by Carol Muse Evans
If you’ve lived in the Birmingham/central Alabama area for any time, you’ve probably seen ABC 33/40 anchor and Focus at Four host Pam Huff report on elections, breaking news, bad weather and tragedy.
Now she’s focusing on her newest show, “Focus at Four,” a more detailed look at local news and feature stories of interest especially to area families. “It’s a little more conversational, and gives a more in-depth look at the local news of the day,” Huff says of the show that was put together by News Director Garry Kelly and herself. “And much better hours,” she adds, laughing.
Filling the time slot that “The Oprah Winfrey Show” once held is a tall order, but if anyone can do it, Huff likely can. She’s a television veteran and a veteran of Birmingham news for years. She came to ABC 33/40 in April of 1997. In addition to Focus at Four that started September 2011, she also anchors the 5 p.m. news.
This new format offers a little “different view of the world,” Huff explains. “We’re using social media too; to connect with the audience, engage the audience in conversation. Facebook and Twitter have become a vital part of this connection…television is moving in a vastly different direction, too.
“We’re really listening to you and connecting in a new way,” Huff adds. “Because of (social media) we get to hear from people we might now hear from otherwise.”
Nevertheless, Huff maintains her integrity as journalist, being careful not to give opinions. Complementing the show are three multi-media journalists, Candace Sweatt, Marissa Mitchell and Edward Burch who tie it all together. They do short stories, edit their own stories and even film them, Huff explains. Meteorologist James Spann rounds out the team.
Huff says she is enjoying the new format of the show modeled after other stations around.
Active in the Birmingham area for a long time, she’s very active with Children’s Hospital of Alabama, even serving as its community affairs director in 1994. Today, she’s very active as a volunteer, sitting on the committee of Rosie Butler’s “I Believe” campaign to raise $1 million for the new addition at Children’s for transplant patients. She’s been instrumental in Children’s yearly telethon to raise funds for the last 15 years.
“I come here (Children’s), and I realize I have no problems,” Huff says. “When you come and work at Children’s, you end up being the one who is healed.”
Learn more about Focus and Four and anchor Pam Huff by tuning in to ABC 33/40 weekdays at 4 p.m. and visiting www.abc3340.com/category/218034/focus-at-four.
Carol Muse Evans is publisher of Birmingham Parent and a fan of ABC 33/40 news, weather and Focus at Four.