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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

Spicing Up The Rundown

This week was my last shift as the Lead Producer. As such, I wanted to go out with a bang. Stacy always encourages us to be creative with our rundown. In the past, when I try to be creative, I will only push myself a little by incorporating one creative extra in my show. But, for my last shift, I decided to push it all the way. On Tuesday, I decided to incorporate almost every “creative extra” possible in our studio into our newscast. 

In my rundown, I produced a live shot at a vigil happening at City Hall for more in-depth local coverage on the Paris attacks. After the live shot, I sent one news anchor, Ryan, to the studio monitor to deliver a story. Next, the anchors tossed it to one of our reporters at the video wall in the media center who said an on-camera INTRO and TAG for his package. When our show came back from commercial for the B block, our other news anchor, Kevin, delivered his package at the studio monitor. After Kevin’s package, Ryan read one story at the desk and then tossed it to Kevin, who was now on the couch for a live guest interview. 

It was very exciting to see so many different elements in the show. The diversity definitely made our show more interesting. Viewers would be more engaged in this type of storytelling than a show where anchors sat at a desk the entire time. This is how I want our shows to be like in the future. This show would not have gone smoothly though if it wasn’t for the constant communication with my directors in the control room. I talked through the entire rundown with my directors before we went live so everyone was on the same page. We also made sure we ran through all of the “creative extras” before 6PM. Because we communicated effectively and practiced going through everything, there were almost no problems during our live show. Although it went smoothly, I am pretty sure my directors wanted to pull their hair out for having to switch cameras constantly and keep track of talent hopping around the media center. (BUT THEY ARE ROCKSTARS FOR PULLING THROUGH) And, Team Tuesday was able to put on one of our best shows this semester. 

I also think producing all of these “creative extras” in one show was good practice for jobs at local news stations. At the local station I worked for in DC, almost every reporter went live on the scene of his or her story. The anchors were also moving around in the studio to read stories from the studio monitor frequently. For live guests, anchors sometimes even had to run down the hall to interview a live guest in another studio. 

I’m sad the semester came to a close so fast. But, I cannot wait to see how Team Tuesday will produce our last show!

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