(From Gretchen Berg, TODAY Associate Producer)
At TODAY, on a daily basis, we get the chance to meet a wide variety of people: authors, chefs, celebrities, professionals of every kind, achievers of all sorts and ordinary people doing extraordinary things. In my time at TODAY (now going on eight years) I've booked or interviewed survivors, terror witnesses, police chiefs, zookeepers, a Super Bowl championship coach, and even a few Red Sox players the morning after they won the World Series. We work closely with all sorts: moms helping moms, doctors helping people, psychiatrists boosting confidence...the list goes on and on.
When Pat Weaver created TODAY back in 1952, the idea behind the show was to be "a window on the world" for our audience; we get to work on what interesting happenings are going on today. Let's just say that if it's not interesting, we're not talking about it. That's what makes our jobs so intriguing. With each segment we put together, we get a mini-education on everything from blanching basil to conquering financial angst. Then we write up research for Matt, Meredith, Al, Ann or Natalie. There just isn't enough time in the day for them to do everything so we help them where we can, then they add their own curiosities and concerns.
Two weeks ago, I produced a segment with Melanie Bloom about DVT, or deep vein thrombosis. NBC’s David Bloom, as you probably know, passed away after suffering a pulmonary embolism while covering the war in Iraq for NBC News. It will be four years ago this April that we lost him. Our goal for the segment was to get the word out on how to prevent DVT and to make sure people know the symptoms. Coincidentally, Vice President Cheney recently had a DVT, so we were sure to include his condition in the discussion.
That same week, I worked with Shira Boss, author of "Green with Envy" to give advice on financial happiness and getting over your competition with the Joneses as well as the idea that money seems to be one of the last taboos; these days, we openly talk about everything else. Shira Boss says that 4 out of 5 people claim their finances are causing them stress at home. Did you know that the average debt per household in the U.S. is $8,250? Shira encourages living within your means and realizing that the Joneses are probably in debt.
Finally, I recently worked on a cooking segment for the Sonoma Diet (WATCH VIDEO) and another segment on prescription confusion. (WATCH VIDEO) For each cooking segment, we talk to the chef and figure out which recipe will demonstrate a little-known trick or a new way of cooking something. Then we talk to our food stylist, Bianca Henry, to determine what's needed for the segment and we all meet the evening before a segment to set up the table and go over all the details. As for prescription confusion, did you know that grapefruit juice and heart medicine could be a toxic combination?