These past two weeks after my web internship have been even more of an eye opener. Last week I interned in production and this week in sales. Before exploring these two departments, I was oblivious to how they collaborate. In production, the news station is trying to sell the product, also known as WAVY 10 News. I did not understand this concept until working in sales. To make this collaborative effort make sense, let me begin describing my production experience.
Taking place in the control room, my first day I shadowed Reba Bloom who was directing the 11:00PM newscast. I also got to meet Jim Falvey who directed the 10PM. Reba taught me how to mark up a rundown, meaning marking cues for during the show. She also explained all the different televisions in the control room, there are plenty! Reba stressed that her key role in the control room was to be the big picture person and execute the rundown, which is made throughout the day by producers, graphic designers and reporters.
My second day I was in the audio room. Here, I learned how to mark the rundown for audio means, which entails marking different cues similar to what I did with the director. I also learned the audio sound board and executed the weather music! The night included changing out batteries for microphones for the anchors, turning microphones on and off during a show, and changing the volume of the show depending on who was speaking. I previously had no idea that audio was controlled on-air.
Wednesday was my teleprompt day. I learned that subtitles come from the teleprompt. In the control room, I had the chance to both shadow and actually work the teleprompt for Tom Schaad. After the show, I was fortunate enough to have the chance to actually read the teleprompt at the anchor desk!
Next, on Thursday, I learned how to read the rundown in the graphics department. There is much preparation that goes on throughout the day with creating backgrounds and making the newscasts look eye-catching. Using multiple televisions, I learned that different software programs on the computer channel through the different televisions for organization purposes. There is also a creative side to creating the different backgrounds in order to display the stories in its truest form.
Last, on Friday I learned how to work the cameras in the recording room. It was neat to see the anchors at work while learning the different cameras and how the cameras can be robotically moved around. I learned terms such as MCU (middle close up), and OTS (over the shoulder graphic). By the end of the week, production came full circle to me. Everyone depended on everyone while on-air. The producers gave the director the information, the camera man is responsible for getting the right shots for the graphic animations people to place templates and words by the head of the correct anchor speaking, the teleprompter kept track of the right time for the anchors to talk about a story, the audio person made sure these stories were not too loud or quiet for the home audience. It was pure production.
All of this was displayed on the rundown in simple cues! Every key person in the control room had to read the rundown differently, which fascinated me. Also the thought of a control room sounds stressful, but to my surprise everyone was laid back. Furthermore, the control room staff had been working together for years and it was a great team to be around. The most important rule of the control room is to be alert.
As I mentioned in the beginning, WAVY 10 is a product. I worked in sales this last week and greatly enjoyed working with Christina Close, Research Director. At first I felt intimidated with sales because I am not a business major; however Christina, also an English major, reassured me that there is more logic than math in the sales department. Our first day, Christina gave me an orientation of the potential clients the sales department works with and the goals behind the department. I increased my knowledge understanding the WAVY and WVBT dayparts and HUTs (number of households watching television), shares (percent of HUT), ratings (viewers), and PUTS (people using television). After I learned the basics the first day, I gradually felt part of the office working on projects, attending meetings, and understanding how negotiations work with advertising companies.
On Tuesday, I worked on filling out rating percentages on Microsoft Excel sheets. Working with Neilson, a company that measures data and sells it to Lin Media, I realized while working, you draw conclusions from your percentages and outcomes. I also created graphs to show why WAVY is market worthy. The work was greatly rewarding.
On Wednesday, I cold called local restaurants, asking them if they would like to advertise their restaurant on the Hampton Roads Show by having a cooking segment. After, I was lucky to be interning the week of SWOT. The meeting consisted of looking at ratings and potential new shows for the fall. New shows mean that new potential advertising companies will be interested in negotiating commercial time with WAVY 10. This is where demographics are used. For example, a male schewed advertisement would be beneficial to a football program. Therefore, the sales representatives keep their eyes peeled for male company clients. The meeting showed the success of the sales team, the weaknesses, the opportunities, and the estimates. After the meeting, I began researching ways to promote Toyota.
On Thursday, I attended an Advertising Federation of Hampton Roads luncheon at McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood in Virginia Beach. Having Toyota in mind, I listened to the key speaker, Roger Phelps, Promotional Communications Manager for STIHL Inc. on how to better work with clients during business marketing negotiations. Phelps supported the “Independent We Stand” campaign throughout is spectacular presentation. Supporting local businesses, he explained how to make connections with local businesses and keep a relationship with them as a client. The luncheon gave me a new view on marketing, sell what your company stands for.
Today I attended two meetings, one discussing web performance and another promoting the product of a company. Also, I finished a PowerPoint project with Christina that was meant for sales representatives to show potential clients. This PowerPoint included why the client should partner with WAVY 10 by means of graphs and statistics found in the SWOT. Also, I looked at the ratings from Fourth of July last year with Christina. I had many questions today about supply and demand and Christina answered them perfectly. I feel like I am meshing with sales, but now I change to a new exciting internship with the Hampton Roads Show net week!