February 25th, 2008
11:44 PM ET

Blog from the Back Row

I wish the control room had been rocking and rolling with last minute adds, changes and edits so that I would have a dramatic post to make up for my absence (I've been working on other projects or in one of the two front row seats for the last couple weeks.) but it was a pretty quiet night in there. So instead I'll answer a couple questions...

  • Q: I’m wondering how many people work in the control room during the broadcast?(Barbara in Culver City, 2/11/08)
  • A: On our program we have:
    • A senior producer, who talks to the anchor(s) and has final say on what goes on air
    • A line producer, who manages the rundown and the timing of the show
    • A back row producer, who troubleshoots
    • A director, who gets it all on the air and makes it look good
    • A technical director, who executes the vision of the director (knows how to uses the NASA-like panel of levers and dials and buttons ... see next question)
    • I can't give everyone's function but here's a list: lines coordinator, video producer, writer, prompter operator, two graphics producers, two graphics technical operators, a sound guy, multiple floor guys and cameramen in the studio, plus support staff in the newsroom including a copy editor, multiple writers, a guest booker and a new position for us, a live blog moderator.
  • Q: Why do all control rooms look like they are at NASA? (Sabrina in Los Angeles, 2/07/08) 
  • A: I have no idea what a NASA control room looks like but the multiple monitors allow us to view various satellite feeds and the live air of other programs. The panels are used to communicate with each other and the anchors, field reporters and guests. So much is digital these days that we really don't even use paper in the control room. (But when the servers crash ... a very rare occurrence but it happens ... wow, that's when we earn our money in there.)

I hope you enjoyed tonight's show even though it was a quiet one from our end. I think I'll be in the back row tomorrow so I think I'll see you tomorrow night!

– Sean Yates, Sr. Producer

Filed under: AC360° Staff • Behind The Scenes
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