Posts Tagged ‘newsroom’

Resolution Solution

No longer on the grocery list.

No longer on the grocery list.

It’s been about a year since I gave up Diet Coke.  I used to drink about three a day.  I would never make a grocery run without buying at least a case of Diet Coke.  Zero calories and a caffeine kick! What harm could it be in a somewhat-balanced diet, right?  And it’s a far cheaper habit that smoking or drinking!

It wasn’t a formal New Year’s resolution.  I don’t make them anymore – perhaps so I won’t fail in keeping them.  But I’ve actually succeeded in giving up Diet Coke.   Last year, a nutritionist convinced me to take a close look at the ingredients.  Then Dr. Oz talked me into staying on course – though he said a Diet Coke here and there wouldn’t hurt.  No matter.  I’ve quit altogether and now I usually just drink water.

There are quite a few people in the news biz who are fueled by Diet Coke.  Some are Pepsi fans but Coke seems to be more popular in the newsroom.  There are often cans behind the anchor set and at workstations throughout the studio.

It doesn’t help that my co-anchor Patrick Elwood drinks a lot of Diet Coke.  A big part of the equation – pop is just 35¢ in the Fox Chicago break room and a bottle of water costs twice as much.  What’s up with that? I need to make a concerted effort to keep a bottle of water on hand at all times.  But I won’t make that a resolution.


12 2009

Santa’s Newsroom Helper

For the past few years, I’ve organized the annual “Good Day Chicago” Secret Santa gift exchange at Fox Chicago.  For awhile, we jokingly said “SANTA” should stand for:  Secret and Non-denominational Transfer of Assets.  It’s politically correct, ‘eh?  Whatever.  It’s our annual opportunity to thank every hardworking member of our staff for all they do all year. It takes quite a team to put on a newscast and most work behind-the-scenes. So I want to share and show off some of these beautiful people.

Sorry for all the blurry pictures – technically difficulties with my digital camera.  (I think Santa is bringing a new one!)

Also, thanks to my pal Mike Pirozzoli of Wing Stop on N. Milwaukee for providing all the yummy food.


12 2009

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.


10 2009

A Cold Business

Our newsroom construction zone

Our newsroom construction zone

The Fox Chicago newsroom has been under construction for about a year now.  Our new HD studio was the priority – that debuted months ago.  But the main newsroom area is still evolving.   We never know what the place will look like every time we return.

Entertainment reporter David Viggiano with a HOT drink!

Entertainment reporter David Viggiano with a HOT drink!

But another challenge is the constantly fluctuating room temperature.  More often than not, the newsroom is cold.  Executive producer Melinda Tichelaar jokes that our average temperature is about 55 degrees.  As a survival tactic, I keep a pink shawl (a Christmas gift from Patrick Elwood) at my desk for emergency layering.

This morning, the cubicles were in a new formation and half the lights wouldn’t turn on. “It’s a cave”, says producer Roy Santoro.  He’s like a caveman.  He likes it.  I’m shivering despite the company-approved space heater under my desk. His theory:  “You’re a girl.  You guys are always cold.”

Entertainment reporter David Viggiano confirms the newsroom temperature is colder than 70.  He adds, “It’s always cold.  But I’m running around so I don’t feel it as much today.”

Traffic reporter Sondra Solarte always warms my heart.

My close pal, traffic reporter Sondra Solarte, always warms my heart.

I guess it’s hard to please everyone.  The cool conditions are ideal for all the technical equipment.  In addition, studio lighting and humming computers can heat up a room pretty quickly.  All over the newsroom, there are sweatshirts and jackets. At times, I’ve seen producers working in hats and gloves. But Melinda says, “If you go stand by Roy, it’s hotter because he’s always blowing hot air.”


09 2009