Thursday, July 05, 2012


First things first.

Boy anchor Joe is off. So is Kevin, the chief meteorologist. So I need to change all the Joe & Leigh fonts to Leigh only, and all the Kevin fonts and camera shots to Aaron. This will take about four minutes of work.

There are nine blocks to fill in the 4 p.m. newscast — A through I, and they work pretty much the way you'd figure. Lead stories in A. First main weather hit and medical news in B. C-block has the first community closeup, a 3-minute live interview.

Consumer news in D. Another closeup in E. Second main weather hit in F, followed by a viral video story.

G-block — heh — should have a good upbeat piece.

H-block is the entertainment block. Then comes I, with recaps, a tease to the 6 p.m. newscast, a final check of weather, and a kicker story — you know, a "hey Martha" report.

Every day I fill more than 22 minutes with local, state, national and international news. I go into the sweet, sweet booth and the newscast starts at 3:58:26 — no excuses. I may have panic-attack moments about getting it all done by deadline but there's no way in hell I'm not going to land the plane on time.

It takes the better part of a day to pick the stories, select the video, write the scripts, keyboard the fonts and make sure the newscast times out. It's always best to leave yourself a minute and some change light going into the newscast; interview guests and meteorologists have been known to run long. Better a handful of seconds left in your pocket than a newscast that's two or three minutes long, with a hard-and-fast out time of 5:00:00.

The world is full of jobs that involve grueling physical labor, disgusting clean-up work, repetitive and mind-numbing chores. Every time I start to bitch about my job, I think about it in these terms: 22 minutes, 34 seconds to fill. No heavy lifting.

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