Welcome to the PIT List!

I'm a network field producer who also worked in local tv as a line producer and field producer. Over the years, I have had the great fortune to work with super people. Now I'd like to pass along what I know and rant a tad.

"Dear Maggie..." pitlist@gmail.com
I check it sporadically, but I love answering emails, so if you have an issue or difficult person you need help with, don't hesitate to shoot it my way.

Maggie L

Maggie L
One of the rare times I'm in the office

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Roll with it Baby

Watching (a lot) of local television coverage last week for Hurricane Isaac reminds me of some sound advice, whether you are in the midst of hurricanes or some other live coverage, and that is this: If there is something compelling going on in your liveshot, don't break away to go to a taped piece. This is especially true in breaking news situations. Going to something taped in the middle of an active liveshot brings the liveshot- and your show- to a screeching halt. Also, it leaves the viewer to wonder, what's going on out there while I am watching this? Live is almost always going to be more interesting than what you have taped. In breaking news situations--- BE FLEXIBLE. Don't be married to your rundown (actually that is good advice in any situation). Judge each liveshot on the basis of each liveshot. Going well? Can't turn away? Give it more time. Dull? Same thing you've seen four times in your show? Wrap it up. Get a feel for your show and let it flow accordingly. Another tip.... in breaking news, you don't have to produce the whole hour (or hours) you just have to figure out what to do next. I call it-- at bat and on deck. Which reporter is at bat? And who is on deck? That's all you need... Let the rest of the newsroom... Assignment desk and managers help you and line things up. You just take it one segment at a time. Finally, I saw one of the stations last week do something interesting and worth copying. They basically had their reporters tape look lives at (it seemed like) every location they visited. Nothing fancy... Just a minute of walk and talk, showing and telling what was going on at that location. Works out well for coverage that lasts hours on end. Gives anchors a little break and revisits locations where you may not be able to be live. Note I say anchors toss to these -- not reporters -- and certainly not reporters on active liveshots. And honestly, these types of look lives might be fun to work into regular shows as well... If there was a reporter on something good at six, have them do a quick looklive for you instead of a vosot for ten.

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