Week 1 May 16- May 22, 2016
I started my first full official day on Tuesday May 17. I met with head sports anchor Mark Giangreco as well as weekday sports producer Larry Snyder. Mark showed me around the station, let me watch several of his sports broadcasts and ran me over my basic duties. These duties included helping out with cameramen in the field and logging games for use in the news broadcasts. Tuesday was my first eight-hour day starting from 2 pm and ending around 10 pm. Early on in the day I accompanied one of the cameramen to record pre-game footage of the White Sox before their game with the Huston Astros. My primary duty was holding the boom mic in the huge forest of other media in order to get good sound. I must admit this experience was not as daunting as some made it out to be. I have had similar experiences covering MSU Hockey in college. If anything this experience was just a bit larger in scale as opposed to what I’m used to in school. After I returned (around 5:00ish) I was asked to logging the Cubs-Brewers game so that the producer could find good highlights for Mark’s sports segment on the 10:00 news. My role in getting the highlights was limited to pen and paper as I was not allowed to touch the editing equipment due to union regulations. At the end of the day I had logged all nine innings of the Cubs game as well as two innings of the White Sox game that was going on concurrently.
Wednesdays more low-key in terms of work load. I was able to see the result of the clips I had logged the night before and learned how they all fit together to form a coherent package. It is mostly up to the performance of the talent as to which clips he wants and how fast he wants the pace of the edits to be. As the evening neared I was tasked with logging both a Chicago Fire soccer game as well as a Cubs baseball game. I was reminded of the importance of name pronunciation as I had trouble pronouncing a name of a runner who had scored a run and had to look it up. One of the producers helped me out with this and I learned to pay extra attention to the name pronunciations while logging games.
Saturday I came in a bit early to log two baseball games. Other than that, the day was very low-key. Thus ended my first week interning at ABC 7. So far the experience has been a positive one and I look forward to the rest of the summer.
Week 2 May 23-May 29, 2016
Monday was in interesting day. My ID card was finally validated and I learned how to log games on the computer using the AP ENPS software. I logged two baseball games, one Sox and one Cubs. During the Sox game, the broadcast cut out twice for an extended period of time. I was unable to log the game and we missed several scoring plays. This actually proved to be a bit of a learning experience as I was able to witness how major stations deal with this crisis. I observed the producer Mike call up one of the ABC affiliates to get another source of the video (it was a 3-run HR by the White Sox). The affiliate station was able to send him a quick bite of the video and we were able to use it on the broadcast. Through this experience I learned that for a major news station, “defeat is unacceptable” you there is always a way to get the story and it is your job to get it no matter the means.
On Wednesday I arrived earlier then the usual 2:00 start time. This was due to both baseball games starting early. I had to log at least one of them so I came in at 12:30 to log the Cubs game. Amount 4:00 Larry Snyder, one of the sports producers, asked me to head down to US Cellular Field and assist the cinematographer with White Sox post-game. I went down to the south side and completed this task. Post game was very similar to pre-game which I did last week. Several interviews with players in the clubhouse while I hold the mic. Today was also the last day for legendary broadcaster Ron Magers. Mark read a loud a text that was sent to him and Ron by my idol Pat Foley (play-by-play broadcaster for the Chicago Blackhawks). The text spoke to Ron’s professionalism and his ability to excel in any role or challenge that was presented to him. This complement impressed upon me just how hard you have to work and excel to separate yourself from the herd. Excelling in any situation is certainly a goal of mine now as I continue forth in my professional life.
Saturday was a quieter day, but I was able to assist one of the cameramen in getting post-game from Wrigley Field. This was a different experience as I rode in one of the camera trucks and got to assist in the set up and take down of the camera before and after Cubs manager Joe Maddon’s post game remarks. It turns out that the staff at Wrigley imposes harsher regulations on the media then the staff at US Cellular Field. Not the least of which is demanding that you park several blocks away from the stadium and walk your equipment to the media area. Thankfully we were well prepared with a portable wagon to transport the heavy camera equipment. It really does pay to be prepared for anything in this business. Had we not been prepared with the wagon, we would have had a miserable time carrying all of that equipment in the hot summer sun.