Tomorrow is election day in Tennessee so I’ll be in the mix as a regular ole tv reporter. I’ll be covering U.S. Senate candidate Ed Bryant who’s celebration/victory party is planned for a Nashville hotel. If the pollsters and pundits are correct, Mr. Bryant will concede defeat sometime around 10pm. But there’s quite a bit of optimism from Bryant supporters, feeling they’ll pull some Van Hilleary votes and surprise Bob Corker. We’ll find out of course.
But I’m impressed at the planning for Channel 2’s coverage. I’ve been in the news business for longer than I care to admit and I never recall a staff meeting the night before an election to go over assignments.
Our managers put together a comprehensive list of assignments such as who’s covering whom, who to call back at the station with information, package times, supers. Who to call for technical problems. Who to call to feed back video. Cell phone numbers, producer’s numbers, the works.
We’ll have people at the station who’s sole job is to get super information (for non-news folks, those are the names that are superimposed over the video to identify people, places etc.) We have producers assisting producers, tape editors assisting feed coordinators, sales representatives (I think I understood this correctly) taking election returns.
We’ll also be covering this election differently than I’ve covered elections in the past.
Normally, for most reporters at least, election night is a whole lot of sitting around followed by an intense 1 hour of liveshots. Covering Senate and Governor’s races in the past I’ve fed back video of workers setting up the celebration rooms and then waited until around 8 when the activity picks up. Then we waited until time for a live-shot for a cut-in in regular programming and then another live-shot for the 10pm show. Sometimes they came to you, sometimes they didn’t. At all.
I’ll be working with two others. Instead of waiting around on the liveshots, we’ll feed back short VJ style segments to be used in the broadcast and in our live streaming coverage on the website. We’ll likely do a liveshot at 10 and a wrap-up piece for the morning news.
Bob Mueller will head up the online streaming newscast and call for the liveshots and interviews along with bringing in our political analyst Steve Gill for discussion of what’s happening.
It sounds good. Great in fact. Political diehards should love the uninterupted live coverage at www.wkrn.com .
It sounds exciting but I guess I’ll need to wear a tie tomorrow.