(From Jim Wilson, TODAY News Producer)
We've all heard about what a sleep-deprived country this is. Well, I think I speak for all the overnight folks at the Today Show when I say that sleep here is an obsession.
There is never enough of it. Never.
As Today News Producer for almost 20 years now, my day starts in Studio 1A at 1 a.m. If you think TV is glamorous, trust me, there is nothing glamorous about one o'clock in the morning! That means "nighttime" for me starts at 3:00 in the afternoon, with room-darkening shades and the best earplugs I can find, while the dogs bark and the phone rings and busy "daytime" activity fills the house. For me, the dreaded alarm clock goes off at 10:45 at night! That's my "normal" life, and somehow my wife and I have been happily married for close to 30 years. That says more about my wife than it says about me. She is great. It takes a lot of support, understanding and patience to deal with my upside-down life.
Not that I'm complaining. I'm not.
I love what I do, and I love where I do it. I like finding out what's happening in the world before anyone else knows, and deciding what stories make it into our newscasts. My favorite stories are the ones that inspire, the ones that empower people, the ones that affect your health, your heart and your pocketbook.
At the end of every newscast I ask myself, "If I were a viewer, did I just learn anything?" I'd better answer "yes", or I haven't done my job. I feel as though I'm in a place where I can make a difference in people's lives, and that's a good feeling. I'm sure I'll have more about that in a blog somewhere down the road.
Meantime, if you have the luxury of sleeping at night, enjoy it. That's when the overnight crew is working at full speed, so that Today will be there for you when you wake up tomorrow.