I'm an AP (Associate Producer) at Gainesville's local ABC affiliate, WCJB TV 20 News. My job includes cutting and editing video, and exporting it to the correct slot in the producer's rundown. Basically, whatever video you see, (other than the anchors on set), I put into the cast. I can AP the noon and 11:00 PM shows with my eyes closed. The 5:30/6, not so much...
It was chaos. If it wasn't for one amazing producer saving my butt, there would've been a lot of black. There's just so much more video to cut in the 5:30. On top of that, I have to create the teases at the top of each show. I was cutting video from CNS tapes, Pathfire, and our station's photographers. It was craziness. I single handedly disrupted the entire 5:30 show.
The AP usually runs prompter for the show they work... I was so busy getting last-minute video into the cast, the producer for the 11 had to do my job and run prompter. I walked into the control room during the 6. I picked up prompter, (the 11:00 producer didn't look too happy).
During a commercial break, I apologized to my producer, reminding him it was my first time working the 5:30/6. He turns to me and says, "Yea, its a beast."
So what did I learn today? The 5:30/6:00 PM show is a beast... and television news broadcasting is a visual medium; if you have the responsibility of producing the majority of the visuals, GET TO WORK RIGHT AWAY, and most importantly, DO NOT call your mother.