The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Friday January 28th

UNC Bids Good Morning to Show

Anchors Diane Sawyer and Charlie Gibson and weather anchor Tony Perkins, filmed live in front of a poster-bearing crowd made up of students and community members anxious for a spot on television or a glimpse of the celebrities.

The show visited North Carolina as part of its five-day tour of five states and a yearlong tour of all 50 states. During its visit, the show highlighted state features like the Triangle-area universities and the state's tobacco industry.

Much of the broadcast consisted of segments taped at area universities focusing on challenges like sex and alcohol that college students face.

Sunday night, Gibson and Sawyer stayed with students at a Duke University coed residence hall. They attended a party at Duke and talked with their new roommates about issues relevant to college students.

The show also included a previously taped forum on many of those same topics at N.C. State University.

Drew Pinsky, host of the radio show "Loveline," talked to a group of students about sex, drugs and alcohol in the segment that was taped over the weekend.

"We thought it would be very important to start on a college campus because we are talking about the future and what it means to be an American," Gibson said at the beginning of the broadcast.

The show's anchors mingled with audience members between segments, stopping occasionally to hold infants, or in Perkins' case, to try Pokey Stix.

"This has been a great welcome," Perkins said in an interview. "I can't believe the number of students and community members who have come out."

Enthusiastic fans did many things for a chance to get on the show. Two UNC-CH seniors even spent the night in a tepee on Polk Place in an effort to meet Sawyer.

"This was just our effort to connect with Diane Sawyer," said journalism major Mike Iskandar."We're her biggest fans," added fellow camper Dustin Garis. "We're starting the UNC Diane Sawyer fan club. Right now our membership is only two, but we're looking to expand."

While an estimated 3,000 people gathered to watch the filming, some students were lucky enough to participate in the broadcast. Monday's program showcased various campus groups, including the men's soccer team, Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity Inc. and two a cappella groups.

Junior Liz Crowley, a member of Kappa Delta sorority, played volleyball with the hosts as part of the show.

"I just played volleyball with Diane Sawyer," Crowley exclaimed. "But I almost knocked her on the ground, which would have been very embarrassing on national television."

UNC-CH senior Bethany Greer also came in close contact with the show's celebrities. Greer, who works for University News Services, was hired to work with the ABC production crew.

"I acted as a liaison between ABC and the University," she said. "Working with the 'Good Morning America' crew was hectic but a great experience."

The University Editor can be reached at udesk@unc.edu.

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