll get hooked and there will be increased viewership.  

After 15 years of reporting in Maine and having the public “watch her grow up, get married and have two children”, Moss will finally have the time to tell the stories she wants to tell. 

“This show will be the format for that. Mainers will get to know their people,” she said. 

Response to the show has been great, Moss said. Viewers have been very loyal, following her no matter which station she was on and when her contract wasn’t renewed last June, they wanted to know where she would go next.
“It’s a strange feeling not to be connected to a news station. Then I realized I didn’t need to be at a news station to be a journalist,” she said. “I knew I wasn’t done being a journalist because I wasn’t done telling stories. It’s a challenge. Life threw me a curve ball and I caught it and I’m going to try to run with it.” 

A little over a week ago, Moss had her first shoot with Portland Police chief Mike Sauschuck. Her next interview was at the Samoset golf course in Rockland. 

The format is not what Moss is used to. “It’s been hard for me. My attitude and philosophy are it’s not about me. It’s always about the person and the story,” she said. However, this time, it’s more about her, hence her name in the title. “That’s been hard. I’ll be in there more. I don’t have an ego at all,” she concluded. 

Finding people to interview hasn’t been a problem either Moss said. People have emailed and mentioned to her who she should contact.

“People like local,” MacArthur said. “They want to see people talking about people and businesses in Maine,” he said. 

Producing and finding funding for her own show has been a new experience. “It’s my business in that I hire the crew at WPXT to shoot it, but we’re actively searching for sponsors.” Finding sponsors has been a whole new ball game for her. She is only seeking sponsors who she deals with or is comfortable with. If she’s not comfortable with the company or product, she won’t have them on her show. 

In addition to airing Split Screen on television, it is also being broadcast on Moss’s website simultaneously. She plans to have a strong social media side to the show in order to reach as many people as possible. 

“It’s fun, fresh and original,” she said. She plans to travel statewide, but right now it’s more southern Maine focused. She’s also considering airing the show in the Bangor and Presque Isle markets. “I’d love to do a road trip,” Moss said. “It’s a blank slate and we’ll see what works best.” 

The show will air two new shows per month and will run three times per week for two weeks. Then the new episode will air for the next two weeks.
The show will appeal to many, but Moss predicts that adults 30 and older will enjoy it most. “The enthusiasm and support have been the best part. That has been so heartwarming,” she said. 

“There’s some frustration in TV news when you’re not able to tell these types of stories. I’ve always wanted to do that. There are so many stories out there.”  

For more on Split Screen with Shannon Moss, visit, Facebook/shannonmoss and by email.

Begins airing October 5, 2013
WPXT Sundays at 11:30 a.m.
WPME Saturday at 9 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.

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