Spotlight Feature: What To Do When Disaster (Almost) Strikes?
Executive Producer Chris Hyser phones me about 5 minutes before the show to tell me that their newsroom has gone down. It has been totally disconnected from our newsroom in Cleveland. In other words, we are dead in the water - since the show is edited in and anchored from the Akron Canton Newsroom at the corner of S. Main and Market Street in downtown Akron. The only part that is done from Cleveland is the control room operations and tape playback.
Without a camera (which is also disabled), we can't have Eric anchor.
So, what do you do? Thankfully Vic Gideon had just returned from gathering video and information for his 11 PM package on Channel 3. He was at his desk in the WKYC newsroom, when he gets a visit from a calm, but sweating Director (me).
"Vic, the Akron Newsroom just went down," I said. "We are 3 minutes to the show - and I need you to anchor from Studio A."
At first, Vic thought I was kidding cause we are always joking with each other. But he soon got the message...and off to the studio he ran, literally.
Vic threw on a mic, stood in front of the chromakey with the Akron background we normally use and on with the show we went.
At 10:30, we faded to black and all breathed a sign of relief.
What a day!