A fringe benefit of working at a TV station is the opportunity to invite yourself into the control room during a live broadcast. The draw is the madcap entertainment. Sometimes it’s sheer bedlam. More often than not, the show behind the scenes is far superior to the one being produced for TV. Last week we visited the control room of “Newsource 15,” the Athens cable channel newscast produced by UGA students. Here are some sights and sounds, with a name changed to protect the innocent and impressionable:
“Get that crap off the wall! It looks awful!” Uttered by a faculty adviser after a student delivered a package intro from the newsroom. The adviser was distressed by some paper that had been sloppily taped to a wall near the assignment board.
“Take a step to the right.” (Student moves the wrong way.) “Camera right!” (Student looks puzzled.) “Your left!” The same faculty adviser, via earpiece, to a student in the studio.
“We’re gonna have to cut commercials.” The student producer in the control room, realizing her newscast was going too long.
“No! You cannot cut commercials. You can’t cut commercials.” The faculty adviser, schooling the producer.
“Ohhhh- [Pat's] making faces!” A director, talking about the weathercaster during a three-shot with the other studio talent. The weathercaster had been told to abbreviate the segment due to lack of time, then got an early wrap. The remark occurred after the weathercaster finished.
“Say goodbye!” The faculty adviser, via earpiece, to one of the anchors as time ran out. “Hope y’all join us tomorrow,” the student concluded as the picture went to black.
“Views expressed do not represent the administration, the Board of Regents or the University of Georgia.” Audio disclaimer played at the end of every newscast.
Item: Of the six students who appeared in the half-hour newscast, five were women.
Item: UGA now feeds its choicest student packages to WNEG-TV Toccoa, which re-broadcasts them in a newscast fronted by former WAGA and WXIA anchor Chuck Moore.
Item: UGA now owns WNEG, and is looking for a news director. Salary: $45,000 or so. Seriously. And you re-locate to Toccoa.