Thursday, September 27, 2007

Be Careful What You Wish For

So after being struck down with a nasty cold going around the news room, I go to work today thinking it will be a fairly simple newscast. After all, we had a lot on the planner for today, including at least three reporter packages. After the five-thirty cast I believed I had a pretty good grasp of the rundown for the 10 p.m. cast, including a couple national stories.

At one point I said to no one in particular, "gee, I almost wish we had some breaking news tonight." Not too long after we began to hear scanner traffic on what appeared to be a robbery spree. One night side reporter (who really is the weekend weather guy), one photographer, two anchors, and me.

Along about 9 p.m. everything went crazy. Police were running all over town. Decided to send the live truck to the last robbery along with the night side guy (who stepped up and volunteered). That meant changing the rundown, especially since the reporter had already packaged what was to be the lead story. Then it got better, or worse, depending on your point of view.

A fourth robbery on East Sunshine, out near where I live. Send the live truck and reporter there, get on the phones gathering info, let the production staff know everything is changing less than an hour before air...including doing live promos.

Knowing he loves reporting, I called the Chatter guy who rushes toward the fourth robbery location. While on the phone with me he sees two police cruisers rushing away from that location, heading west. At the same time I hear scanner traffic indicating an arrest is imminent. Chatter dude does a U-turn and chases the police, swearing at drivers who won't get out of his way. I announce this to the newsroom and the entire production team lets out a laugh. Yes, we do have fun at our jobs!

If you watched the 10 p.m. cast Wednesday night you know the rest. The adrenaline rush hasn't stopped. This is what I love about the news biz! After the cast, Chatter guy informs us our intrepid weathercaster/reporter dude stole the SPD officer from a briefing for the competition in order for us to have a live interview! We're playing with the big dogs now!

What a night. What a crew. What a business.

And yes, several people reminded me what I'd wished for earlier in the evening.