(From Erin Reynolds, TODAY Unit Manager)
I should have known that the morning wasn't going to be exactly perfect after I was too late to make my routine stop for coffee on the way in. As the unit manager on duty this morning, my main concern is making sure all of our remotes go on the air without a hitch. The challenge of the day...Ann Curry live from Sudan. Everyday we have several live shots, could be anywhere across the globe. However, its not everyday we have one of our own live from such a remote location, not to mention from a region that is in the midst of a humanitarian crisis. Something told me Tim Russert's live shot from Washington, DC wouldn't be as difficult.
Between our team of technical experts on the ground with Ann and our support system at NBC Satellite Operations here in the states..what could possibly go wrong? After all, they are the best in the business! Pick a place, any place..our folks have gotten us on the air from there! So, we wait...6:30am, still no picture from Sudan...6:45am, still nothing. Either it's really dark there, OR, there is nothing but black coming across the satellite signal. Five minutes to airtime...we make the decision to have Ann call into the show from a satellite phone so at least we can talk to her. Still keeping my eye on the satellite feed, in hopes we will see her picture, Matt tosses to Ann live on the phone. Just as they are talking..LIVE PICTURE! Oh wait..something's weird..Ann's not moving..the picture is there, but it's frozen! Being the professional that she is, Ann handled the situation like a trooper and gave us a detailed explanation of what she had experienced being in the region. We had unbelievable video that Ann and her team had shot earlier in the day. We played the video as Ann was speaking with Matt and it was compelling. WATCH VIDEO It's really the pictures that tell the story. In the four years I have been sitting in this chair, once or twice we have lost a remote. MOST days, perfection..but sometimes we need a little drama to keep us on our toes.