Sunday, March 29, 2009

What A Show!!!!

It never disappoints. It is where art imitates life. It is where the press strikes back at the elected and /or appointed members of the Empire. It is the 58th edition of Gridiron. I've been waiting for this one. The long writing sessions, the brainstorming, and the rehearsals have come together for this moment. The moment were we sit back an laugh the night away.
From the speech seen around the nation.

To the impending budget cuts involving higher education.

To the potential senate race involving some unique characters. This show had it all. No topic was off limits and nothing was taboo. Everything was fair game for this one. The writing was good and all of the performances were excellent. I would have to give this one 5 out of 5 stars.A job well done by all. Now I shall keep the Empire I mean Administration occupied while you work on next years show, did you know????

An Influx?

I know a while back KN and Meeks found a mom on a really thin budget trying to make ends meet in these economic times. She raising her daughter on her on with no steady stream of income. One option she had was going back to the world of exotic dancing for a short time to put food on the table and provide for her child. I thought it was an interesting story however others thought we were just showing someone looking for a reason to make easy money.

Fast forward to the present. The economy is still in shambles and it appears that KN and Meeks may have discovered a trend. Check out this woman's story from the Valley of the Sun.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Stuck In St. Amant

I knew it was going to be a long day. It all started with a midnight phone call from the newsroom. The B.F.R. 9000 was lighting up more than a tilted pinball machine. The second wave of severe weather was rolling through the area and St. Amant was the target.

After getting my marching orders, I headed to area to see what I could find. This is nothing new when it comes to looking for storm damage. Watch for down power lines and trees in the road way while trying not to get stuck in the impact zone. All signs pointed to a funnel cloud touching down. Once I shoot everything my light can make visible it was time to head back to ranch. The dayside crews would pick up the coverage after I helped us get a head start on the competition. But there was a strange feeling that I would be back here for some plan to be drawn up in the afternoon meeting.
I should have placed a wager using some of AIG's stimulus money on this one. A live shot was in the works with one of the anchors fronting the pieces. It was a foolproof plan except that the fate of an entire A Block was being placed in "Old Mobile 9". This truck has had more issues than a magazine subscription. However it's biggest claim to fame is crapping out when you need it the most. I try to avoid it like the plague unfortunately it was the only truck that could get a decent signal out of the area we were going to. So I load and head out. Not far from the location the truck starts shaking as I hit the accelerator. Then it happens, she dies on me. I make the call to the station informing them the live shots won't happen. Then I'm guessing that a second funnel cloud has formed in the newsroom because the plan isn't going to happen.
It's not the first time this truck has thrown a wrench in the operation. Better call for a wrecker then find a ride home. At least the weather is improving.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Still Talking About The Money Trail

It was time to clock out after the normal shift when the phone rang during the late news. I answer and some jackass mouths off, "Hey, since ya'll are doing stories about overtime why don't you go to Alabama and do a story on that Troopers who's family was killed and all of the overtime he's getting". At that moment, I just wanted to reach through the phone and ripped that bastard's tongue out. Knowing that was beyond the realm of possibility I realized something. One, he's an idiot. And two, C-Line still has the masses talking about one of the best pieces of journalism I've seen in a long time.

For those who don't know here's some back story. Caroline Moses, our capital correspondent, dusted off her magnifying glass and looked into some questionable practices in money spent for overtime by state government. She filed her public record request, looked over the numbers with a fine tooth comb, then went to the officials and asked them point blank about the money. Not just any money but taxpayers money. She continued to put some long hours into this until finally it was go time. The result, a great story.

Even after the initial airing of the story, followed by the numerous hits on the web, people and our peers are still talking about this one.

So C-Line that was a damn strong piece of work you did. I sense some awards in the future for this one, did you know?

Down In The Dungeon

Little did I know that an early morning phone call over the weekend would lead to a four day confinement within the famous Dungeon below the PMAC. A place that is known for some of the most intense pick up games in Tiger History.
Why?The NCAA picked the Assembly Center as a host site for a couple of rounds of the Women's Tournament and they needed to stick the media somewhere since we weren't allowed to breathe the air in and around the basketball court. I would show some photos but I don't break any of their rules. There's a lot of heat on them from the cover up.
So I made my stay as comfortable as possible since. Finding a spot near the feed box while trying not to trip over the endless rolls of cable. Having some water close by since I couldn't leave the computer without fear of it crashing. At least the game was entertaining but it wasn't the outcome the home team was looking for.
As the exclusive broadcast came to an end they finally let us topside to shoot some stand ups. This portion of the madness has passed. All that is left now is our brackets. I'll check on those later right now I got to watch were I step since this place is a mess.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Desk With A View

Sometimes you think that you place is the only one with every problem imaginable. People who don't call you back, one shoot after another, breaking news right in the middle of editing that story that took a miracle to pull off.

So after scrolling through B-Roll, you know that new site the consultants discovered during the last visit, I gazed upon the words of one Misty J., who runs the desk of a station in the Mile High City. After reading a few posts it good to see that we aren't the only ones dealing with crazy world of television.

It also gives me a new found appreciation for the assignment editor. Lord knows it a unique person to deal with the desk. I better go and get her something nice to keep me away from the next meeting, did you know?

Friday, March 20, 2009

Hurry Up And Wait

I have to give the reporters some props. Not just for putting up with some assignments but for the possibility of being placed on the blog .
Take last nights school board meeting. After a long process of hiring a search firm, getting candidates to fill the superintendent position, flying the people in for the interviews, taking road trips to where they work, and figuring out why the thing we are after is the last item on the agenda it was time for the much anticipated vote. And they couldn't get that right. One wanted to reopen the search for more people. Another wanted to vote for what we had on the table. Someone else cried of the Evil Emperor at the state level taking control if they did nothing. They all just like to hear the sound of their voices. So after the first vote the board is deadlocked. The debate continues. More talk of who is the best person for the job. Mindless jabs are now being tossed across the room. "We need to do what's best for the children", one yells. I'm thinking who elects these people and they need to sit in on one of these meetings. After another deadlock, more thoughtless debate, and a change of heart they finally decided on their next leader. To recap, dished out some jack for a search firm, narrowed the candidates to three then two, didn't like the people and wanted to reopen the search, deadlock vote (twice), and the eventual pick of a new super. Everyone got that????

Heaven have mercy on his soul and a stash of energy drinks in the fridge. As for me time to get ready for the next marathon of meetings, did you know?

Also, thanks to the Turdpolisher for getting the photo for the Forum.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Succumb To The Madness

The day has finally come. The day of people trying to sneak in some television during an extra break. The day printers will spit out tons of paper with weird drawings that look more like Egyptian Hieroglyphics. The day were people will flip a coin to help their journey to perfection. Yes the annual NCAA March Madness tournament is here. God help us all.
I keep saying that I'm not going to do this again. But every year the mayhem paves the way for the madness and I become addicted to teams that I've never heard of and a flurry buzzer beaters that break hearts while busting brackets.

But I'm not the only one since the madness has spread to the newsroom as well. People picking teams by school color, some using a bottle cap, while others turn to research via the web. It doesn't matter it's one big crap shoot. The money has change hands, the brackets have been filled, and the trash talking has started. Alright time to fill in my bracket.
I have a good feeling this year. A 16 never beats a 1 seed. The 12 seed will beat a 5. And I will yell at the television knowing that they won't be able to hear me. I don't think anyone has this Final Four then again I have been wrong before. Stay tuned as we give in to the madness.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Welcome To The Club

It happen yet again. Another brave photographer performing their duty of capturing pictures for the highlight reel got blasted by the momentum of an athlete trying to make a play for the ball.
So I have to give props to my girl Kristen from the Highland Road District. While she's camped out near the baseline the action comes towards her and in most cases it's too late to get out of the way of the oncoming mass of humanity that has encompassed the view of you lens. So after getting the players out of there I turn my attention to her and make sure she's alright. She tell me that she's a little shaken up but will be fine. The trainers come and tend to her just for precautionary reasons.

So after a quick exam and some ice she's back on the sideline. Don't worry Kristen it's happened to the best of us. Me, Turdpolisher, XRAY TED, and Emily at the Peacock. Maybe that's why she is doing news these days it's much safer.
So Kristen welcome to the fraternity. Your scar shall be worn like a badge of honor since you are tougher than the other sports guys in your district, did you know?

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

100 Years In 20 Minutes

For the last couple of weeks my time has been occupied with the latest sports conundrum, " How are we going to put 100 years of Tiger basketball in 20 minutes?".

I don't know but I'm glad it's OVER!!!!!! Had to go through a lot with this one.

It was shoot after shoot with living legends of the purple and gold. Their trials and experiences with setting numerous records and some struggles beyond the foul line. That part was easy. Set up some lights. Get a nice backdrop. Pin a mic on them and just let em talk. They were bound to give us something that many fans didn't know about. That was easy.

The hard part was condensing everything in the allotted time available. Finding the right sound. Then searching for the archive video and photos while not trying to kill each other. A lack of sleep will do that to you.
But when it was all said and done it turned out well. An excellent job performed by everyone involved. Now to put the DeLorean DMC-12 and the Way Back Machine back in the shop. Don't know when we have to dust them off again.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Who Watches The Photogs?

Senator's Journal: March 8, 2009. The mayhem before the madness continues. Sweeps stories were being shot and edited thanks to heavy promotion over the airwaves. The basketball special is near completion, thank goodness. After a late night edit session and a time shift, I needed to unwind just a little. So why not go and catch a movie? Haven't done that in a while. Now what to watch????
How about that one that took over 20 years and a long legal battle make. Yeah, that's the one. I'll go and watch the Watchmen. Anytime you have to buy the tickets at the box office there must be something good in this picture. The crowd goes silent when the show starts. Then it happens. A constant movement on my side. Is it a loose piece of popcorn? No. It's the Bat Phone. I walk out of the auditorium and answer. The voice on the other end needs me to go to a working house fire. I always plan for the unexpected when I'm on call. Talk about bad timing. I head to scene.
As I make my way to the fire the phone rings, it's the voice again. Hey we just heard word that they worked a fire there earlier this week. Turns out the voice was right. It seems that the Turdpolisher poked his lens around the scene before. Turns out this house is snakebitten. Trash was the cause of this place going up in flames the first time. Today, it was one of the residents looking through the remains with a candle. At least he got out unharmed. Time to get to the asylum and get the video in for the news.
After everything was done, I heard another voice. The movie studio yelling out, "Will you come and finish watching the movie"? So I whispered back, "Yes. I'll come back". Why not just wait for it on Blu Ray you ask?
I think she knows what I go through at the Raggedy.

Friday, March 6, 2009


I've done this story an infinite number of times and it will never get old. The reunion of America's Soldiers and the families they left behind while defending the greatest country in world.
The plane making the final approach to the landing strip.
The families counting down the seconds until touchdown.
The troops exiting the plane. Anxiously making their way to walk on American soil towards loving arms.
And finally the embrace a year in the making. It never gets old and it's sight worth seeing. To the men and women in our Armed Forces thank you for all that you are doing. God Bless you and come home safe.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Cue The Madness

Like my last paycheck, February has come and gone but the usual sense of relief is nowhere to be found. For us in the TV world the second month is one of those battle harden sweeps marathons where any and every idea thought of by the brain trust is thrusted upon news crews across the country. The goal, to keep and draw watchers of the nice HD box that sits in the family room.

Unfortunately with the delay of the digital conversion, thanks Congress, the ratings period was moved to March for fear that most wouldn't be ready when some of the viewing boxes become oversize paperweights.

That's too bad. There was some good television in the short month. The political world was buzzing. From a possible newcomer wondering should she enter into a new career to a speech that was sliced more than a lab frog in biology. Let's not forget about the Krewe of Raggedy bringing us to the world's largest free party. And remember that grand opening of a new baseball diamond in the Capital City. Those were just somethings that would have kept the peeps glued to the the tube.

So will March bring us? Those sweeps ideas that were thought of by the brains. The usual run of Pookey and Ray Ray's hijinks in the back allies. An abundance of live shots and access to VNR's on the satellite feeds. Plus the one day where copy paper will covered with names of schools nobody heard of, more on that in a later post.

In short rest up everyone, the madness is here and it's going to be a crazy ride.