By: Paul Amin - Varney & Co. Associate Producer
Would you have liked to hear about Michael Moore telling President Obama to arrest the head of S&P?
Al Gore cursing when talking about global warming skeptics?
Or Stuart blaming the union for baseball's designated hitter rule?
Those are all stories we wanted to bring you over the last two weeks, but we couldn't because we had breaking news.
And on days when there is breaking news, we have to tear up the rundown.
I once read the quote "The box score is the catechism of baseball, ready to surrender its truth to the knowing eye."
That's what the rundown is for TV news shows.
If you don't know how to read it, it looks like a jumble of names and numbers.
The rundown is our bible. It's what everyone (producers, director, stage manager, even Stuart) follows to know where the show is going next.
Side note: a long time ago when I was a production assistant, I actually had to print out 20 copies of the rundown and distribute them. Now everyone just follows along on a computer.
On days like we had last week where the markets were up or down several hundred points, the rundown goes out the window. We have to add things, like market checks coming in from every single break, adding hits with Nicole, and changing guest topics on the fly.
Sometimes we even have to "kill" a guest. Yes, that is what we say in TV when we cancel a guest, we killed him or her. That guest is dead.
Side note II: a long time ago when I was a production assistant a producer said a certain reporter "is dead." Not knowing the lingo, I really thought that reporter was dead.
Most of our experienced guests understand being "killed" for breaking news. But every once in a while you get that person who traveled an hour to the studio, waited around for 30 minutes, told all his friends and family about it, then boom, the Dow drops 400 points and I have to be the one to break the news, "you're dead."
As painful as it can be to work for an entire day (often longer) on something only to throw it out the window forever, we love breaking news. There's something very exciting about flying by the seat of our pants, not knowing what we're doing next. The control room gets a buzz at these times, people are talking quicker, louder and making snap decisions. Stuart is rocking and rolling with the changes and ad libbing over a shot of the Big Board. And then somehow we look at the clock and it is 10:57 AM ET and the show is almost over.
And usually those shows, the ones that are so crazy, the ones when we throw out the rundown, those are our best shows.
- Behind the Scenes