Master Control

This weekend passed without incident. I was home throughout and didn’t do much. This morning, I arrived at Fox just before 11. Ms. DeCorte was not working today and it was a slow news day, like most Mondays apparently. Not content to sit in the newsroom all day, I went upstairs to the master control room and introduced myself to the people working there and hung out for the day. I met Debbie, a broadcast engineer with about 20 years at WVUE. I was here last week for a few hours but I didn’t actually learn much as all the equipment is a bit overwhelming at first.Debbie was kind enough to show me Florical Airboss, software which controls the programming and commercials. Generally speaking it’s programmed a day in advance so a lot of the work that the master controllers handle is for future broadcasts, although that changes when they are showing live events like Saints games. After two o’clock, Debbie’s shift was over and Rob, who I met last week, arrived to take over. He showed me a few other things although there wasn’t much going on in relation to the programming on screen. There were a couple guys huddled over a screen working on a problem after upgrading Avid Deko, software used for “bugs” in the corner of the screen.I stayed through the newscast at six. Although I knew Airboss was configured well in advance, I was still surprised to see that absolutely no intervention was needed in Master Control throughout the hour-long live broadcast. Control of commercial breaks is diverted to the director during the news. The news appeared to go pretty smoothly, at least from my seat. I left for the day at six.We had red beans for dinner, quite good. I don’t recall wasting the rest of the evening in any unusual way.

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