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February 6th, 2008
11:42 PM ET

Blog from the Back Row

Our 'live blog' experiment began this evening. During commercial breaks, Anderson was scrolling through viewer comments and answering as many as he could. I think he had seven or eight comments, which to me is amazing considering all the other things an anchor has to do during a program.  Our little experiment was a much bigger success than we had anticipated as we recieved about 1600 comments from viewers during the show. The blog even crashed for a short time. 

While Anderson was busy on the set, I was busy in the back row. At one point I was simultaneously: 

– making sure the necessary guest was available for the next segment (We had John King, Candy Crowley, Tom Foreman, Joe Klein and Keli Goff in studio and David Gergen on remote... all in the first twenty minutes of the show.) 

– forwarding Anderson's comments for the blog to the person posting them

 – timing the length of each block which we need for replay (That seems simple enough but when you are doing all the other things you sometimes forget to hit 'start' and 'stop' on the clock.) 

– helping to figure out how to get the show to fit into an hour (It does seem like that's an issue every night doesn't it?) 

Also keeping us busy tonight were the computer gremlins which kept getting into our video system (which is all digital) and randomly deleting select video clips. 

About ten minutes before we were going to air the story about Britney Spears' release from the hospital one of our bookers, Deb Huberman, was able to get a statement from Britney's parents. We had to make the graphic for that at the last minute and add it to the story. 

While all that was going on our lines coordinator Brooke Turnbull was taking pictures of the control room (and getting yelled at by everyone else in it for doing so) so we can give you some visuals on what the view from the backrow looks like. Those pictures should be added to this post tomorrow. Adding pictures to a blog is way beyond my skill level! 

Sean Yates, Senior Producer, AC360


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