by Melissa Brunner
As we enter our final hours before debuting a new set for 13 News, our engineers and operations staff is busy pulling cables, setting cameras and moving lights. The items from our temporary newsroom set that are needed to finish out the new studio are being moved into place. So, for our final newscasts before the 6 pm debut, we'll make do with less!
Several people have been curious why it's taken so long for the debut. If the set was in place a couple weeks ago, what's the delay? Well, it's more than just the desks and chairs. Every monitor, every light, every mic cord, every camera position that had become second-nature had to be re-evaluated. The reference monitors we anchors use are now mounted to the front of the cameras. Previously, a monitor attached to a power cord rolled from spot to spot - and we wanted to have as many cords out of the way as we could. But oops - what will the studio camera operators have for reference? We sought out a monitor location for them that works for them and keeps the cords out of the way. (You'll never see it - it's mounted high above the anchor desk!)
Another issue is the teleprompter. You might not realize it, but we anchors run it ourselves. Our new studio environment offers several more positions from which we can deliver a story as well as the opportunity to show reporters and anchors interacting. But it can be tough to move from one spot to another while talking and stringing the teleprompter cord with you. Plus, when anchors toss to the reporters, the anchors end up not looking toward the camera, which is bad because the reporter is still trying to read what's on the prompter screen! No worries - the producers will help us out... we just need to coordinate!
I won't bore you with other items that appeared on the to-do list - monitors are now seen in more shots, so the production folks need to make sure something is in them for you to see instead of a blank screen; graphics and opens changed to better coordinate with the set; do we have internet connections and power cords where they'll be needed; what's the best spot for certain computer controls. It's all behind the scenes stuff that's been challenging, yet also fun (okay - we'll look back in a few months and perhaps find it more fun than the whirlwind of which we're still in the midst!). We hope you'll find the fresh new look at enjoyable as we do!
By the way, I'll be posting debut-night pics on my Facebook page, www.facebook.com/WIBWMelissaBrunner - be sure to "like" it so you don't miss out!