Posts Tagged ‘Mark Strehl’

Outside In

Producers Beth Boylan & Roy Santoro:  Jackets required.

Producers Beth Boylan & Roy Santoro: Jackets required.

I arrived at work this morning to find just about everyone in the Fox Chicago newsroom all bundled up – as if they just walked in from our colder-than-average weather and then plopped down at their computers.  Wait, that’s because they did.  After weeks of relatively comfortable newsroom temperatures, a cold front had moved back in.

Anchor David Novarro makes it clear “I’d like it to go on record.  I don’t like it. I’d prefer to be comfortable.”  Co-anchor Jan Jeffcoat adds, “My fingers are frozen.  I can barely type!”

Roy estimates the room temperature is in the low 60′s.  He tells me, “Even my soul is cold and that’s a dark place.”  Without missing a beat, audio tech George Sarantos walks by and says, “What do you mean?  You have no soul!”

David and Jan in the studio/sauna.

David and Jan in the sauna-like studio.

I figured out one good source of warmth.  After printing out materials for my story assignment, I let everyone know “If you print things, they come out warm!”

Mark never lets you see him sweat!

Mark tracks the temperatures inside and out!

Soon after, David and Jan walked into another temperature extreme – the studio felt like a sauna.   Meterologist Mark Strehl has his jacket off.  But he keeps it nearby because he knows the newsroom cold front might move faster than anything on his weather radars.

13

10 2009

Pat’s New Shoes

Patrick Elwood:  Always ready to chase a good story.

Patrick Elwood: Always ready to chase a good story.

Before we anchor Fox Chicago News at Noon, Patrick Elwood and I usually cover stories for “Good Day Chicago”. That means a lot of running around town.  Well, Pat showed up for work today wearing some interesting new shoes.

Exhibit "A".

Exhibit "A".

I wasn’t the only one to mistake them for bowling shoes.  They’re not. Pat loves that they’re flexible and far more comfortable than dress shoes.  The rubber soles are perfect for chasing after whatever story comes his way.

People in the newsroom were eager to share their thoughts on Pat’s shoes:

28

09 2009

Gesture Jesters

David Novarro, ignoring the "funny face" cue from floor director Jacques Eady.

David Novarro, ignoring the "funny face" cue from floor director Jacques Eady.

Among the many people you usually don’t see on the air during a newscast is the floor director. This person is like a field general in the studio – making sure we are in place, pointing us to the right cameras, letting us know about show changes, etc.

This morning for “Good Day Chicago”, David Novarro and I worked with Jacques Eady.  He’s a proud graduate of the University of Notre Dame and he loves floor directing because “everyday is different and exciting”. Jacques understands the importance of the job, noting “I am the conduit between the director, producer and the talent to make sure everyone knows what we’re doing.”

Mark Strehl signals for a particular weather graphic.

Mark Strehl signals for a particular weather graphic.

Since we are on the air while things change, many of our cues are hand gestures. You can imagine the fun we often have without saying a thing.  Some floor directors use cue cards that may say “:30″, “stretch” or “wrap”.  Others use fairly universal hand signals.  If we work with someone new, we may try to go over that person’s signals before the newscast.

Sondra Solarte makes a "T" sign for the "Traffic Times" graphic.

Sondra Solarte makes a "T" sign for the "Traffic Times" graphic.

When meteorologist Mark Strehl and traffic reporter Sondra Solarte aren’t on camera, they are likely gesturing during their updates in order to cue their various video sources and graphics.  It’s always fun to watch them from over at the news set. They are pretty adept at changing things up quickly since their alloted time can fluctuate.

I think David wants me to bunt or steal first base!

I think David Novarro wants me to steal second base!

Many people who come to visit the studio comment about the “show behind the show”. Viewers see a lot of fun on the air because we are having fun and truly enjoy working together.

How about a high five?

25

09 2009

Newsroom Book Club

Executive Producer Melinda Tichelaar is a speed reader!

Executive Producer Melinda Tichelaar is a speed reader!

At least every week or so, I exchange books with Melinda Tichelaar, the executive producer of “Good Day Chicago”. She’s an avid reader like me. This morning, I handed off “The Shack” by William Young even though Melinda is still plodding through a biography on Hitler.  I’m enjoying the book she highly recommended, “The Secret History” by Donna Tartt.

Meteorologist Mark Strehl reads more than weather maps.

Meteorologist Mark Strehl reads more than weather maps.

In a room full of journalists, it’s interesting that practically everyone at Fox Chicago is reading something outside of work.  Even our crazy producer Roy Santoro is a book worm. He’s reading “The World Without Us” by Alan Weisman.  This book examines the post-human Earth.  His favorite book is “The Alphabet of Manliness” by Maddox.  This may explain a lot about Roy.

My co-anchor Patrick Elwood is reading “Face Time”, a political novel by Erik Tarloff. Meteorologist Mark Strehl just started “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance” by Robert Pirsig which Patrick said he enjoyed.  Producer Becky Rohde is currently reading about the plight of two kids in Chicago’s inner-city.  Maybe she’ll let me borrow “There Are No Children Here” by Alex Kolowitz when she starts “The Lovely Bones” by Alice Sebold which I gave to her last week.

Anchor Jeff Goldblatt "reads" his scripts.

Anchor Jeff Goldblatt "reads" his scripts.

Anchor Jeff Goldblatt says he has no time for books.  He reads as many newspapers as possible and then it’s on to children’s books with his little ones. Regardless, almost everyone in the newsroom has read “Devil in the White City” by Erik Larson – a haunting read with great Chicago history.

This just in: Crazy Roy knows how to read!

This just in: Crazy Roy knows how to read!

Producer Pete Siegal says his one-year-old makes it tough to read anything other than children’s board books.  Pete produces the newscast at       5 a.m.  Because of that, he admits to spending most of his time outside work “reading the back of my eyelids”.

08

09 2009

A Sponge-Worthy Post

My Makeup Drawer: The "Scene"

My Makeup Drawer: The "Scene"

Once again, all the extra makeup sponges are missing from my drawer at Fox Chicago.   It’s been months since weekend anchor Byron Harlan admitted to pilfering sponges.  He messaged me through the newsroom computer system with a confession that began, “Please forgive me.”    Never mind that you can buy a lot of makeup sponges for just a few bucks at the drug store less than a block from our studio!

All kinds of things go missing all the time.  Is it as common in other workplaces?  This is why our main makeup room is usually locked.  Valuable, studio-quality items often “walk” away.  After I lamented over makeup sponges today, meteorologist Mark Strehl told me he’s missing an entire suit!

Makeup Sponges: A Hot Commodity

Makeup Sponges: A Hot Commodity

Things are not safe in the break room refrigerator either.  Even items clearly marked with your name may not be there when you return.  More than once, food items stored for on-air segments have disappeared, forcing guests and producers to scramble for replacement items or alternatives.

It’s my own fault, I suppose.  We have lockers but I don’t keep it locked – afraid that’ll slow me down under deadline.  So now I’m hoarding and hiding makeup sponges.   Not in the fridge – someone might eat them.

26

08 2009