I'm Just Sayin'
Random Thoughts from a Random Guy

Film at 11 (or 5:30 a.m.)

If you’re reading this blog for the first time, let me catch you up.  I am a news anchor at a TV station in southern Illinois.  We are part of a tri-state market, including southeast Missouri and western Kentucky.  Not only am I a news anchor, I’m a morning news anchor.  And this is a quick look inside my daily routine.

Yes, I wear makeup

My day starts at 2:55 a.m.  That’s when my alarm goes off.  I shower the night before and I hang my clothes up to save some precious time in the morning and to allow for extra beauty sleep.  I’ve been on this shift for almost 6 years now, so I’ve got it down to a science.

After my alarm sounds, I brush my teeth, pee (sorry if that’s TMI), get dressed, comb my hair, kiss my wife and kids good bye, grab my breakfast and lunch and hit the road.  I’m usually pulling out of my driveway by 3:08.  I live a few miles from the station, so I’m at work by 3:15 most mornings.

Once I’m there, I log into the computer system and put my stuff in the fridge.  It takes my “personal settings” long to load, so I normally check my Twitter account on my phone.  By the time I’m done with that, my settings are loaded.

I talk with the show’s producer and my coanchor about what’s going on.  Then I open the first show’s rundown.  That’s basically a list of all the stories and scripts.  I read over those and in some cases write them too.  Over the last few years, we’ve made a big effort of more NEW and less from the previous day.  But as a morning show, you’re destined to repeat stuff from the night before.

Some mornings are more entertaining than others.

Since I’m the medical reporter for the station, I write all new medical stories for the morning show.  99% of the time it’s all fresh stuff.  I have several websites and news sources I look at for story ideas.

Usually by the time I’m finished reading the 5:30 show, I’m into the 6 a.m. half hour and I get hungry.  Most mornings I have oatmeal with blueberries and chocolate whey powder.  I usually chop a banana into and drink a diet Mt. Dew with it.  I’ve  never been a coffee drinker.

So I eat, I read, I type, I crack the occasional joke.  Some mornings I’ll help with the beat calls.  That’s checking in with police stations to make sure nothing newsworthy has happened over night.  Unfortunately, nothing usually does.

By 5:15, I’m back at the makeup mirror.  I brush my teeth again, shave (I have an electric razor), and put on my makeup.  I also pee again (sorry) and fill up my coffee cup with…water.  Remember, I don’t like coffee.  I grab my jacket from the back coat rack and head to the anchor desk.  Then it’s 90 minutes of magic.

My coanchor Emily and I run a daily live chat too, called Cover it Live.  So as we’re reading stories on air, we’re also posting viewers comments into the chat room.  On days when she’s not there, it can get a little crazy.  Once we the show is over, we have a post show meeting to discuss what we liked and didn’t like.  What’s ahead for the next day.  We also usually hurl a couple of insults at one another.  But it’s all in good fun.

Sometimes we do live remotes too. This is Civil War Days at John A. Logan College

At 7:25, I return to the desk for a cutin.  Luckily, I normally only have one to do, as my coworkers do the rest.  In the time between the cutins, we are preproducing the next day’s show.  That includes calling guests, finding story ideas, and interesting talking point segments.  Some mornings I go out and report.  Like I said, I’m the health reporter, so I try to find medical stories of local interest.  If you have any ideas, hook a brother up.

Usually on those days that I report, I also do my own camera work.  In the biz, that’s one man banding.  Although now days they like to make it sound special and call them VJ’s (video journalists).  Anyway, I get back to the station, listen to the interviews that I’ve got and write the story. Then I edit it and post it to the web, and usually I’m out of there by 12:30 p.m.  During the school year this is awesome because I can hit the gym before picking the kids up for school.

My wife has started working on her master’s degree, so I’m not sure how the new school year will be.  One thing’s for sure, it will be interesting.

Thanks for reading!


One Response to “Film at 11 (or 5:30 a.m.)”

  1. Good stuff, Kevin. I like the new blog design, too!

    Kudos to you for not being a coffee junkie. I survived 17 years of teaching without drinking a single cup, so I can tell you it’s possible to be “on” really early in the morning without it. Possibly even really, really, REALLY early in the morning. 🙂

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