Thursday, March 11, 2010

My Morning Show Experiences from the Past

I mentioned in the last post (I'm cranking this out now, so I can go try and get a couple or three hours sleep) that I know how the local TV stations' morning show staff manages to get up and do their jobs in the morning.

I wanted to split this off into its own post, so here we go.

Back in 2000, my bladder exploded and I went into septic shock. I was literally on the edge of death. At the time, the man I trusted when it came to getting my local weather (seeing as I had little to no experience with forecasting myself) was Steve Horstmeyer, who at this time was the morning meteorologist for the CBS station here. That's WKRC-TV 12 in Cincinnati. And for the record, he's now with WXIX 19 which is the FOX network affiliate, still in Cincinnati, and is their chief meteorologist. And I STILL turn to him sometimes - heck, it's hard not to when he has 30+ years of experience!

He comes into this story early on for a reason. Somehow, someway, someone got word to Steve that a fan of his was in the hospital fighting for life. (That would be yours truly. I still don't know who told him.) He came to the hospital to see me. Mind you, he'd just done an 8 hour shift, and I think was headed home, but stopped to see me at Cincinnati Children's. We discussed the weather, and he gave me some weather maps like he uses to predict the weather (these were printed, by the way...and I should say we TRIED to discuss the weather. Remember, I'm fighting for life at that time, on pain meds so that the 5 holes, dozens of staples and stitches I had in my body didn't hurt so bad. So I know I was mostly with it, but sort of not.)

Anyway, later that month I visited the WKRC studios and met Mike Buresh, at the time the station's 4 PM meteorologist (he's now with WTEV-TV in Jacksonville, Florida). Which that was very cool.

About one year later, I found out that the station was set to move their morning show (Steve was still doing weather for it) to new digs downtown at the Fifth Third Center (if you haven't figured it out, it's the corporate HQ of Fifth Third Bancorp), on the ground level with windows overlooking Fountain Square.

From September 3rd of 2001 to 2005, I visited those studios on my days off school. Sometimes in the latter year I stopped by to say a quick hello on my way to Northern Kentucky University. Heh. How's that for sneaking a quick chat with friends in?

It was there at the WKRC downtown studio that I realized that you have to be totally and one hundred percent dedicated to get up at 2 AM (when most people are still in bed), go to work from 4:30 AM to 12:30 PM, go home, do what personal business you have to do, and be in bed by around 4:15 PM to get up and do it all over again the next day. And not just that, but to keep that schedule five days a week, and smile while you do it or at least try not to be negative on the air.

Needless to say, from those 4 years I spent being what I guess you'd call Cincinnati's first and only teenage on-air meteorologist, I know what the men and women working the early shift at all four major stations now do. (At the time, that is - there isn't a teenager in town now doing what I was doing on air over-the-airwaves; security has become a number one concern for most stations and I don't blame them. There is at least one teenager who does webcasts - Trevor Cole of Cincyforecast.com. Trev, I threw ya a free plug buddy.) Even if it was only part time when I was off of school, I realized that yes, I could do it with a) the proper schooling and b) discipline once I did land a job in broadcasting. What I learned was these two points in summary:

1) Be one hundred percent DEDICATED to your job if you're considering an early shift as an on-air personality.
2) Be sure that you have a LOT of caffeinated beverages on hand to keep you awake when you're broadcasting!

So that's my experience as, like I said, Cincinnati's ONLY teenage on-air broadcast weatherman. Those four years I spent around that team were really good years.

Courage + Belief = LIFE

1 comment:

74WIXYgrad said...

I remember when we were first commenting on each others blogs, you were always good about giving a weather report for Northeast Ohio on your blog. And you did it for others too for their home areas.

Always neat to read the adventures of a fellow media geek.