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Staying Ahead of the Train

by Craig Edwards

Posted on November 15, 2007 at 7:51 PM

Updated Wednesday, Nov 4 at 2:41 PM

By Craig Edwards

When people ask me what working in TV is like, I often steal a quote from screenwriter J. Michael Straczynski. Imagine laying down train tracks while the train is storming down the way. That's a normal day in the TV world.

Such was the case tonight, getting ready for the 6:30pm news. Joe Becker was live in Arizona, covering the big game. He's the only Portland TV reporter there. After doing his 6pm story live at about 6:10, Joe called me. He said he and his photographer wanted to shoot some quick highlights during the first quarter, and use a couple during his hit at 6:30.

At about 6:28, the bad news came, as Dennis Dixon went down with a knee injury. I called Joe right away.

ME: Tell me you got that.
Joe: Got What?
ME: Dixon... It doesn't look good.
Joe: We got it. I think that's the only thing I need to show.
ME: That's what I'm thinking.

So after that 30 second phone call, Joe managed to run from the field back to his live truck, and feed us the video. I got Richard Gordon, one of our awesome editors here, to cut it down quickly while Joe wrote a quick script for himself. I put in some quick graphics in and Adam Bjaranson confirmed that Dixon was out for the game. 6:30 show Producer Leilani Welch told Joe right before he went on the air live (in fact, it was just as Laural Porter was tossing to him). All of this happened in a span of about 9 minutes. At 6:37ish, Joe went on the air with the story.

We've got a good team here, which is what you need when you're putting down the tracks as the train is coming.