Timing Is Everything: Or, as one of my favorite TV characters, Maxwell Smart, used to say: “Missed it by THAT MUCH!”.
Earlier this week, I told the tale of how Equity Office Properties shareholders voted to approve a takeover bid by Blackstone Group - with the news breaking just seconds before an already-scheduled hit on that subject by reporter David Faber. In that piece, I concluded it was better to be lucky than good.
Today, we had just the opposite happen. In our 1 pm headlines, anchor Darby Dunn told the story of how US AirwaysCEO Doug Parker was awaiting the results of a blood alcohol test, after being arrested last week on suspicion of drunk driving.
Not 10 seconds after Darby had finished her headline segment, a release from US Airways came out, containing the news that Parker had indeed been legally drunk, and also contained an apology.
We did put the news up in a deko, but I admit to throwing my hands in the air and telling my colleagues “If only that had happened about 30 seconds earlier .. !”. We were good, but we weren’t lucky.
Bye, Bye Bies: Then again, we did have a case of a story that broke at the perfect time, and was handled expertly by “Morning Call” Anchors Liz Claman and Mark Haines.
Less than one minute before 10 am, we received a faxed release from the Federal Reserve containing the resignation of Fed Governor Susan Bies. Obviously, it was a big story and worthy of immediate inclusion.
With the top of “Morning Call” coming up, we had to act fast. And we did. Producers Chip Aiken and Rich Fisherman briefed the anchors on the story, while I wrote dekos to explain the story, printed out a copy of the resignation letter, and rushed it up to the anchor set.
The story, which hadn’t existed a minute before the show started, led our 10 am hour, and was made even more dramatic when Liz held up the letter before the camera while talking about the story. Sometimes, not having a plan works out far better!