TAKING ONE FOR THE TEAM
TAKING ONE FOR THE TEAM
Today is a “snow day”. The university is closed today due to the 7-plus inches of snow that has been dumping itself on our campuses since last night. For many students, administrators and faculty, this is a day off from work or studies, which means they will likely use some form of broadcast media to keep them informed and entertained. For many of those who work in the broadcast field, this can be a long day of work.
Television reaches over 75 percent of the United States’ population daily, while radio reaches 54 percent of the country’s population on a daily basis. When there is a snowstorm, TV and radio stations are fulfilling their obligation to the public by broadcasting information such as school closings, snowfall totals, road conditions, and any other information or entertainment that they think will capture an audience. There are 82 radio stations within listening range of the university’s Joliet, Illinois campuses, and over 10 television stations within viewing range that carry local news; all of these commercial stations (and some non-commercial stations) are staffed with people working during this “snow day”. For the broadcasting outlets’ talented staff of on-air talent, producers, engineers, managers, administrators and even student interns, this is a time when they understand that their audience is relying on the them to deliver information and entertainment.
The Chicago market’s number 1 rated (in household ratings from 5am-10am) television news program, WGN Morning News, had their full “A List” staff on this morning to cover the snowstorm. This included one reporter driving in a car on the expressways to report road conditions, and another reporter standing outside in the snowstorm in front of a suburban train station. The in-studio staff consisted of the popular news team, plus two additional weather reporters, and two entertainment reporters. One of their entertainment reporters had a live segment where he was in station’s parking lot with an intern dressed as a snowman. The intern was a college student from San Francisco who revealed that she had never thrown a snowball in her life. The reporter then held up two cut out masks of the program’s anchors, and had the snowman attired intern throw snowballs at each of their printed out faces. He then instructed the intern to throw a snowball at his face. He ducked of course, but then shot the intern with a Nerf arrow from a toy bow! View iit here: http://bit.ly/2Br5Vsv
For those interested in working in the broadcast field, be prepared to work long hours when many other people may be at home enjoying their “snow day”. If you’re interning at a station, be prepared to not only work the long hours that may come with a snowstorm, but you may also have to throw some snowballs and take an arrow for your audience.