Thursday, May 8, 2014

My Day at the White House


On April 23rd my news director, Marybeth Jacoby, received an email from NASA stating that the 3rd National Climate Assessment would be released on Tuesday, May 6th.  She forwarded the email with a note “How can we make this BIG?”  I started thinking about how I would approach it.

I received a call from the White House just after our 7 p.m. newscast on Thursday, May 2nd.  It was Keith Maley, Regional Communications Director, and he was inviting me to the White House for the release of the 3rd National Climate Assessment.  I was being invited because of my work in educating viewers about how climate change was already affecting their lives and how it would impact them in the future.  WLTX-TV partnered with the Center for Climate Change Communication at George Mason University and Climate Central to develop a program called Climate Matters.

The segments began airing in August 2010 and were highly focused topics used within the weathercasts.  Typically these segments ran from 30 to 60 seconds not including anchor interaction.

I was delighted to be able to accept their invitation.  What an honor!  As you can imagine there was a lot a planning to do at the last minute.  There was a scramble to book flights and hotel for an event taking place on Tuesday, May 6th.  I also responded to Marybeth’s email “It doesn’t get much bigger than a presidential interview. Mission Accomplished!"

My producer, Sharranda Neal, and I flew out of Columbia, SC, Monday morning and arrived in Washington, D.C., mid-afternoon.  We hit the ground running trying to shoot stand-ups for the evening shows and the morning show the next day.  There were a host of technical issues we had to overcome, but we managed to get the job done.

We returned to the hotel quite tired and prepared for the next day that we knew would be hectic.  We were not disappointed.