Monday, May 26, 2008

The strangest things happen in a TV Newsroom ...

Among the many crazy things I can recall of the last seven years:

  • The fire department coming to the station during the 6:30 p.m. newscast because people were stuck in our building's elevator. Four of Akron's finest came through the door with axes in hand as I was pitching to weather. Betsy Kling and I chatted live on the air as I did play-by-play of the big rescue inside our own building.
  • Numerous times that our studio camera went crazy during the broadcast. Since it's remote-controlled by a man with a joystick in Cleveland, there's always the possibility it'll go nuts. There have been times that the camera suddenly shot at the ceiling and other times when it zoomed out or in real fast like an action movie. One time I shrunk while in front of a graphic of a butterfly, and it looked like I was being eaten by the bug.
  • The day a man dressed as a pirate came to the front door seeking employment. Our Executive Producer, Chris Hyser, told him that the only job we had open right now was for a meteorologist. Captain Hook immediately said "I can do that!" When Chris asked the man if he had experience, he responded "I've been predicting the weather for years .. just not professionally."
  • The day a woman walked into our newsroom through an open door and accused us all of being "wolves in sheep's clothing" because we were conspiring to cover up a major meat infection story on the East Coast. Needless to say, we quickly escorted her back to the street.
  • A woman who brought her son to the front door claiming that the boy was possessed by the devil and that she needed to get Satan out of the boy's body. We quietly called police; they were quite familiar with this woman and her mental issues.
  • Seeing a big black car come up on the curb on Main Street during a 6:30 broadcast. The vehicle then came to a stop right outside our windows, and I began wondering if the driver inside was planning to kill me live on the air. As the electric window came down, I realized it was Mayor Plusquellic inside teasing me that I had the easiest job in Akron.
  • Getting a late-night call from a stranger who told me, "it hurts. It really hurts and I can't make it stop." I nearly hung up on the woman thinking it was a crank call, when she finally told me who she was. Turns out it was one of our reporters and she was having an appendicitis attack in the basement of our building. We didn't even know she was down there and thought she'd left the building to go to dinner. Had she not had her phone with her or had I hung up, she might have died.
  • Having a man come in off the street and begin to use our newsroom computers to check his e-mail. When questioned about who he was and what he was doing, the man said, "what? isn't this the library?"

More will come to me as the week goes on ..

1 comment:

Ben said...

Tough to pick out a favorite of those gems.