(From Tory Duncan, TODAY Producer Washington, D.C.)
I am a producer for the show based in Washington, D.C. I write lots of live segments and cut tape spots based on news of the day -- from the war in Iraq, to wranglings in Washington, to presidential politics. My responsibilities also include being on hand in our D.C. control room every other week. That control room -- f control -- serves as the funnel for D.C.-based interviews and correspondents.
Coming into the bureau at 530am on those days, I double-check the rundown and make sure things haven't changed from the night before. I check in with our correspondents who will be on the air from Washington that day -- such as Chief White House Correspondent David Gregory, Justice Department Correspondent Pete Williams and Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent Andrea Mitchell. I go over logistics with them, such as their hit time into the show and checking their roll cue for their tape.
As this is live television, things can change on a dime, and we have to be able to react to it. For instance, sometimes we need to make last-minute changes in an already-cut tape spot. In February, Vice President Cheney was in Afghanistan at Bagram, the main U.S. air base there. A suicide bomber, purportedly a member of the Taliban, detonated explosives just outside the base's gates. That meant we had to make a change to the top of David Gregory’s tape spot to include this breaking news -- which meant checking wires and official information, writing new lines of track and monitoring new video from Afghanistan. My editor and I sat in our edit room and took in David’s track, which was fed in from his location on the white house north lawn. My editor and I made the changes and the new spot aired. All this happened in the hour prior to air at 7am.
This Sunday, the rhythm is different. I am beginning my five-day "night writer" shift, which means I come to the office later in the day to write late segments for the next day's show. One of those segments is about the latest gas price news, a feature we call "Today at the Pump." We get our information from an organization called "Lundberg Survey Incorporated" -- an independent market research company offering local and national coverage of fuel prices, among other things.
As soon as Lundberg releases those figures, I will write up a note for David Gregory [who is filling in for Matt on Monday]. You can check out our story here,