Media Pack Descends on Cleveland


A hotel near the scene of the Cleveland House of Horrors only has a couple of rooms left.

That just doesn't happen in early May in northeast Ohio.

The rooms are filled mostly with members of the media.

The media circus has moved into Cleveland, bringing with them all 3 rings.

"It's a sea of reporters at the scene of both (victims) homes," says Dan Salamone, news director at Raycom's WOIO. "It presents a challenge for the police, and also for us as we continue to try and bring the story home for local viewers. It's a mad scene."

News media, tabloids and websites from all over the world are in Cleveland and they are now looking for the exact same thing. The first interview with one of the victims.  

But it might be awhile before any of the victims speaks. "It's going to take some time," says Brooke Spectorsky, president and general manager of Gannett's WKYC. "They've been locked up for ten years, and it's a circus out there."

While the national media is all over Cleveland, for the local stations, it's the biggest story they have covered in years.

The local staffs are running on fumes nearly 48 hours since the story broke. WKYC has received personnel reinforcements from Gannett stations all over the map, including ones in Atlanta, Denver, Buffalo and Tampa. "Whenever major events happen, it's what we do," says Spectorsky. "When you're going wall to wall, it's very helpful to have the extra help."

The victims have been through unimaginable horror during their decade in captivity. "Gruesome. Shocking. Horrific -- pick an adjective," says Salamone. Yet that they were able to walk out of the Castro house is a cause for rejoicing in Cleveland -- a city that could use a shot of good news, particularly after an unarmed African-American couple was gunned down by police late last year. "I think there's a much more positive attitude from the community toward the police," says Spectorsky, who acknowledges that some wonder about the department's inability to locate the missing women.