April 13, 1998
After turning on the coffee pot and pouring a bowl of fruit and fiber in the morning, many of us click on the TV set and watch the local news. There it is all laid out for us, weather – traffic – and headlines. All made possible by some pretty neat technology.
“For me it starts the night before. When I get up, first thing I do dial up the private connection to the WTKR news computer from home. I can check my office e-mail and even send instructions back to the station that the producer on duty gets right away. Next I’ll get on the Internet for any late breaking national news.” Danny Epperson of Suffolk is the producer of the morning news casts on channel 3, WTKR. “I get to work about midnight and log on to the newsroom network. It ties together everything from e-mail to Triple Doppler Radar to the Teleprompter.” Epperson explains. After writing the news scripts for Channel 3 anchors Ann Keffer and Kurt Williams, Epperson sits in with the shows director and produces the program. “I’ll have the director cut to (meteorologist) Jeff (RUCKER) for weather. It’s just a simple switch since our roof top studio is hard wired down here. Live shots get a little tricky though.” Epperson explained. “We roll news trucks to the scene and raise a microwave antenna. The photographer then feeds in the appropriate coordinates and points the feed our way. If it’s a shot from a distance we call CBS and rent time on the satellite. We have a special truck just for these feeds.” Epperson told me.
So at the end of the day – which is about 10:00 a.m. for Epperson – does Danny get back on his home computer? Epperson smiles and tells me, “Well sometimes I do have to check in with hollywood.com and see what’s going on – and on the weekends you many find me in an AOL chat room – but mostly I try to get some shut eye!”