Close Calls


12 photos

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If all goes as planned, I'll soon end a six-month stint producing the PM news for Scott and Maria. I'll be back on the street, doing more reporting. Both jobs have their rewards and hazards, but I truly enjoy reporting more.

I've produced for several years, first for Rod and Maria, then Grant and Amanda, then Scott and Maria. In all that time, it's amazing to me how smoothly something can come across on the air, knowing all the chaos that went on behind the scenes.

What you're hearing on the air is usually the result of a lot of work by reporters, associate producers, producers and hosts. But you're only hearing the finished product. Like a new house, you didn't seen the blue-print, the framing, sub-flooring, duct work, plumbing or electrical work.

Recently a colleague worked well into the night writing, re-writing and producing a special, only to have much of his work erased when a computer crashed. When he re-booted and tried again, it crashed again. I heard his groans and felt his pain from across the newsroom. Yet the story made its deadline without any kind of glitch or hitch on the air.

Like contractors on a house, we at KSL have been given some of the best tools in the industry to build stories and newscasts. In addition I believe we have some of the best people in the industry on the job. But still, there are those times when things go wrong. Most of the time, we're able to scramble to keep our mistakes off the air.

The clock is the real enemy. No matter what goes wrong, our news starts at the top of the hour. The clock doesn't care if the story has just completely changed, or if the reporter in the field is stuck in traffic or is having technical problems. Whether we're fully ready or not, we're on the air. I don't know how many times we've been running in scripts and stacking sound for a news cast, as the news cast begins. It's a high stress situation for the hosts, who manage to make it sound like the script has been in their hands for hours.

Although it's stressful, it's also exhilarating. It's part of the rush of doing this job.

Photos

Marc Giauque

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