Hello! My name is Eric Ristow and I am currently employed as a sports producer with WEWS-TV, the ABC affiliate in Cleveland, Ohio.
I’ve worked for WEWS for more than three years now. Currently, I produce Cleveland's first ever interactive sportscast hosted by Sports Director Andy Baskin. I am also the producer of a new, innovative mobilecast that airs following every Browns’ game called, “DAWGS On The Run.” I also shoot, edit and write VoSots and packages on local sports stories for air.
After graduating from college at Kent State University, I was hired by WEWS as an associate producer, working overnight on our weekday morning show. After a little less than two years at that position, I was promoted to a producer for the weekend newscast, Good Morning Cleveland Saturday.
Our weekend morning show was very new. We had just been on the air for little over a year when I became the producer for the show. Management at the station gave me lots of creative flexibility to try anything I wanted to help shape the show and get to know our weekend morning audience. This was very exciting because it allowed me to think outside the box and try things I wouldn’t normally try. After less than a year as producer, our ratings continued to grow as we found out what our viewers liked. The show was also awarded the prestigious honor of a regional EMMY for Best Weekend Newscast, Markets 1-20 in the Great Lakes Region. This was very humbling to me as our new show not only beat out every other station’s weekend morning show, but every weekend newscast in the market.
My latest project might be my favorite. Our parent company, E.W. Scripps is very innovative and believes in the three-platform approach of web, TV and mobile. So the idea sprouted up of a “Browns’ Mobilecast” that will air on the station’s mobile app. I am a big sports fan, so when they gave me the opportunity to create and produce the show, I was thrilled. Scripps was very supportive every step of the way allowing us to purchase anything we needed. The ultimate result was our web and mobile show, “DAWGS On The Run.” The show is an interactive mobilecast that allows our viewers to connect with us and talk about the Browns following every game. Our station’s sports director, Andy Baskin and sports anchor, Mike Cairns host the show with an array of guests including former Browns kick Returner Josh Cribbs who evaluate and dissect every game. The mobilecast is the first of its’ kind. It is all about the viewers. Fans can call or Skype into our show to talk about the Browns with our hosts or guests. The show has “No Rules” and every show has a funny twist to it. During the show, I’m the producer and referee. I set up all the guests prior to the show and pick all the topics. I also chime in time to time with comments and officiate any “funny business.” The mobilecast really is unique and is the highlight of my week. The idea was so successful that we decided to take it one step further by creating Cleveland's first interactive sportscast. We now pick a daily hot topic and viewers can call or Skype in to chat with Andy right after our 6 p.m. newscast.
I have learned a lot in my three years at WEWS. I have a great interest in catering my shows to what the viewer wants. In the morning that means helping our viewers plan their day. So I produce a utility newscast that allows viewers to get the news they need to know before they head to work or take the kids to school. Some of the things I consider when choosing a story are: Does it save you money? Does it protect your family? Are you going to be the first to know? Does it help you plan your day or weekend? Are there easy to remember tips? Does it make you feel smarter? Will you want to tell someone about it? And finally, is it memorable? This really fits the slogan of our station “On Your Side.”
In terms of writing, I believe in story-telling and writing to the human condition. You want to grab the viewer and make them care. An Associated Press wire copy doesn’t do that. You have to craft it so your viewers can’t turn off the television until you are finished with the story. I also have a great interest in making shows more visual for viewers. Although TV is a listening platform and a lot of people listen to the news while doing other tasks, I believe the visual elements are an important key. I am always willing to learn more and find different ways to really “dress up” a show.
Click on the tabs above to view my work. Please contact me for any further information you may want or need. Thank You!