Another typical Monday morning. Didn't go to sleep until around 9:15 last night. (Pete & Kelly were over and the four of us played a few games.) This isn't unusual though. It's hard to go to sleep early after sleeping late on Saturday morning. I only have one producer today. This makes my job easier, but their's harder. One person has to do both hours. Most times, they repeat everything in the second hour. They usually have the majority of the show done by the time I get here, which means I don't have to sit around and anxiously wait for them to finish their show. It makes things easier. It usually takes me from 3:30 to about 4:40 to set up the rundown and build graphics for the show. It's 4:02am. I've been done for a few minutes. Now I'm waiting for Brandon (my producer) to print.
I'm still tired of working the AM shift. I'm still tired of my job. Someone mentioned the other day that it could be the "Seven Year Itch." They said that they had the same problem and wanted to quit. Someone else said that they did quit but came back about 6 months later. Maybe that's it. I don't think my feelings for the AM shift will change, that is unless Wes starts working the same shift which won't happen. Hopefully, I'll feel differently about my job one day. I don't have anything else I can do, so I don't have much of a choice right now. (Brandon just printed the first 1/2 hour(5am) yeah progress! It's 4:08) Tomorrow will be my 7th Anniversary in TV. I started working at WTOK on January 29th, 2001. I've been directing for 6 1/2 years. (August 4th, '01 was my first show.)
Now, I'm marking my 5am scripts. This usually takes me 3-5 minutes. It's 4:15am. Brandon just printed the 530am show.... Done.... It's 4:18am. The show is so formatted that most segments are identical from day to day. For example, we always have a short weather hit at the beginning of every segment. The pre-recorded Sports segment is always at the end of the 5am 1/2 hour. Lunch menus are always at the end of the first segment of the 530. There's the CBS Money watch package (featuring Alexis Christoforous with her recent facelift) that runs in the 530 after the main weather. The main weather hit is always in the second segment of each half hour. This is when I am usually marking scripts and catching up (or taking a catnap). Kristy, the 6am producer who is off today, usually doesn't print her first half hour (6am) until about 5:15 or 5:30, after the show starts. So I am catching up during breaks and weather. (I'm pretty good at doing 8 things at once now!!) Doing the morning show really helps you manage your time. (I even have time to blog!)
It's 4:21am.... Marking 5:30... I have to wait for the camera guys to bring me scripts after they are printed. They are called PA's (Production Assistants). Done.. It's 4:24.
There's also weekly franchise segments that run in my show. For example, on Mondays we do a segment called Unclaimed Cash that has ten local people that are owed money from the State Treasurer's Office. It's kind of stupid if you ask me. There's also a Most Wanted Sex Offender segment that runs on Thursdays in the 6am. I have to shoot this on Wednesdays after the morning show. There's also a Most Wanted Deadbeats (for fathers who don't pay child support) and a regular Most Wanted. They both run in the afternoon shows. There's Schemes & Ripoffs, Burglaries & Breakins (which is even more useless than Unclaimed cash!), Hall of fame (an oldie in which the public can nominate someone who does outstanding volunteer work, or someone who is retiring. These usually turn into the weekly retirement party story), School Patrol (which is dumb too), Speed Patrol where the reporter goes out with a cop to a place with a lot of speeders, and my all time favorite, "What's going Around." This one tells which school is reporting what illnesses. Yeah. (Sarcastic!) There's another one called Golden Apple where the "station" gives an "award" to an outstanding teacher. It doesn't really mean anything. (I hate franchises!)
(It's 4:37am-the show starts in 20 minutes) I'm still waiting for him to print 6am. When Brandon does the show by himself, he usually prints everything before the show starts. He can wait and print from the control room if he isn't finished, but he's pretty good about getting everything done. (mainly because it's the old "rinse & repeat," our term for copy/paste)
There's no live shot today. I guess there's nothing going on. That's good because my audio guy (Johnny) hates live shots. I like them. That means there's less graphics for me to build. Right now, we are training a new person to do Deko (the Character Generator--layman's terms: where the names, locators (called lower 1/3rds) and full screens come from). She's pretty good now. The other guy (Jason) is sitting around and actually "enjoying" his job now. I'm not sure what her regular schedule will be once she is trained. (It's 4:42am) - I'm going to set up the switcher now. That takes about a minute. Still no 6am scripts. The switcher is the "big board o' buttons" that I use to put the show on the air. I'm just a "button-pusher" (I thought about putting that on my license plate: BTNPSHR) Setting it up really doesn't require much. I have several plasma monitors in the studio that I can route video or graphics to. I route those and then prepare for the first segment. That's about it.
It's 4:46am.. The 7am FOX show director (Jon) just walked in. He has two hours to prepare for his 1 hour long show. I have 1 1/2 hours to prepare for a two hour show. Does that make since?? I'm scheduled to work 4am-1pm. I have to come in at 3:30 because sometimes there are days were I am slammed with a bunch of graphics and maps to build and I barely have time to breathe (and pee). I usually leave at 12:30, immediately after the noon show (I do audio for the noon show). Jon is scheduled for 5am-2pm. Jon is leaving in a few weeks. He & his wife had a baby last month and they are going back to Ohio, where their family is. His replacement was hired and started last Monday, but is already been fired. He was "walked out" on his third day. All we were told was it was a "conflict of interest" situation.
Every morning while I'm sitting here working, I listen to my iPod. It gets boring and I get tired of listening to "Up to the Minute"(CBS's overnight news show) repeat every half hour. We use several stories from them in our show, so it's one less time I have to listen to it.
It's 4:49--Brandon just printed 6am! I'm going to wait to mark them because so I'll have something to do during weather (otherwise, I will get sleepy!) He should print the 630 in a few minutes.
Since there's not much going on today, I'll continue this little "charade" until I get bored with it... I'm sure whoever is reading this is bored already! I am about to stop until after the show is over. There's not much to do until the show starts, but producers usually gets fidgety if I'm not "ready" when they get in here.
SHOWS OVER!!! YEAH! (It's 7:01) Now I can sit around and do pretty much nothing! Here's a recap of the past two hours... Brandon printed the 630 show at around 505. I marked the 6am during the first big weather at 513 or so. Then I marked the 630 around 540 in the second big weather hit. After the show we have four 3 1/3 minute cut-ins: at 7:25, 7:55, 8:25 and 8:55. Since the 7am FOX show is on right now, Jon does the 7:25. Ryan, the Fox producer has to time his show so that he goes to break at 7:24 so we can do the CBS cut-in at 7:25. We produce the FOX show for WTAT (the local fox affiliate) and then they air it on their channel. Their station is about 8 miles from here. They have a microwave receiver that they use to receive our signal and take it to their air. The 7:55 cut-in for CBS is only weather and is run out of Master Control. (Not the control room). All I have to do is set up the cut-in rundowns for Jon and that's it. It takes 5 minutes. Today since I only have one producer, I have to wait for Brandon to set them up. Usually the 5am producer will do them and they will be done by the time the 6am show is over.
So now I just edited this (because I'm anal and obsessive) and I'm pretty much done until the Noon show. I usually eat "lunch" at 9am. Most times I'm not real hungry and I'll get a granola bar or something small. I read during my "lunch break" as well (I'm currently reading "Thunder at Meridian," by Hewitt Clarke) Most Mondays, I will take a nap in my car instead of eating because not sleeping much the night before. It depends on how I feel. I might take one today. My day can be boring if I'm really tired and there's nothing to do. But usually I can find something to do. I do audio for the Noon show and then leave after the show it over. That's about it.... You can wake up now.