Style Weekly brings you SweepsWatch: May 2001. 


It's May sweeps, when the local television news teams pull out the big guns. There's no better time to captivate and impress viewers with journalistic training, hard-hitting investigations and in-depth reporting that makes a difference. As a community service, Style Weekly brings you SweepsWatch: May 2001.

Station: WTVR TV-6, CBS affiliate.

Report: "Blondes vs. Brunettes."

Investigator: Rob Cardwell, AM-anchor/reporter.

First aired: Thursday, May 3, 2001 (night of the "Survivor" finale).

The issue: "Do blondes have more fun?"

The setup: A woman in her 20s named Tiffany Hazelwood is a natural blonde. She will don an ugly brunette wig. Reporter will put her in three situations, as a blonde and a brunette, to find out, as he puts it, "Do blondes have more fun?"

Execution: 1) Tiffany goes to Richbrau, a club in Shockoe Slip. 2) She stands by a "broken-down" car. 3) She holds a map on a downtown street, trying to appear lost.

Results: In bar, four "amorous" guys approach blonde Tiffany. Only one approaches wig-wearing Tiffany. At car breakdown, four men stop to help the blonde. None help the brunette. On the street, four guys help the blonde. One helps the brunette.

Tone-setting effects: Chicka-bow music, some Caribbean-type music and some hip, techno-sounding club music. A tire-screech sound is used effectively.

Most seductive shot: In Richbrau, where the camera slowly pans up Tiffany's body, from her legs to her curvy hips, to the drink in her hands, to the far-off, misty look in her eyes, to her natural blonde hair.

Oddest sentence spoken by reporter: "Our lost little blonde can't find her way around town."

Proof this is an investigation: Faces of men approaching Tiffany in Richbrau are blurred to protect their identities. Plus, there is a special icon for this story.

Conclusion: "There you have it," Cardwell says. "Not exactly a scientific study. But you just saw with your own eyes — being a blonde is a bonus."

Anchor wrap-up:

Ray Collins: "Thank you, Rob. And by the way, hair-coloring kits are a $200-million-a-year business."

Stephanie Rochon: "I just need one to take some of these gray hairs out."

Collins: "You and me both."

Station motto: "Where the news comes

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