On the road again…

Can you believe it is November, it seems like yesterday we were at Lake Wylie for our last Road Trip stop this past May.

Well, I could definitely tell it had been a few months since we had gotten together to put on a show for everyone. As you know, we have added Road Trip Extra, our 30 minute show before our regularly scheduled newscast. It was a new challenge…one that I am glad we spent much thought in our meetings.
What you guys and gals don’t realize is that every photographer has to be mobile to bring you all our hosts (Chris, Sonja, Terri, Chuck, & Mike) from different spots within our location.

For instance, at the beginning of the show Monday, two photographers had to shoot the opening with Chris, introducing us to Baxter. One wide shot – set the scene shot – and one on Chris. After Chris was done with his introduction, one of those photographers had to breakdown and head 50 yards away with Terri to bring you the weather in front on the Baxter Town Hall. This “re-organization” has to happen in less than two minutes. Fun, huhh? Now imagine that scenario for a whole two hours…a lot of tangled cable and worn out legs! Well, since it has been six months since last Road Trip, it took us a little while to get back in to the swing of things! Click here for photos from Baxter.

Well, Tuesday we will be a Cirque du Soleil in Concord for their Varekai performance, all starting at 4:30. It is going to be fun and a bit challenging for the Road Trip Crew to put on a show under the big top…see you there!

Bobby

Originally posted: http://www.beloblog.com/WCNC_Blogs/blogger/archives/2005/11/on_the_road_aga.html

Road Trip Preps

So here we go again, the Road Trip continues in November. All of the meetings are complete, supplies have been bought, and the distinguishing long sleeve Road Trip shirts have been handed out, light blue I might add.

The only question now is, I wonder if the higher powers have decided between Oatmeal Cream Pies or Moon Pies as the snack item for the RV? I voted to for both! TV people need to properly nourished for a long days work. We are putting on a two hour show starting at 4:30 pm. Remember to tune in early!

Now to the “behind the scenes stuff”! I think we have spent more time grimacing over the fact that sun is going to be setting a lot quicker during the month of November.

Did everyone remember to set their clocks back? That extra hour of sleep was quite nice! Anyways, since the sun is setting earlier, this means more lights, more work, and more needed room in the Ryder truck for all this extra equipment.

Oh…by the way, I think I have been demoted from driving the fully decked RV to driving the Ryder truck that hauls all of the equipment. I wonder who is the lucky Road Tripper that gets to enjoy the exquisite accommodations that Tom Johnson RV has provided? I would say they are liven LARGE!

Back off my tangent, both (RV and the Ryder truck along with rest of WCNC caravan) are driven daily to all the locations. The RV has all the snacks, cozy recliners, queen size bed, and get this…granite countertops. WOW! The only accommodation left that a 6NEWS Road Tripper might want is a washer and dryer. Oh yeah…it has that too! Click here to take a look at the RV. It will give you an idea where all of the decisions are made and the plan is masterfully created for your viewing pleasure!

Well, I hope that I will see everyone in Baxter tonight. Halloween is always a big hit in that neighborhood. Bring a jacket and the Halloween spirit. I’m bringing a new pair of running shoes; since I am one of the Road Trip Photographers…we are always running all over the place to get the best shots. Come out and watch all the running!

Bobby

Originally posted: http://www.beloblog.com/WCNC_Blogs/blogger/archives/2005/10/road_trip_preps.html

Reflections from Baton Rouge

Hello All from Baton Rouge,

So my time here in Louisiana is coming to a close. There is a possibility that I will be back in a week, but I am willing to do whatever it takes to take part in the effort here with Belo Corp and WWL. I am not sure if most of you know what is actually taking place here in Baton Rouge, so hopefully I can shed a little bit of light.

WCNC is here in Baton Rouge to take part in a relief effort for our sister station WWL-TV. I am sure if you are looking at our web site, you have been watching WWL-TV’s twenty-four hour newscast as it is streamed. Belo Corporation owns thirteen television stations across the country, all of which have unloaded their workforce to help maintain the staffing for WWL-TV. The staff of WWL-TV were also victims of this terrible disaster, most – is not all – are working while trying to figure out what their next step is personally. Most of have lost homes, friends but Belo Corporation has made sure that they will not loose their jobs! We have had reports that the Fox Station here in New Orleans told its employees right before Katrina hit New Orleans that they will probably not have a job and Fox will probably not continue broadcasting. They lost homes, friends, and their jobs in one swift moment, and the storm had not even hit.

It is amazing the commitment that Belo has provided for the WWL-TV staff and all the members of all the stations from all over the country that are here to help make sure WWL stays on the air. We were told that WWL-TV is being watched on all the PBS stations across Louisiana and most of Texas. WWL-TV is also being carried by CBS Network. Since WWL-TV’s newscast is streamed on the web, all Belo’s websites are providing that stream and close to 15 million people a day are accessing this information. We as Belo employees and WWL-TV employees and we fell the same since of commitment that Belo carries to make sure that the people of Louisiana have a place to access information through this horrific tragedy.

We are broadcasting out of PBL in Baton Rouge (the PBS Station for Louisiana) so we essentially have three newsrooms in one (WWL-TV staff, other Belo Stations Staff, and PBL Staff), working around the clock to keep the operation running. Belo just yesterday shipped in more food, office supplies, computers, video tape, and most importantly a portable gas station. We have also been provided apartments for our staff to have a place to lay their heads down for a short period of time before working another shift. I feel like I have a since of commonality with these people, and will miss their conversation. Everyday I meet a new person, see a new place, and hear not only the horrifying stories of this tragedy but the warm stories of triumph that emerge when seems grim.

Good Bless this place, these people, and the commitment to the audience that depends on the broadcast of WWL.

Bobby Rettew

Originally posted: http://www.beloblog.com/WCNC_Blogs/blogger/archives/2005/09/reflections_fro.html

New Orleans flyover

Hello All,

I am sitting at the Baton Rouge airport awaiting WFAA’s chopper to arrive from Dallas. Reporter Bill Cappo from WWL and I are hoping to fly over New Orleans today for an assessment and to shoot fresh video of the fires in the area.

The airport is swamped with private helicopters from all over the country trying to get into NO to assess the damage to their businesses. As expected, tons of military aircraft are in and out of here.

Hopefully today we will have luck getting in and getting fresh pictures.

Originally posted: http://www.beloblog.com/WCNC_Blogs/blogger/archives/2005/09/new_orleans_fly.html

Attempting New Orleans flyover

Hello All,

I am sitting at the Baton Rouge airport awaiting WFAA’s chopper to arrive from Dallas. Reporter Bill Cappo from WWL and I are hoping to fly over New Orleans today for an assessment and to shoot fresh video of the fires in the area.

The airport is swamped with private helicopters from all over the country trying to get into NO to assess the damage to their businesses. As expected, tons of military aircraft are in and out of here.

Hopefully today we will have luck getting in and getting fresh pictures.

Bobby

Originally posted at http://www.beloblog.com/WCNC_Blogs/blogger/archives/2005/09/attempting_new.html

The days are getting longer and tougher…

The days are getting longer and tougher. When I thought I had witnessed the worst possible sight to cross my eyes, something tops the moment. The stories we are hearing and the images we are seeing are enough to make you cry, and cry hard.

I am humbled and constantly reminded every time I wish I had a few hours of sleep, a worm shower, or a place to call my space for my suitcase…I am once again humbled. There are tens of thousands of people that before this tragedy were barely getting by in the city of New Orleans, now they have nothing…other than the confusion of the situation.

I was flying over southern part of the state trying to get some fresh aerials with the KENS-TV chopper and during a stop for fuel, met a pilot from Atlanta. He walked up to us while we were refueling and recounted that last few hours he had spent trying to evacuate people from the hospitals in New Orleans. While flying thru the city, people were shooting -WITH GUNS – at him while trying to land at one of the hospitals. People are holding signs downtown stating, “You Fly Over, WE WILL SHOOT YOU!” He could only land a for no more than a minute because the security guards could not cover him while off loading supplies for patients. Doctors are scared to run thirty feet to the helicopter in fear of being shot by people that are still in the city. My new friend broke down in tears because the story he was telling had just become a vivid moment in his mind and he then realized the intensity of the situation.

I am being pushed mentally and emotionally. I am shooting, writing, stories for people to voice. I never expected that this type of story would be the time when I would try to search intellectually to do more as a journalist. I never thought witnessing Marshal Law would make me want to dig deeper and find a sense of place in this crazy conglomeration of Belo Staff to just make sure that WWL stays on air.

Everyone is working hard and finding ways to help. We have just moved from LSU’s Campus to the PBS station because we needed the space and the LSU students needed to get back to normal. We have moved up in the world from hand written scripts and ticker tape wire to computers and a working newsroom. I actually slept on a bed last night. But I am still humble, because the stories are still haunting!

Originally posted: http://www.beloblog.com/WCNC_Blogs/blogger/archives/2005/09/the_days_are_ge.html

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