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Behind the Scenes at WCTV

By: Jennifer Milton Email
By: Jennifer Milton Email

"There's so much that goes on behind the scenes that you could almost write a book about everything we do and the folks don't see at home," said WCTV anchor Lee Gordon.

There's never a dull moment here at WCTV. Phones ring off the hook,
reporters race to meet tight deadlines, and anchors deliver the day's top headlines in a live television broadcast.

But now, we're taking you behind the scenes of an exclusive WCTV story. From the morning meetings, to the very second it airs on your television screen, we'll show you how a concept becomes reality.

Reporters, producers and executives meet twice a day to discuss timely and important topics which will air during one of our 8 newscasts.

Viewers call and email us news tips, scanners alert us to breaking news, and reporters conduct research to come up with material for our shows.

WCTV has nearly 20 reporters on staff, and more than half of them are what are known in the biz as a "one-man-band".

"10 years ago, a reporter would go out with a photographer, they'd come back, they'd write their script, the photographer would edit it, but now, the reporter is the photographer. You come back, you write your own script, you edit your own video, then you got to post it to the web, then you got to put it on facebook," said Gordon.

Our cameras followed "one man band" reporter Jill Chandler as she found out what former FSU defensive coordinator Mickey Andrews is doing with his life since retiring from football.

"I heard people around town talking about you know, what are these coaches doing now, they coached for more than 30 years but what are they doing? That takes up so much of your life when you're a football coach and what is it like to have a normal life, to have time to spend with your family and friends and do other things,and that's how I came up with the idea of following Mickey Andrews and seeing what he's up to," said Chandler.

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While Chandler was out in the field, she set up her camera to interview Andrews and his grandson and filmed all of the video she'll need to put the pieces of her story together.

Later, she recorded her on-camera stand-ups and promotions for the story, which was designated to run on our 6 o'clock newscast.

While we filmed Chandler filming Andrews, he told us what it's like to be the other end of the camera...which has been nearly 150 times over the last 4 decades.

"It's been different you know, now that I've been retired, I don't do much of this anymore, but it's always neat to you know, just sit down and be able to talk with people," said Andrews.

Back at the station, Chandler reviews her material and begins writing her script and editing her video, letting her creativity take over and seeing her masterpiece unfold.

"You get to see a product from the very beginning, you get to interview everybody and see it all come together, all of the elements, the interview, the video, tracking your own voice, just seeing everything come together it's a lot of fun," said Chandler.

But, there's one more step Chandler needs to take before you see the finished product. Chandler's script must be reviewed by an anchor before she can complete the editing process.

"I always say my job is kind of like the dentist. You know, the dental hygienist comes in, does a lot of the dirty work and then the dentist comes in a makes sure everything is approved well and if there is a surgery or anything huge, that's where the dentist or the anchor comes in and is able to take over," said Gordon.

Lee Gordon may think of himself as a dentist, but how many dentists do you know who read the evening news?


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