The last words uttered by a decorated local broadcast journalist en route to the Manhattan base after a live shot on March 19th, 2015 for WABC-TV’s Eyewitness News This Morning. Her truck driver/photog got out in the middle of traffic, stopped an oncoming FDNY ambulance in moving traffic, banging the door, forcing them to take her over with another patient saying she would die. Well honestly she was basically brain dead regardless, the family pulled the life support plug on the 20th and passed away officially 8 years ago today.
According to New York Post’sPage Six her living mother told the management who attended her funeral in her then residence of Stamford, Conn. that “you made my daughter work herself to death”. Following the Page Six expose, both parties of the family and WABC-TV denied the exchange, and each party covered up one another, but let’s be honest, the management was shady and we who know the industry could trust this Page Six story.
Congress seat holder, George Santos, from New York, recently elected, but I cannot use the phrase “disgraced” because he is still in office despite, lies, upon lies, deception upon deception and phony stories upon phony stories that makes the Brian Williams scandal at NBC News seem like child’s play. I use BriWi because it’s the closet thing I could recall of a major figure in an institutionalized world that did a lot of over embellishing.
The day or two after New Years, Maggie Haberman from The New York Times said some strong words about the local New York market loosing its credibility to CNN. Not too long after, Charlie Sykes from The Bulwark Podcast characterized the failure in “the New York media ecosystem” a phrase that’s kinda like a cliche to Sykes vocab, not to offend him or anything.
The last words uttered by a beloved local journalist in New York 7 years ago Saturday. On March 20th, 2015, she died, after being admitted to an ICU and there was no other option for recovery. Just before she uttered her last words, a radio reporter for 1010 WINS had tweeted this out on the 1 year anni of her passing, that he was the last person she had contact with just minutes before.
The WABC-TV people are really intune to their audience. the Eyewitness News theme package – with this update going as far back as 22 years ago, still sounds great. it was one of Frank Gari’s last major fingerprint in a theme package. Very Northeast. Very New York. Anything that has pop, rock or teeny bopper sounds would never fly. Leave it to the California Disney cluster to play out.
Around 2012, WABC-TV was next station in the Disney/ABC group to go to automation, at the time using Grass Valley’s Ignite as WPVI in Philly had began a workflow in 2008/09 when they built their new facility at the time. This means the “control room” is really controlled by a Windows PC, and its mostly dependent on scripting out the litteral aspects of news production and the timing. I landed across a video earlier today indicating that this workflow was completely scrapped just going to another vendor, Ross.
How Jimmy Kimmel Live would appear on TVs across the NY Tristate area, was the last block to Eyewitness News at exactly 11:34:20*, the Vizrt CG, would display the NYS Lottery numbers, for roughly 20 seconds, call up Camera 2 (we’ll call it that for the center camera) for a few seconds, open up Bill and Sade’s mic, then automatically switch to the city cam zooming out of WABC-TV’s streetside studio, fade to black, then have the off site Master Control handoff to the network.
*because the closing cut to the theme runs at minute-four, and if you subtract the end to where it starts… you can see how you can script this very well.
I suspect this was a Timed Macro Event or TME that is cued into the then Ignite system they had. The Technical Director would ensure they would press the butt at 11:34:20 so it could play out properly so it could transition to Jimmy Kimmel seamlessly.
This close despite having a sample cut on my iOS devices, and sure the anchors talk near the end… the idea of running 40 seconds of theme music every night and the close has a static sequence that doesn’t fail, and this YouTube was from 2012, and seeing the very same sequence of TMEs in 2017 when I stayed in Manhattan that fall, is pretty damn good.
If stations could allow some number of braintrust, maybe automation wouldn’t look so bad… yes I am talking to you WCVB-TV off 128! 😀
I recommend people to take a couple hours to watch this interesting video in June of last year, in the midst of the pandemic. This Zoom panel features a mix of network and O&O execs, mostly on the engineering and operations. Stacy Brady had the best comment in the session, something like disaster recovery didn’t mean people going down.
ABC is also an interesting discussion; as they had issues “getting communications out of the building” like push button intercoms and IFB earpieces. This explains why The View forced the ladies to talk one at a time.
Of course the show stopper started in the beginning, with the head of the Fox O&Os playing an internal video from WTXF in Philly and how the station there handled COVID19, starring the infamous Mike Jerrick!
Unfortunately, the rep from B&H didn’t make it; which would’ve been interesting to see the prosumer vendor respond to large demands, for the broadcasters. Typically live streamer types use B&H as their primary vendor. In fact WABC-TV found a Black Magic Design Web Presenter device that helped aid production, that was apparently lying around.
Rebuilding Local Media with building bricks and minifigures as the subjects. Also the King of Simulating Live events in Post Production™.