Upon walking into the front doors of KWWL, I was immediately met by a camera man setting up his camera as well as the lights (since the sun was already setting).
As I was reaching for the door handle, a news anchor walked out with her microphone and started talking to the cameraman. I held the door open for her as she asked him “is everything almost ready?”
“Yup, everything’s good to go”.
I walked into the lobby where the receptionist was getting ready to leave for the day. I told her I was there for class and she handed me a visitors badge and told me to sign my name in. Since she was leaving, I offered to tell the rest of my classmates to do the same since I was a little bit early and the only one there at the moment.
Once everyone in the class arrived, we were greeted by news director Shane Moreland. Shane brought us to where the news anchors and reporters have their desks. We were informed that they were currently in sweeps. Sweeps is when news stations compete with the other locally broadcast stations to see where they place in rankings. KWWL last ranked in at number 2.
Anchorman Ron Steele joined our conversation and then we followed him into the newsroom since the 6 o’clock news was about to start. Ron explained to us that the TV’s we see are showing what the people at home are watching. That also gets him ready for when he needs to speak since he’ll see the KWWL image on the screen when the national broadcast is done.
Ron explained to us that when he’s speaking, he’s reading the teleprompter. Each anchor is in charge of the teleprompter themselves. There’s a pedal underneath the news desk that is similar to a gas pedal in a car, and that controls how fast or slow the teleprompter moves.
During the broadcast, they flashed over to reporter Jessica Hartman. She was the reporter that I ran into when I was first walking inside the building. She was reporting outside the building since the story she was reporting on didn’t have an exact location.
Shane explained to us later that he would’ve liked the lights facing a different way in order to compliment Jessica more. But, that was just a minor fix for a future report.
About halfway through the broadcast, the meteorologist, Mark Schnackenberg, came out and stood in front of the green screen. Mark showed us the television he uses to help him point to the areas that he is speaking about. It looks like a difficult task that requires a lot of practice and coordination. Mark made sure to tell us that meteorologist need to be sure not to wear anything with green on it. If they do, then it will clash with the green screen and the item of clothing will look invisible.
Once the broadcast was finished, we went into the room where the producers are. I didn’t catch the gentleman’s name that produced that nights segment but he was very informative.
He spoke to us on how he changes the words on the teleprompter based on who the anchor is that broadcast. For instance, with Ron, he has to put less since Ron adlibs during a report. If he put the same information on the teleprompter he did for another anchor, then the time will run over and they’ll have to cut a story out, which they really don’t want to do.
After a broadcast, a young lady gets all the stories and reports and begins to put them on the website. She does that after every broadcast.
Another lady in the room watches between 4-5 other news channels before, after, and during broadcast. She keeps up with what stories they’re running as well as what breaking news may happen so that she may tell the producer and he may send it to the anchor.
Shane concluded the tour by speaking with us on different things that he does. He talked about how the job has impacted his personal life. He explained what kind of things it takes to be a reporter and how to move up in a journalism career.
Overall, im glad I got to see how much work goes behind a story that is on our television for 60 seconds.