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A glimpse behind the scenes of 69 News

By John Craven, Reporter, JCraven@wfmz.com
Published On: Feb 11 2013 06:00:00 PM CST
Updated On: Feb 13 2013 07:39:36 AM CST

Every day, you see us bringing you the news.

Every day you see us bringing you the news, but have you ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes at 69 News?  Here's a behind a scenes tour of WFMZ.

The news day begins early.

“Hi Samantha, it's Fred Cilurso calling from Channel 69 News."

Before 9 a.m., assignment editor Fred Cilurso is already calling on potential stories.

“I wanted to see if you or somebody from your office might be available to talk to us today.”

He's also getting the agenda ready for the morning editorial meeting, where reporters, photographers, and producers all decide which stories you'll see on tonight's news.

“We're looking at a combination of news that we feel people need to know," said WFMZ news director Brad Rinehart.  "And we're also looking at news that we think people may want to know about."

Longtime reporter Jaccii Farris has her assignment for the day.

"Basically today we're catching up with the folks at the Pocono Dome," she said.  "When we were there last, it had a dirt floor and they had put up the shells.  And now it's huge."

As Jaccii and her photographer head up to the Poconos, other crews are heading out as well.

While the noon news is on, night shift reporter Catherine Hawley is getting her marching orders.

"We are doing a story about Bethlehem recently being featured on Zagat's 20 Awesome Winter Foodie destinations," she said.

It's a hectic day.

"It's non-stop," said Hawley.

She will have to get three interviews and weave them together into two full-length stories -- in just two hours.

"Every single day you are working on a deadline," said Hawley.  "We'll probably go over to where our live shot is going to be on Main Street in Bethlehem.  We'll load up all the video into the laptop and then I will start logging all the sound, which is basically me listening to the interviews and typing out all of the sound bites that I like."

While Hawley is writing, photojournalist Lee Jenkins must set up her live remote.  Lee raises a tall mast over surrounding buildings to beam a signal back to the station.  He has to aim the dish just right or the station can't see his signal.

With the signal now set, Hawley is ready to record the voiceover for her story.

"3, 2... Vail, Montreal, the Caribbean -- and Bethlehem," she reads aloud.

Jenkins edits together the finished product, feeds the story back to the station, and Catherine Hawley is in your living room.

Of course, a lot of people want to know what goes on inside the station to put a newscast together.  Thursday on 69 News at 5, we'll take you into the control room to see how it all comes together.