August 20 Morning Newscast

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August 20, 2012, Morning Newscast

Republicans and Democrats from across the country will start streaming into the south later this week for their national presidential conventions. The Republican Convention gets underway a week from today in Tampa. The Democratic Convention follows on its heels in Charlotte. Used to be the “Solid South” was a political fact, benefiting Democrats for generations and then Republicans, with Bible Belt and racial politics ruling the day. But demographic changes and recent election results reveal a more nuanced landscape now. Barack Obama won both Florida, North Carolina and Virginia four years ago – propelled by young voters, non-whites and suburban independents. Each state is in play again, with Republican Mitt Romney needing to reclaim Florida and at least one of the others to reach the White House.

Alabama Public Television has a new executive director. The Alabama Educational Television Commission has voted to hire broadcast veteran Roy Clem (pictured above). Clem is the former general manager of ABC 33/40 and currently manages WVUA/WUOA at the University of Alabama. He’s expected to start his new job in early September. Clem replaces Allan Pizzato, who was fired in June in what the commissioners describe as a change in direction for the network. Pizzato is suing saying the commission violated the state’s open meetings law when it met to discuss his job. Pizzato and some commissioners were at odds over a push for Christian-themed programs on the public network..

It’s alligator hunting season on the Mobile-Tensaw Delta and hunters bagged 17 gators in the opening night. The Mobile Press-Register reports that Chris Williams of Hoover checked in the first gator. Williams told the paper it’s the first time he’s hunted alligators. Seven of the alligators that were caught were longer than 11 feet. One was longer than 12 feet, and another was over 13 feet.