Television news seems to be having an identity crisis these days. With viewers getting their news from the internet more and more, people in the broadcast news industry struggle to find how they can keep people watching.
They hire consultants who do research and survey viewers. Consultants say morning news viewers just want the weather, traffic and hard news. Hard news, meaning crime that happened overnight, politics and health stories that may impact your family's safety. Consultants tell us that you don't want chit chat or cutting up or entertainment news. Just a quick update so you know what's going on in the world before you hit the door.
So I thought those of you who watch News 4 This Morning might want to know what we can't show you. At least what you don't know about the four people who deliver the news weather and traffic in the morning: Marc, Matt, Paul and I.
My day at the station starts at 3:30. As soon as I hit the newsroom I cook my instant oatmeal and hit the computer. I check the headlines in local papers and websites. Then I spend the next hour reading over and re-writing scripts. I am in a zone at this point. In a hurry. I don't engage in conversation. I have to be in the makeup room by 4:45 to make it to the set on time.
I do my own hair and makeup which is pretty obvious.
Marc is much more relaxed before the show. He comes in with at least 2 cups of coffee already in him. He always breaks my zone by asking me how I am and unknowingly reminding me that I could be a little friendlier. He is such a patient and pleasant person.
Then at 4:56 we both rush to the set. That's also when I see Matt Chambers for the first time. This man is never in a bad mood. He gets here at 2:45 in the morning. 1:30 if there is bad weather. He is energized whether he got 7 hours of sleep or one because his baby boy kept him up.
The first two blocks of news are pretty intense. We are just warming up and finding out about possible technical problems or late breaking news.
Then at 5:18 a burst of energy hits the set. That would be Paul Cook. He is tucked away, working as fast as he can on traffic updates in his cubby hole of an office that we can't see. This is the first chance to see Paul.
Now on a breaking news day or a "storm mode" day, like today, we are pretty down to business behind the scenes.
But on a typical news day, we enjoy a lot of laughs while you are watching commercials.
Paul always stretches out like he's about to run a 400 meter dash seconds before he goes on camera to deliver his traffic report. He usually has some insane story from his days in Los Angeles. He likes to give us his Robert Deniro impersonation at least every other day. And he some how finds a way to drop a random, hysterical line just before we come of a commercial. A true test of how focused we are.
Marc and I try to catch up since we haven't spoken to each other until this point. Marc, by the way, is like my big brother. He gives me dating advice and financial advice. We enjoy talking about our SEC teams. Good thing his team is bad at football and he only gets truly fired up over Kentucky's basketball team. My Alabama team is not too hot on the court so I have temporarily adopted UK for the NCAA tournament.
He takes it personally when someone writes a negative article about UK's team. He also has an amazing family and he's extremely proud of them. As he should be. Seriously, one of the best looking families I have seen and sweet as pie. Oh yeah and Marc's hair always looks perfect and he does it himself, too.
And genius Matt is quite the comedian. First of all, he is the youngest out of the four of us but he has the knowledge of someone who has been around 70 to 80 years. I swear he knows a little bit about everything. But he is not a know it all. I think he even plays dumb so I don't feel stupid when I ask him something or he says, "Well, I might be wrong but I think that..."
Don't even get these boys started on their favorite movies. They know every single line to Anchorman and they aren't afraid to quote them all.
I probably told you way more than you want to know. I just thought I would share and give you something to think about the next time you see us in the morning.