Posts Tagged ‘ABC7 Chicago’

Worst Part of the Job

The media amass outside the home of a fallen soldier.

The media amass outside the home of a fallen soldier.

There are always feelings of dread and ambivalence whenever I approach the home of a fallen soldier.  I had to do it Friday morning after Fox Chicago got word that a suburban soldier was among those killed in the shooting rampage at Fort Hood, Texas.

Soon after arriving at the family’s Bolingbrook home, I knocked on the door lightly with cameraman Ed Flynn ready to roll.  A tired-looking man answered and said, “Please, we’ve been up all night. Maybe we’ll talk later but my parents are finally getting some rest.”

NBC5 reporter Phil Rogers agrees, “It’s the worst thing we do.”  But he stresses it’s something journalists will always do. “Often, we have people who want their story told.  We have to ring their bell.”

Jason Knowles of ABC7 Chicago.

Jason Knowles of ABC7 Chicago.

“Yeah, worst part” adds Jason Knowles, a reporter for ABC7 Chicago.  “And we have to do it so often.  But we always respect the family.”

Reporter Robert Sanchez of the Daily Herald says, “We don’t take pleasure in it.  Unless we ask, we won’t know.” On occasion, he’ll hear from families days after his coverage of a fallen hero.  “I’ve had people say thank you because now other people know how great they were.”

Throughout the day, we gradually learned more about 21-year-old Michael Pearson.  The 2006 Bolingbrook High School graduate joined the army to serve his country and see the world.  He was an amazing guy – a talented guitar player and playful uncle to young nieces and nephews.

"A Gem."

A lost gem.

Before his grief-stricken parents eventually addressed the media camped outside their home, a family friend wiped away tears as she told us, “Mikey was one of a kind.  You couldn’t ask for a better son, brother, neighbor or friend.  The family lost their gem.”

07

11 2009

A Little Help from Kittle

Ron is going to bat with the facebook team.

Ron is going to bat with the facebook team.

Ron Kittle is reaching out to me.  How cool! It’s that Ron Kittle, former Chicago White Sox outfielder, MLB All-Star and Rookie of the Year.  He read my blog post about the facebook friends limit so he messaged to say, “I’m at the same stage with FB and I’ll be speaking with them Monday to work out how to carry over to a fan page.  I’ll keep you posted.”

Ron is an all-around great guy.  I can truly understand why far more than 5,000 people would want to be his facebook friend.  He’s been working hard on many fronts since leaving the world of professional baseball.  When Ron isn’t raising money for the Indiana Sports Charities organization, he’s giving motivational speeches, building unique baseball-themed furniture in his workshop or trying to help out a friend like me.

I wound up starting a facebook “fan page” after noting that my ABC7 pal Linda Yu had to do the same.  She’s been urging friends to move over to the other profile.  (Yes, Loo is a big Yu fan!)  I’m still not clear on how to merge the profile page with the fan page.  I wish facebook would just lift the limit.

Hangin' at Sox Park at the start of the MLB season.

Hangin' at Sox Park at the start of the MLB season.

Maybe Ron will have some answers for us after his meeting with facebook tomorrow.  What a thoughtful friend he is.  It makes me an even bigger Ron Kittle fan.

01

11 2009

This Blows!

Hair spray: No help at all today!

Hair spray: No help at all today!

Most Chicagoans know the Windy City nickname is linked to blathering politicians and not the weather.   But today, we had very windy weather in the Windy City making it tough to look composed while I reported outside the Willis Tower.  Soon after my first live report at 6:30 this morning, a viewer commented on twitter, “I can see from your hair that it’s very windy outside.  Don’t blow away!”

It’s tough to control the elements but our Fox Chicago crews do what they can to deal with them.   Camerman Stuart Orlin (who’s camera shy) used  sand bags to keep the light stand from blowing over.  Then, he positioned me behind the live truck so it would block most of the wind.  But that meant I had to stand on the light kit box since I was down on the street and Stuart was shooting from the sidewalk.

Making the best of a windy situation.

Making the best of a windy situation.

He couldn’t do anything about the gusts swirling around the skyscrapers.  For me, that meant hair flying everywhere and many strands getting caught in my lip gloss.

The wind is nothing compared to the elements we’ll have to deal with in just a few more weeks.

ABC7's Charles Thomas stopped by to say hi.  He doesn't have the windblown hair problem.

ABC7's Charles Thomas doesn't need hair spray.

Snow and sub-freezing temperatures are far tougher to work in.  Many of us will be breaking out the parkas and serious winter gear soon.

As I messed with my messy hair, ABC7′s Charles Thomas stopped by the truck to say hello.  Of course, he never has to worry about his hair blowing around.

06

10 2009

Time Share

Cameraman Ed Flynn & Patrick Elwood, reporting from where I had stood just 15 minutes earlier!

Cameraman Ed Flynn & Patrick Elwood, reporting from where I had stood just 15 minutes earlier!

Learning to share is something we stress to children but it’s clearly a valuable lesson far beyond childhood.  This morning, I shared a live truck with my noon show co-anchor Patrick Elwood as we both reported for “Good Day Chicago”.   Once in a while, that’s just how it works out.  It’s an efficient way to get more live reports in the newscast while establishing more of a presence on the streets.

Cameraman Ed Flynn set up the live truck near Union Station.  Patrick was covering the White Sox and the surprise trade of Jim Thome.  I was covering the state’s new tax on candy and liquor.  Viewers on the streets were surprised to see me and Patrick in person, at the same time.  But I wonder how many viewers at home noticed that we were fronting different reports from the same location.

Charles Thomas of ABC7 Chicago stopped by the truck to say hi.

Charles Thomas of ABC7 Chicago stopped by the truck to say hi.

For my report, I bought sour gummy worms, candy bars and Twizzlers to illustrate how the new tax applies to many favorite items.  I only shared a little.

01

09 2009