The Campaign For DA


My Fox 4 News Night

Steve and Heather: The "blue screen" that the weather map is projected onto: The control room (you can see the teleprompter screen at the top): The weather center. Lot's of screens. Being a powerful member of the liberal media, I had a chance to visit the Fox 4 News set on Friday night. In a word, cool. In more words:
  • The place is huge. I don't know why I thought it would be a small operation, but it was a pretty big building with tons of employees.
  • Everyone I met was really nice and with a great sense of snarky humor.
  • All the offices of the big time anchors are off to the side but are about the size of an office cubicle. They were all crammed packed with junk that I could have gone through for hours if no one were watching.
  • The anchor desk and weather center are in two different rooms.
  • Saw the girl who was responsible for taking phone calls from the public regarding news tips and monitoring the police scanner. I think there is the possibility that a lot of the public may make drunken news tips.
  • I got to meet Heather Hays. Very sweet and a certifiable "Hey, now."
  • I saw Steve Eager before the newscast sitting at a computer. He was actually working on his news script.
  • The control room is incredible. Six people run show but I'm not sure what three of them did. The three main folks are the Producer (who I really didn't see do anything after the show had begun) and the Director who was telling the Technical Director (the man pushing the buttons) what to do at a rapid fire pace. That was impressive.
  • You'd think that moments before they went on the air there would be increased intensity. Nope.
  • In front of Steve Eager and Heather Hays during the newscast is only one guy despite there being three cameras. Two cameras are controlled by another guy in a different room by remote control.
  • And those are the only people in the room of the anchor desk. No one else. That surprised me.
  • Lots of talking in technical terms by the crew.
  • I saw the script for the newscast. Everything is planned down to the second. Set up for throwing it to Emily on remote (9 seconds). Emily live. (27 seconds) Roll prepared video package (1:15) Back to Emily live (15 seconds). Back to anchor desk.
  • Everyone reads from the teleprompter except the weather guy. He's on his own. I think that would be hard to do.
  • And despite all the show being planned, no one tells the weather guy what to say or has the right to overrule his forecast.
  • There are more computers there than at Microsoft
(Thanks, Alice!)


AnObiter said...

I once dated Karen Borta's (Ch. 11) brother. He had us scheduled for a station tour...the sis' wanted to meet me and thought the onset tour would be a fun intro.

I broke up with him. He was beautiful and great...just not my "thing." These things happen.

Glad you had fun though!

Anonymous said...

I once dated Harold Taft's grandmother but she was a little too young for me.

RPM said...

I worked at Belo back in the days of Tracy Rowlett, Iola Johnson, Verne Lundquist and Troy Dungan. It was amazing to watch them do the 6 O'Clock news.

The booth was just like you described, but the set was much different. Very crowded studio with lots of people moving around.

I always got a kick of how Troy and Verne would run in at the last second for the opening shot then just wander off until their segment.

That was when Belo had everything at Communications Center downtown. Our office was across the hall from Studio G, The Zoo. The stories I could tell about that place...

Anonymous said...

Can you just imagine the set etc. at Channel 8???

Todd Carruth said...

look at you getting the inside tour. For those of you who missed your morning "Grady Niblo", I will be in for Chip all week starting tomorrow.

White Coconut said...

I visited the KXAS set in Dallas for a noon newscast when I was a kid. My cousin was working there at the time. I thought it was pretty cool, even though I didn't get the detailed tour that you got.

I am glad you enjoyed it.

Jarhead said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I was the Assistant Director for a taped football show back in the day, and if I caused a bust, everybody got really pissed at me. I had to use a stop watch to keep time on the segments....I can't do math in my head that quickly! It was nerve wracking to say the least, to the point a pal of mine who was a geek helped me write a timer program, and I carried it to the studio every Sunday on my old Compaq "portable" know, the kind that looks like a sewing machine. We never busted after that, and could be over and done in about an hour.

Anonymous said...

u didnt get to see the hot weather chick?


Anonymous said...

I have Van that has a lot of that same stuff like cameras in it that I use when I hang out at the local parks and playgrounds when I ain't workin at a small video store on the Jacksboro Hwy or somethin.

Anonymous said...

Actually, nothing is projected onto the "blue screen"

Anonymous said...

949 so what, who hasen't nailed her ?

Anonymous said...

You should have pushed to see Good Day's last hour. You would have gotten free food from (fill in the blank chef name), a live band and lots of activity in the changing room.