On Friday night we launched FNC's Republican National Convention (search) coverage.
Since we were the first show, we were not sure if we would have major technical problems. Road shows are always a huge risk. We were lucky - no problems!! Of course that is due to our team — what they do to set up these road shows would blow your mind!!
The blog has many pictures today in an effort to give you the real behind the scenes. We arrived early for our show because we pre-taped an interview with Governor Pataki (search) and because we assumed getting into Madison Square Garden and our workspace would be a security nightmare. We were lucky because the security sweep did not occur until late Friday night so it was a bit "lighter" than what we will experience today.
Here is the background: the convention itself is in Madison Square Garden. The media has leased the post office across the street from the Garden for its workspace. The two buildings are connected by a walkway. If you click on our pics with this blog you can see the post office, and the walkway. Satellite trucks ring the Garden and police with huge rifles walk the area.
Our set is the best of all the media. Only our show and Shep's show are expected to use the convention floor set. Other political coverage and Brit's show will be done from the FOX skybox.
I did not tour the Fox skybox but it is very high up and thus the reason it is not as great as ours — we are right in the middle of all the action. I asked why only Shep and I get the better set. There is a reason that Brit, O'Reilly and Hannity and Colmes can't use the set we are using — because they will be on air DURING the convention.
During the convention the house lights will be controlled by the RNC, which means that if a speaker is arriving or leaving, the lights could go down in the arena to create an effect. You can imagine what it would be like for a television show to have the lights go up and down. Our show begins right after the convention ends each night so we can control the lighting ourselves. We need not worry about the lighting.
The noise level will be high on the floor so we have special earpieces. Usually anchors and guests wear only one earpiece. Both my ears will be plugged with a special earpiece so that I can hear the producer in the control room and my guests speaking to me (their mikes will be fed into my ear) without the ambient noise drowning them out.
When I covered Governor Schwarzenegger's (search) election night speech in California I stuffed cotton in my open ear in an effort to anchor our show from the noisy auditorium. We tested the new double earpiece on Friday night even though the convention had not begun and the noise level was not high.
I felt like I was wearing a walkman and that I was living in my own world. It was sort of odd. During the commercials I asked the crew if I was screaming since people who wear a walkman often scream when they talk.
I hope you watch the show tonight —- remember, it is 11p.m. to 1a.m.!!! We do two hours of wrap up and we will also cover some news of the day.
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