Interview in an Icebox

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Dear Viewers,

And I thought Shepard Smith was bad! On Thursday, I interviewed Tom Arnold (search) of "The Best Damn Sports Show Period!" in his studio — not ours — and nearly froze to death. Shep keeps his studio freezing, but Tom Arnold must have had his studio 20 degrees colder. I was afraid my teeth were going to start chattering during the interview — which would have sounded like a drum roll in the microphone on my lapel. I found Arnold fun, so we talked off camera after the interview for a few minutes. We are both Midwesterners and even discussed — yes — bowling.

We arrived at his studio during his show and we got to watch it from behind the scenes. His show is a good one and quite funny. His show has a studio audience, which injects much energy into it. He had invited Marines from Camp Pendleton (search) for the audience and they were having fun. And, lucky for me, the Marines love FOX, so I got a warm reception — in contrast to the freezing studio! In the midst of the Marines were about five men who were part of a bachelor party.

After the show, and before our interview on his set, Arnold graciously posed for pictures with the Marines and the bachelor party. You could tell that he liked his audience and vice a versa. Many celebrities/TV hosts are not so gracious, but you really get an idea of what they are like when the cameras go off. Tom Arnold, in my opinion, from what I saw, gets high grades.

Things almost went smoothly. Since we did the interview in Arnold's studio, we used his crew, his equipment, etc. As we were leaving, we were handed the tape and it was on the "wrong" format for us. My producer asked that they put it on the "right" format and they, of course agreed. We were a bit under the gun since it was 8:15 p.m. ET (our show is at 10 p.m. ET) and we needed to get to FOX News' Los Angeles bureau. I had to read some research, check our guest list including practice how to pronounce names and go over our scripts. The L.A. bureau is also a bit of a hike from Arnold's studio and it was rush hour — 5:15 p.m. PT. We were also concerned because it was raining in L.A. and that slows the already stopped L.A. traffic to a grinding halt.

We also needed to get the tape back to the L.A. bureau so it could be "fed" to New York for our show. The producers in New York also needed time to add B-roll — e.g. video of the people Arnold and I discussed during the interview. If time permitted, I also wanted to get a slice of pizza since I had not eaten all day with all the travel from the East Coast and the rush of our jobs.

About 15 minutes later the guy who was doing the dub of the tape for us for on the "right" format came to us and said it would take longer — the dubbing deck had shredded the tape. Fortunately the original tape — the one with the interview on it — was not the one shredded.

We couldn't wait any longer since it was now about 8:30 - 8:45 p.m. ET. We had to ask our make up artist to do double duty and wait for the tape while I raced to the FNC bureau. We figured we could do without the tape if we had to do so, but I had to be on the show.

It was the proverbial "photo finish." We got the tape in time to feed it to NYC and add the video we needed.

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