WBT's position on Radio Row at the DNC is set up ready for business. Below are some thoughts in the Program Director's Blog:
Saturday afternoon, security around Time Warner Cable Arena was as relaxed as it's going to be for a while. As has been the case since August 17th DNC staffers, volunteers and members of the media, had access to the work spaces they will inhabit over the coming week this weekend to get equipment set up, tested and dressed up for the three day showcase of the Democratic Party. WBT's Chief Engineer Jerry Dowd, Assistant Chief Ron Tollison and I secured our pre-credentials from our network partner CBS Radio News, located our assigned work space in the lobby of TWC Arena and set up our Radio Row position. Ron and I are veterans of conventions in years past, but this one is different in two ways: all of WBT shows will broadcast from radio row this week and the convention is right here in our home town. WBT usually sends only its afternoon show to political conventions, as we did in 2004 in NYC and Boston, and in 2008 in Denver and Saint Paul.
We've seen the security much tighter at other conventions and it will get that way once Tuesday gets closer. What's interesting about watching the logistics end of a convention is how media technicians operate on such a grand scale. And how many of them snap a quick photo of something cool, something historic, something that the world will be seeing over the next week. A posted a couple in the DNC photo album myself. I must say the stage and video boards set up is most impressive when seen in person and it's unlikely photos nor TV will do them justice. Months ago when WBT Newsman Chris Miller and I attended the media walk through with DNC officials, some of the veteran reporters whispered that "...this arena is small, they'll never get all of the delegates on the floor". And it turns out they were right. There are only a couple of state delegation seats actually on the floor of the arena, North Carolina is up front and to the right. Illinois is up front and to the left. No suprises there. But most other state delegations are assigned to seating within the lower bowl, leaving the suite level and upper deck seating for media positions and other guests.
Our WBT hosts are really excited about the coming week of broadcasts. All four local weekday shows will originate from Radio Row in the lobby of TWC Arena. My experience with Radio Rows in the past is that it's action-packed, and quite the circus. Big name politicians will move through quickly with their handlers...some radio shows might get an interview, most won't. And then there are the celebrities with a cause, and the advocates, activists and outright protesters with a cause that also find their way down to the rows of tables containing talk and news radio shows from across the country.
Tuesday through Thursday mornings, Bo Thompson and Stacey Simms start the day on Charlotte's Morning News from the convention at 5am. Keith Larson will follow at 9am, Rush stayed in Floriday...he didn't make the trip. (He never comes to conventions anyway, he doesn't like the attention. No really, he doesn't) Brad & Britt and Hancock will also be on radio row for their broadcasts Tuesday and Wednesday. Special guests and segments have been booked and work on putting together all of these shows will continue right up to airtime each day. You're not going to want to miss a moment.
Stay tuned all week, you'll want to catch it all. And stop by this space daily to see what all of the hosts and news reporters are encountering during the largest political event to come to the state of North Carolina.