I made a few interesting discoveries this weekend.
First off, last week, as I was off searching for my station’s live blog (which we had going during the Grammys), I stumbled upon yet another station blog, written by assignment editor Mark Liu. It’s kind of funny – he’s a pretty good writer, and he’s blogging about life at the assignment desk. It’s a life that, from my brief observations at least, is a little like Las Vegas – sensory overload: our assignment desk, at least, is abuzz with police scanners, at least five TVs per desk (and there’s about four or five desks, I think), fax machines, telephones ringing, radio communications to the helicopters crackling, computers surfing and leftover food nearby (either behind the assignment desks or a few steps down on a conference table) rott – er, marinating. The only thing unlike Las Vegas is the absence of the ring-ding-ding of people winning money at slot machines, unless they’ve hidden it really well.
What I really found funny was his post on the frenzy that is sweeps:
The good news? So far this February, I’ve seen a lot of smiles from the managers in the newsroom. I gauge this to mean that we’re doing well and rightfully so…I think everyone in this newsroom has been working their tush off so far this month. Even the normally cantankerous (yet loveable) Senior Executive Producer Jason Ball has been treating me nicely. Jason, while being one of my very good friends, likes to smack me on the back of the head when I’m not paying attention. Our conversations regularly go like this:
(Jason walks up to the assignment desk)
Jason: “You better have some breaking news for me to put into the shows.”
Me: “Um, well…not yet. We’re looking fo..”
Jason: “I don’t want excuses! What have you done for this newsroom *LATELY*”
Me: “Aw, c’mon Jason! Gimme a chance to….”
Jason: “Find me some news!”
Me: (mumbling under my breath) “I got your news right here.”
Jason: “WHAT DID YOU JUST SAY?”
Me: “I said, `I sure could use a beer.`”
(Jason laughs and throws a paper clip at me. I laugh back and throw the paper clip at his head. I miss and the paper clip lands right in the 9 pm producer’s coffee mug with a small splash. I say nothing.)
Seriously, thought, Jason has a near super-human ability to take seven or eight news stories and figure out EXACTLY how to put them all together to make a beautiful, almost Zen-like news show that both informs and entertains. Producers, and especially Executive Producers like Jason, that can do this are a mystery to me. Some have the ability to write news copy almost as fast as an anchor can read it. I, on the other hand, have trouble writing and chewing gum at the same time. But I sure am good at drinking coffee and reading the newspaper! ;)
Dude, I didn’t know we could talk about Jason that way. Jason, by the way, is also my boss, so I guess this is the measure by which we can blog about you, hm???…… Just kidding. Jason actually is a really cool dude, so cool that he says this blog is A-OK by him. Let’s hear it for Jason!
Later, I was surfing my RSS feeds and was on beFrank‘s blog when I noticed this picture in the row of his flickr pictures. Yes….that would be anchors David Jackson and Paul Magers in some rather artfully composed pictures. I’m not sure where the pictures are taken, though the photo stream is labeled Rome, and why they might have been in Rome – all I know is, there are some potentially incriminating photos in that stream….
……….clicking through some of the photos (some of which were quite artistic), I was able to deduce this was when beFrank was assigned to Rome to cover the Pope’s funeral. I didn’t realize David Jackson and Paul Magers went too…..heheh. Oh well, I wasn’t working at the station at that time – I was at my old newspaper myself, recuperating from having the Pope die on a Saturday (the only day I was at my paper by myself….crikey).