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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

Live Shot Success

Team Thursday has had two live shots – one at an art gala in Annenberg with reporter Alex Janin and another on the roof of Wallis Annenberg Hall covering breaking news and weather with weather anchor Natalie Kalibat. 

Last week as lead producer, I chose to do a live shot for our story about the wind and red flag warnings. I wanted to use Natalie for this live shot to introduce a reporter’s package about the fires. The reporter who packaged the story wasn’t going to be ready in time to do the live shot, and it made sense to use our weather anchor to talk about wind and fire. 

Courtney, who was our live shot operator, came in a few hours early to help out with the shot. I told her I wanted Natalie somewhere on campus that was close to the media center so she could run back to the studio for the weather segment in the B block. Also, I knew I wanted the live shot to take place somewhere clearly windy. After scouting a few locations, Courtney determined the roof of Wallis Annenberg Hall would be perfect. This location proved beneficial to our newscast, as Courtney and Natalie realized there was a raging fire in South L.A., which became our breaking news for the top of the show. 

Natalie’s live shot was a success for a few reasons. First off, she had the opportunity to do a run through before we went live. Secondly, the location was perfect for discussing both the red flag warnings and wind outside of our immediate vicinity and the raging fire in downtown. 

The only thing I wish had gone better was the very beginning of the live shot. It took Natalie a while to get the signal to start talking. Looking forward, I think more practice and better communication can solve that problem. 

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