HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – We’re happy to announce reporter/editor Brian Lawson and columnist Mark McCarter are joining the WHNT News 19 family.
Brian Lawson joins the team as a reporter and multimedia journalist. You may remember Brian as a 15-year-veteran journalist from The Huntsville Times and al.com. He regularly reported on both state and federal court cases, in addition to complex investigative reporting. As we in the newsroom are well aware, he has a reputation for breaking big stories.
“Like Mark, I’m sure, I’m excited about a new challenge and the opportunity to work with a great team reporting on issues important to folks in the Tennessee Valley,” Brian said. “I’ve been a reporter for a long time, but just spending a day at WHNT showed me how much skill it takes to putting a TV news story together in a way that’s interesting, accurate and accessible. The folks at WHNT have done that very well for a long time, I’m looking forward to learning from them and helping break news that matters to people.”
We couldn’t be happier to have Brian joining our team. WHNT News 19 News Director Denise Vickers said, “Brian is the kind of investigative journalist every news director wants on their team. His proverbial Rolodex is filled with tons of sources and contacts. When I made the announcement Thursday afternoon, one of my staffers put it this way, ‘If you’ve got something to hide, Brian is the last reporter you want on your story.’”
Mark McCarter joins the team as a freelance sports content and commentary reporter. You may be familiar with Mark’s work, because he has written for The Huntsville Times since Feb. 1988 and has been in the business since 1970.
Mark will produce a weekly sports commentary to air Sundays on WHNT News 19 at 10:00 p.m. He will also regularly produce sports content for whnt.com.
“I’ve spent my life typing about sports, and it was the passion for sports in this area that brought me here more than 17 years ago,” Mark said. “I discovered an audience that liked to hear good stories and appreciated a different perspective on what was happening on the field. I’m flattered that WHNT is giving me the forum to continue doing that, online and on air.”
A four-time Alabama Sports Writer of the Year, Mark brings unique experience to the WHNT News 19 team.
“When he was writing sports for al.com, I read everything he wrote,” said Ryan Cody, WHNT’s Sports Director. “And when he went to news, I was kind of bummed, because I knew he was such a talented sports writer. But I read his first news piece, and I said to myself, ‘this is the best news story I ever read.’ This guy is one of the most talented writers – period.”
“The experience level he has covering local sports is a major asset to our team,” Ryan added. “I really couldn’t think of a better addition to accomplish what we are trying to do on-air, online, and in the field here in the sports department.”
We look forward to hearing the conversations that come from Mark’s sports commentary segments.
“Any time you write an opinionated piece about sports, it’s like politics, in a way. People fall on one side or another. I can see his opinions stirring up some talk in the Tennessee Valley,” Ryan said.
Both Brian and Mark are journalists we in the newsroom have the utmost respect for. We couldn’t be more thrilled that they are joining our team. Please join us in welcoming them to the station.