Archive for September, 2007

The Agony ( and the Ectasy ) of Air Travel
September 28, 2007

I just got back from my two day getaway to Fort Myers – and I’ll blog about some highlights from that trip in the coming days. However, I wanted to share with you some thoughts on the method of transportation I used to get there – and get back. That necessary evil we all know as air travel … and I hate to fly.

Anybody remember what air travel was like before 9/11? For sure it was not a walk in the park, but in the days since the tragic events of September six years ago, it has only gotten worse. From the time you arrive at the airport until the moment you get your bags and get to your car, it’s one of the most painful and frustrating experiences you will have on this planet in your lifetime.

From the security lines where now you are forced to take your shoes off not to mention every piece of metal on your person and that may still not save you from the random search – to the lines of people waiting to get on board flights. The airport terminal has become more like the bus station of the past and less like the stream-lined, modern marvel air terminals were supposed to be.

Then, there’s once you board the flight. Despite a kind smile and wave from your stewards when you board, and those commercials promising more leg room, you are still slammed together like sardines and there is always someone who wants to carry on a two week’s supply of luggage that takes up the entire overhead space. Even once you get seated, there’s that little kid behind you who has decided for the first time this season to practice his goal kicks and assumes your seat is the proverbial soccer ball. And let’s not forget the tension this builds among all the passengers – especially when you have a full flight. It’s enough to make you think that someone on board maybe one over-salted bag of pretzels away from “going postal”.

I won’t even mention turbulence once you are airborne. The thought alone is enough to make me cry.

To be fair, I’m not blaming the airlines, the TSA or any one person. This is the system that exists and, like it or not, it works better than anything we have going at present. I don’t think it’s the intention of those who run the travel industry to make our lives miserable when we travel. It’s just the way things are in a world where security has become first and foremost. I even ran into a TSA worker who apologized to me for the delays getting through screening. Seems despite all the warnings, one passenger failed to get this simple message: You cannot take a knife in your carry-on luggage.

So is there anything about traveling worth celebrating – aside from the moment you are actually at your destination with bags in tow? Yes. It happened to me as we broke through the clouds early Thursday evening on apporach into Pittsburgh International Airport. As you look out your window ( yes I did get a window seat ), you can see western Pennsylvania. I could begin to make out roads and highways. I saw the end zone markings at various high school fields and I could make out “Bethel Park”, “Chartiers Valley” and “Upper St. Clair”. I could see the skyline of Pittsburgh all lit up. The streets and cars below me looking like props from a model train set. It’s that feeling of calm and serenity as you fly over our hometown. It let’s me know I’m home – and that this is truly where I belong. I guess that’s the reward for undergoing the agony of air travel.

Author’s note:
I’ll see you this evening for live coverage of the installation of the new Bishop during our broadcast starting at 2pm today. I’m coming back early because I was asked .. and I thought it was important to be part of this historic event.

So Much for Sleeping In On Vacation
September 25, 2007

I’m not a morning person. Really, I never have been. You would think so given my current occupation as well as the fact that when I was a kid, I delivered newspapers every morning ( yes, where I grew up, the kids actually handled the deliveries ). However, I have never done well getting up early but it’s my job now, so i just accept it and try to embrace it.

So what do I do on vacation, when I do not have to get up and go to work at 3a? I wake up at 4am. So much for sleeping in, but I do have a reason for waking up early today. I’m heading down to Fort Myers to go boating with some friends. Just me. Sharon is working and can’t take time off so I’m heading south and hitting the waters to relax and refocus.

Of course, before I left I flipped on the morning news. I have to tell you it’s a little weird watching the news from home when you are so used to being there. It’s strange watching Demetrius, Jake, Kelly, Mel and Marcie doing the news – and sometimes I feel a little guilty when I’m not there. Then again, I’m not about to give back all this vacation time. I haven’t been able to take time off like this since I left college.

When I’m watching the morning news, I do like to flip around and see what the “bad guys” ( my little nickname for the competition ) are doing at 5 a.m. I never get to see what they are showing since I’m in a studio worrying about our broadcast. While I’m not going to make judgments and say what I think of the other guys, I will say I do respect what they do and I realize just how competitive the A.M. battle is. That’s why I’m even more flattered that people – like you – would choose us. Thanks.

One other confession. I never watch myself on TV. I have never been comfortable seeing myself on camera which probably makes you wonder how I can get any better. I let the consultants come in and tell me what’s right and what’s wrong about my performance. I let you e-mail me and say what you do and don’t like then adjust accordingly. One of these days, I’ll sit down and watch myself, but not now. I know it’s goofy, but consider the source.

It’s 6:15 and I have a plane to catch. There was a story about delays at the airport – which I saw on Channel 4 – so I better get moving.

Blog back at you on Friday.

Blogging Break
September 24, 2007

I might have mentioned last week that I am on vacation this week and would blog when I could. If you don’t mind, I’m going to take a breather today. After playing 36 holes of golf Sunday – and with another 18 today – I’m kind of beat and not really concentrating like I should before I do this.

I’m leaving for the beaches of Florida tomorrow, but I will have an entry for you before I bolt. Thanks so much for patience and your patronage. Hope you make this through Monday – the worst day of week normally – with a smile!

Adventures in Real Estate
September 21, 2007

Sharon and I recommend most of our friends put our address in pencil in their address book. It’s not because we plan on leaving the area and moving, but rather because we always end up moving around Pittsburgh. Sharon and myself have had four different residences since we got married back in 2001.

We seem to like to move because our mood changes. We had a condo together in Murrysville, a home in the Mexican War streets and a townhome in the South Hills. We currently have an actual “adult” house in Washington County, but after being there for four years – we realized two things. First, the commute for me to Wilkinsburg every day is way too long. Two, since we are never home, the house belongs to our dog, Boobaloo, and he winds up spending more time there than anyone.

So we decided to put our house on the market — and scale down with hopefully a smaller home near the city. There is so much going on in Pittsburgh and – given our schedules – it would be nice to be able to get home in ten minutes. It would also be nice for me to perhaps sleep in until 3pm.

The problem here: our timing stinks. We just happen to put our house up for sale during the worst housing market in more than a decade. That’s bad enough, but we also have another slight problem: No backyard. Our deck takes up most of our lot in the back and it seems everyone wants a backyard these days. I wish I had known. For me, no backyard was actually a plus because I hate to mow.

Add on top of that the fun of having to clean up the house every time someone wants to come over and take a look and you can see what a drag trying to sell your house can be. I’m beginning to wonder if I ever want to own a home again. Maybe I’ll just rent an apartment and save myself all the pain and misery of home ownership in this day and age. I mean I actually spent what used to be Friday night party money – on mulch!

Then again – there is something about owning your own home. A sense of pride and accomplishment. I never thought when I left college I would actually a real home of my own. But here we are – 18 years after college – and what am I doing? I’m scaling down and want to live in a adult version of a college dorm room.

While I would like to get this done before the winter hits – and the waiting to sell is killing me – the good news is that it only takes one person to say “yes”. Now I could use this blog to show off my home, but that would be unethical and wrong. Plus, I’m doing everything I can to make sure people do not know it’s my house. I made the mistake at the start of this process to leave up pictures of me with my friends at channel 4 as well as my memorabilia collection. Soon people started showing up just to see my stuff.

Quick note: I will be on vacation again next week and unfortunately, my travels will limit the amount the blogging I will be able to do. I will try as best I can, but don’t be surprised if I’m not blogging daily. I will be back the following week though — bright and early with more insights from a man on his 3rd cup of coffee. Have a great weekend!

OK, Let’s Talk About OJ
September 20, 2007

Before I started blogging about the above topic, let me try and clear the air concerning my blog from Wednesday. I knew when I wrote it, it might be interpreted in a bad way. So let me make it clear to everyone: I DO NOT WANT TO LEAVE PITTSBURGH. While I have dreams, desires and goals – as we all do – I am quite happy here doing what I am doing. Someday, I hope to move on to a bigger challenge, but that’s someday in the future. Right now, this is the place for me.

Now onto a less controversial subject: OJ. Just kidding. I hoped I could avoid the OJ mess, but my fellow media comrades on the national scene and the cable networks have made it impossible. Yesterday, I saw TV choppers following OJ’s car from a Las Vegas court to his hotel room .. and while everybody tried to make it out to be the modern-version of the 1994 Ford Bronco chase, it was clearly not the same in terms of impact.

I’m watching the morning news programs now – and everybody is going OJ-overload. Lawyers speculating – and that’s what they are doing – speculating on what is next for “the Juice” in this case. Then you have reporters detailing every single nugget on OJ’s life and bringing back the memories of the first OJ trial – trying to make connections between cases that happened 13 years apart.

I really don’t want to talk about OJ, but after all this insanity, I feel compelled to comment – a comment that can be summed up in two words: WHO CARES? I do not understand the nation’s fascination with this man. I do not understand why we care if he lives or dies, whether he is free or in jail and if he is guilty or innocent. He doesn’t live in my city, he has no affect on my taxes and his moves do not affect the stock market. All I know is this: media fascination with OJ has turned the murder of two people into the first line of a running joke that has lasted 13 years .. and the circus appears to be back in town.

The only thing that I think of when I think of OJ was the immediate national discussion following his acquittal on those double-murder charges. It turned what had been a soap-opera of a trial in a serious unveiling of the bitter racial feelings that exist in this country. It was scary to see how that case went along racial lines .. and how far apart are two Americans were .. and still are.
Other than that, I could care less about OJ. I like to think the smart people out there feel the same way. I guess the only way were ever going to be rid of the OJ mess is to see him sent to prison for this crime. Of course, that would involve a trial … and I know I’m not ready for the trial of the century. I had to go through that with OJ during the last century.
Photo Courtesy: Associated Press

Visit from the Big Leagues
September 19, 2007

Today, I got a sense of what many of you must feel like when you meet someone from the local news in person for the first time. People are so kind – and sometimes overwhelmed – when they meet me. Not to say that I think I’m some sort of big deal, but when you people meet someone they see everyday on TV it can be a little wild.

This morning, we were greeted by a visit from “Good Morning America’s” weekend team of Bill Weir and Kate Snow. I usually watch the show as part of my weekend morning routine and, while I do work in television and do exactly what they do, there’s is still a bit of a “wow” factor for me when I meet the faces from TV’s big leagues.

My first thoughts? Kate was a taller than I though and Bill was very cool. They seem like real people, being laid back and easy going just like us. Kate’s family even lives in State College. Plus, they both really look good. It’s when I see network anchors like Bill and Kate that I wonder what I’m doing in this business. I’m no glamour boy – even the the glamorous Kelly Frey along side.

They are here in town to showcase of one Pittsburgh’s premier establishments – Primanti’s. I get the sense that they really did enjoy the experience and the sandwich which I always call “heart attack on a plate”. They will be featuring the sandwich – and Pittsburgh – on GMA this weekend.

I spent a few minutes off-camera talking with Bill Weir. Believe it or not, he and I share something in common. He was a sports anchor in Chicago and L.A. before moving to news and GMA. His thought on adjusting to the move – and shifting his passion from one area of expertise to another – were insightful.

I think Bill and Kate made for a rather fun ad giddy morning. It was already a bit off the wall with Don Schwenneker in the house filling in for Demetrius. I have met another network anchors before and while I have been a little in awe, it also makes me realize that I’m not far away from perhaps being a “big time anchor”. Conversing with them let’s me know that I have the communication skills and, perhaps, the personality skills to pull this off on a larger stage.

Then again, I’m in no hurry to leave Pittsburgh. This is my home and you are my “peeps”. It’s where I’m most comfortable and I still have a lot to learn before I take the next step in my career – whatever that may be.

What Do You Say?
September 18, 2007

In my adult years, it’s one the things give me the most satisfaction and rpide. The fact that I can now give a speech. While it may seem easy for me since I talk to thousands of viewers every morning, nothing makes me more nervous than having to give a speech. On TV, all you are doing is speaking to a camera – and if you think a joke is funny, the camera is not going to tell you otherwise. Giving a speech is very different since you actually speak to a group of people. People who will let you know just by their reaction whether you are bombing or not.

I have always tried to emulate my father when it comes to speaking in public. Whenever he spoke, he was well prepared, knew his subject and knew how to connect to the audience. After much trial and error, including speaking at my high school graduation, I think I have finally become adept at this art.

That doesn’t mean that there aren’t moments when I’m at a loss for words – and searching for the right thing to say. Case in point? Last night, I was the featured speaker at the John Fortney Pancreatic Cancer Research Fundraiser at Greensburg Country Club. John has battled – and survived this most insidious of cancers. This event was done to raise money for treatment and hopefully a cure from those that suffer from the disease.

I had a chance to spend time on the golf course with John the week before and got to know him and his struggle. It has not been easy for he or his family and John – who goes by the nickname of “Spider” – is an emotional person by nature. He spoke to the packed house before I spoke. His genuine feelings and emotions gripped me … and made my rethink my prepared remarks just moments before I took the podium. What resulted was about a 10-15 address which was more ad-lib than it was scripted address.

When I was done, I did not know how it was received. You know that brief moment that leaves you wondering whether the applause was genuine or just polite. One look at John’s face after the speech told me all I need to know. He seemed touched and thanked me for coming and sharing my message. He was one of several people who came up and said thanks.

And my message last night? That was provided by a statement John made to me last week while we were golfing and getting to know one another an I was agonizing over my score and whether I was having a good day on the links. In John’s words, “Everyday that I get to play golf is a good day”.

Words to live by. Perfect words to start a speech with.

I’m Back!
September 17, 2007

Hi everybody!

I’m back from a great week of vacation, but as you know I did not take any time off from blogging. I tried – as best I could – to share my thoughts from my home computer, but I must say it’s a lot easier blogging from my office because I’m wide awake and have been for the past few hours thus allowing me to gather my thoughts and attempt to be coherent.

As for my vacation, I was here in town and just decided to burn a week. However, my vacation was not without some surprises and things I had never seen before. Things like going to a Steeler tailgate party and watching someone use a gas-powered blender. Things like playing in a charity golf outing and watching a member of our foursome not only hit a golf cart, but have the ball ricochet off the steering wheel and put a hole through the top of the cart.

I played the role of spouse at Sharon’s office party on Friday as well as played my best and worst rounds of golf in the same week. I grew a beard and saw so much gray that I vow never to do that again. I met Steely McBeam, Just one of many folks I met during my days off. I met so many people that I don’t know if I can handle meeting any more folks. I’m just kidding. I guess I feel bad that I meet so folks in such a short period of time that it’s getting harder to remember every one’s name.

While I spent the week away from the morning show, I did get to see Demetrius, Kelly and Melanie. We all signed autographs as a group at the USX “Party of the Patio” benefiting the United Way. See the Polaroid photo of our foursome below.

While it was nice meeting so many viewers, there was a line that was said by Kelly which stuck with me. When I first showed up, it was great to see all their smiles and that genuine feeling that they missed me and were happy to see me again. I felt the same way. Then Kelly said to me “We are family”. While the Pirates used that same slogan in 1979, it holds true for us today. The Morning Crew ( which includes Marcie and our producer Nick ) are like a family. We cheer for each other, cry for each other, work hard for one another and care about one another.

I missed them — and I missed you as well. While I don’t know everyone that reads this blog, I have corresponded with enough of you over the past year to realize that you are my family as well. You have read my most personal thoughts and, in turn, shared with me your most intimate moments. For that, I am grateful and that’s why I blog as much as I can while I’m away.

By the way, I will have some more time off over the next month and will blog when I can. But thanks for reading and thanks for watching. Just like the crew here at Channel 4, my days are not the same without you.

Everyday Heroes
September 13, 2007

One thing I’m doing during my time off is devoting my time to some charitable functions. Some involved playing golf and serving as emcee. Others include speaking to a large group of persons. Sometimes the benefits involved children while others pertain to adults afflicted with verious illnesses.

While I often as designated as the “celebrity” for such events, I feel uncomfortable with the title. For one, I don’t like being called “celebrity” because what I do on a daily basis is hardly worth celebrating. Second, I think when it comes to these types of charitable events, the real stars are those who work behind the scenes. Those who put their hearts and souls into these events – raising funds, getting donations, organizing the event – so that others might enjoy themselves while raising money for a good cause.

Here are three of those everyday heroes. The Ingolds. Meet Jill, Mark and Margaret. They were the momentum behind the inaugural Jack Ingold Memorial Golf Outing at Nevillewood. 75 gofers took part and raised money for the St. Patrick School and Parish located in Canonsburg. I was very fortunate to serve as the emcee.

You do not know Jack Ingold – and there is no reason you should. But his memory and presence was very strong in the life of his son, Mark. So strong that when he left us far too early, his son wanted his memory to live on. So – with the help of his lovely wife and his mom – he created this golf tournament to benefit a nearby school. It was not the school Jack Ingold attended, but Mark wanted to do something positive to honor the memory of his father. Something special. Something that would benefit others.

For that selfless act, Mark and his family are heroes. They are everyday heroes. There are hundreds like them doing good deeds not for self-aggrandizement, but to benefit others. They are out there. You see them as your neighbors, your friends or just complete strangers. In my mind, these are the people worthy of being labeled “celebrities”. By definition, they have done something worth celebrating.

Six Years Later .. it’s all about politics
September 12, 2007

Thanks to those of you who checked in on Tuesday. Two things were apparent after my blog on 9/11 on Tuesday. One is that I had the day off and two is that after six years, what began as a moment that brought our county together has degenerated into a battle over partisan philosophy.

In this new day and age, everything can be broken down into partisan politics. There is no longer black and white when it comes to the view, it is clearly left and right on the political scale. Such is the case with 9/11. I spent the evening discussing the tragic events of 9/11 with a good friend of mine ( who still remains a good friend of mine ) and she turned 9/11 into another chance to rip on President Bush.

While I have no political stances – and whatever leanings I have I will not share here – I am not about to turn this tragic day into a blame game. It’s not Bush’s fault nor Bill Clinton’s fault. 9/11 was a combination of US policies that date back to the days of Harry Truman and “Marshal Doctrine” which over time led to certain portions of the world feeling an animosity – justified or otherwise – for this country. For anyone – especially a friend of mine – to turn this tragic day into another reason to hate the Bush administration is wrong. Don’t worry – W has plenty of blame in what took place that day and the succeeding six years. But no President is by himself in the blame game.

I just feel angry,upset and more than a little offended that 9/11 has become a political tool, much like immigration for advancing beliefs and making points on the campaign trail. I apologize for getting so serious in this entry, but I cannot stand how politics have turned from a legitimate national discourse to a pathetic tool for advancing individual goals.

Let me make it clear. The lives of 3,000 people should not be used to advance the political agenda of one – President or otherwise. If we look at that tragic day as just another means to a political end, then those who executed this dastardly deed are no worse than we here in this country who used mass slaughter to advance our own agendas.

Here’s hoping tomorrow’s blog is more positive.

Remember .. Today is September 11
September 11, 2007

I was troubled by something I read in the “USA Today” on Monday morning. The headline – and I’m paraphrasing here — “Are we forgetting 9/11”?

The notion would seem absurd. It was the singular moment of our lifetime, much like the Kennedy Assassination was for our parents and Pearl Harbor was for our grandparents. It changed the world we live in – a change we see every day. From going to the airport to applying for a credential to an event, everything we do has been changed by the horrifying events of 9/11.

That was the subtle point of the article. We are a nation which can “get used” to anything. What seemed like a radical change when security was bolstered six years ago and a war began shortly afterwards have now become commonplace to our culture. We scarcely can remember the days when we could show up for a flight 5 minutes before it took off and get on. We are becoming used to hearing the numbers of soldiers killed in Iraq on the news daily and barely blinking an eye.

The point is the horrible images from that fateful day are just that now – images. They no longer have the same pull on us that they did that day in 2001. Even the incredible act of heroism that took place outside Somerset County has suddenly become part of history, chronicled for kids to read in their textbooks like the Challenger disaster or the fall of the Communism.

In some ways, it’s a tribute to our resilience as a nation that we can move past these horrifying events and live normal lives and persevere. This is true for a small, but growing group of young citizens who can barely remember 9/11. They are now entering high school. At the same time, in a cultural which puts more importance on Britney Spears’ performance at the MTV awards than the on-going hunt for Usama Bin Laden, we need to get our priorities straight.

We cannot and should not forget 9/11. No matter how many years pass by, Americans needs to remember the day we suddenly became part of a larger global picture – and paid the price for that with thousands of lives. Whether you are for or against the war in Iraq, you need to remember how this all started. It started on a day when we realized that freedom isn’t free – and there is a price to be paid for it. In this case, the price was human lives.

I do not know how you plan to spend this day, but I plan to take a few moments around 9:30am today – and remember. Remember where I was ( the Clemente Bridge ) and what I was doing ( heading to the optometrist ) when I first learned of the attacks. I will remember the chilling thought of not knowing what was next and whether our lives will ever be the same again. I plan to remember holding Sharon in my arms later that day as she cried and being unable to find the words to comfort her. I plan to take a few moments to be silent and pray for those who lost their lives and the families who still live with the pain.

Finally, I plan not to forget what happened. How could I? More to the point, how could you?

Taking a Much-Needed Break
September 10, 2007

If you tuned in this morning, you may have noticed I was not there. Seems I have some time off that I need to burn so I thought I would use a week’s worth. I’m taking some to rest ( sleep is more like it ) , relax ( play golf ) and just do some things for myself.

Of course, the biggest problem with taking any break from work is this — blogging. After doing this for more than a year, I know many of you have come to make it part of your morning routine – just like our newscast. For that, I thank you. I have also discovered, from conversing with other bloggers, that if you don’t continually update your blog ( i.e. daily ) you are going to lose your readers.

With that in mind, I thought I would continue my entries during my time off, sharing with you some thoughts from a different perspective -away from the cameras and in the real world. For instance, this weekend Sharon and I spent some real quality time together doing dinners out. We had dinner with some new friends we met on Friday and with some age-old friends on Saturday. We went to the Cubs-Pirates game on Sunday and I actually had my faith restored in the Buccos as they put on a hitting show against the division-leaders from Chicago.

I also plan to grow my “vacation” beard. I hate shaving and it’s during these breaks I can actually “let my hair down” and grow one of those thick and somewhat graying beards. I won’t be including any photos of that. I also plan to go through my closet and get rid of all sorts of stuff I do not wear. I plan to get back into a routine at the gym and I will definitely be getting some sleep this week!

Finally, I usually write back to all of you that send me e-mails. Unfortunately, because of our rather strange e-mail system at WTAE – and that fact that I haven’t got a blackberry – I won’t be responding to your letters until I get back next week. Thanks for your understanding in advance.

I am So Tired
September 7, 2007

Kudos to Pam, a frequent reader of my blog. She sent me an e-mail wondering if I was sleep-deprived because my entry from yesterday seemed to be stream on consciousness, missing some key words in various sentences.

Pam – nice job of reading me. I am tired. I have been busy with work, I have a public appearance this evening and I begin a leadership development class this morning. Also, I did not get home until 10pm last night because I shot my weekly “Check It Out” segment. I am going on four hours of sleep right now and I halfway through my third cup of coffee – which is getting cold. I not whining. I’m just wishing for eight straight hours of sleep – and I won’t have a shot at that until around midnight tonight. Here’s hoping my second wind shows up soon.

While I drift in and out, I did have the following thoughts on these topics:

APPLE CUTTING THE PRICE OF THE IPHONE BY $200: I heard a lot of people who bought the phone when they first came out – and paid top dollar – are upset that the price has been cut just a couple of month after the debut. To all those iPhone users: What did I say back in July? Wait a few months and the price will come down. It always does. This is what happens when you have to be first on your block to get the newest gizmo. Quit complaining.

BODIES – THE EXHIBITION COMING TO THE CARNEGIE SCIENCE CENTER: I had a chance to see the cadavers being used in the display. Despite the controversy it has caused in some circles, I found the exhibit more enlightening that offensive. I even got to hold a preserved human heart and liver. I think it would be worth your time to go see this exhibit – and then weigh-in on the moral and ethical questions involved.

BILL COWHER SAYS THE STEELERS FINISH THIRD: I agree. Cowher knows this team better than most of the so-called “experts” out there. There is nothing that I have seen this pre-season that leads me to believe Pittsburgh is better than either Baltimore or Cincinnati. I’m saying Pittsburgh goes 10-6 and stays home for the post-season. But you will be able to make your own decision during the early portion of the year. The Steelers open the season with four teams that finished sub-500 last year. If they don’t win at least three of those games, forget the play-offs.

BATS IN DEMETRIUS’ BELFRY: If you saw the show this morning, you no doubt saw us teasing Demetrius about the bat that found its way into his house. Here’s the kicker. He actually got a call from a vet saying he should play it safe and get a shot just in case the bat was rabid. I think we’ll call him “Batman” from now on.

Have a great weekend! Sharon and I are going to see the Pirates host the Chicago Cubs on Sunday – weather permitting. If you are going – and you see us in the stands – please stop by and say “hi”! I’ll be the one in the Pirates cap and she will be sporting the Cubs chapeau ( I hate the Cubs ).

You Just Never Know …
September 6, 2007

… what to expect on live morning TV.

There are enough unexpected moments involving the actual production of the program. Then, there are those moments which make TV so much fun and make our job unlike any other. Moments like when I stumble through a couple of words on camera because I’m going 24 hours without sleep. Moments like today when Melanie Taylor – for some reason – could not Shadyside.

Then, there was our visit with “Good Morning America”. It’s always unscripted when Kelly and I speak with Robin. It’s like we are waking up and speaking as we come down to the breakfast table for the first time. Well, this morning after we exchanged pleasantries and Robin previewed the upcoming “GMA“, Kelly took the conversation in a whole different direction.

“Are you guys cooking anything this morning?”

Kelly was hungry. Well, Robin had nothing on the menu, but she did cook something up. The camera widened out to show Robin and Diane Sawyer – and Diane did not have her hair done yet. The resulting shot of Diane’s mussed-up hair had us rolling … and then Robin proceeded to show us the furry slippers she wears under the desk.

What do say after that? That’s the trick of live TV. You have to come up with something quick … and we had nothing. Just laughter after the impromptu moment.

Live morning TV. It keeps us on our toes and no doubt makes you morning routine a little more enjoyable.

What Did You Think?
September 5, 2007

Forgive me for not coming up with a better topic for blogging, but this was a morning I actually had to focus my entire energy on the broadcast. We moved into our new HD studio today – although we won’t be broadcasting in HD for more than a year.

Hopefully you had a chance to see some of the cool things we can do inside this new studio. We are experimenting right now and over the course of 2 hours this morning we were able to show you some of the cool camera angles and functions of the new set.

Of course, I’m probably too close to the situation. It’s impossible for me to give an unbiased viewpoint on our new look. So, once again, I’m asking for audience participation. Tell me what you think of the new set. Do you like it? Do you hate it? Is it really that much different? Can it even make me look halfway decent? ( I’m just kidding ). Send me your thoughts and I will pass on to the people in charge.

Look forward to hearing your thoughts … and now it’s back to the set to find more cool things we can do with it.