(From Steve Thode, TODAY Senior Overnight Producer)
I am not a morning person and, given the choice, I'd like to be asleep at 7:00am each day. So, what am I doing working at the TODAY show? Good question.
The short answer is that I am the Senior Overnight Producer at TODAY. I've been here for 4 years and it's still hard to explain to people how you can work at a morning TV show when you go into work at 6:30 at night and get home at 6:00am--an hour before the show goes on the air. My job is to make sure that everything's ready for air each morning.
Each day, when the show goes off the air at 10:00am, the people who work during the day meet to map out a plan for the next morning's show. Some of the segments will have been planned weeks and days in advance; others are conceived and executed that day. As the day develops, they'll plan the stories and lay them out in what's called the show's rundown--a map of how the show will proceed.
By the time I get in each evening, plans for the next morning's broadcast are well underway. For me, it's like jumping on a moving carousel as scripts are coming in for the various "day-of-news" stories. Overnight, I work with producers at our NBC bureaus throughout the country as they feed in their stories. All along the way, the people on the overnight are looking for news stories--and then lining them up for possible air in the morning. On this overnight, for example, we got word of a terrible fire in the Bronx, killing 9 people, 8 of them children. Working with our news producer, Jim Wilson, and Kate Delena, on the News Assignment desk, we have made sure that an NBC correspondent, Rehema Ellis, is in place and ready to report on this story for TODAY beginning at 7am--with a production crew and remote truck in place with her.
Every overnight's different--and you never know when things are going to change. When the overnight's over, it's time for TODAY--and time for me to go to sleep.
Thank you and good night.