Dispatches from the Control Room – November 9

The NBC5 brass had an idea. “Let’s create a blog,” they said. “One written by a guy our viewers have never met and don’t care about.”

Welcome to that blog.

I’m Ben Bowman, producer of the 4:30 a.m. News. Try waking up early or staying up late so you can see my work. Or TiVo it. Or just watch the 5 or 6 a.m. newscasts. We pretty much use the same stories all morning.

Why did I get into this business? The women and the money. Little did I know, I would get neither. Instead, I got the best time slot in the business. We run a swingin‘ little show seen by a swingin‘ little audience.

Earlier this year, I ran “Barely Today with Bruce Wolf.” When we got canceled, there was a huge outcry from our fans. Both of them.

Every so often, you’ll be able to read my sleep-deprived thoughts on this here page. Bookmark it. Love it. Share it.

Enough prologue.

* This is the end of “Going Green” week at NBC. We spent five days telling you to save the planet. I hope you’ve done your part. If not, your NBC-watching privileges will be suspended.

* Today we had a story about a Texan who set the world record for spending 45 minutes in a bathtub full of rattlesnakes. To end the story, I wrote, “There’s a lawyer joke in there somewhere, we just can’t put our finger on it.” The anchor wouldn’t read that. This will be a recurring theme in this blog.

* If this blog doesn’t trigger a 400 percent ratings increase, I will be horribly discouraged.

* Our executive producer sprang for pizza for the newsroom today. I would now take a bullet for that woman.

* Full disclosure: I grew up in Michigan, so I am filled with woe that my Pistons lost to your Bulls last night. I take solace in the Lions’ two victories over the Bears this year. Feel free to talk trash in the comments.

* Earlier this week, Ex-Governor George Ryan went to prison. At my last station, I once shook his hand and led him to the makeup room. I asked the makeup artist, “Are we ready for the former governor?”

She smiled at him and said, “You’ll always be my governor.”

Wonder if she still feels that way.

* Enough blogging for now. It’s my weekend. I’m gonna do something crazy, like sleep at night, or see this “sun” I’ve been hearing so much about.

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One response to “Dispatches from the Control Room – November 9

  1. Dearest WMAQ, Ben, and Dick:

    To WMAQ: This blog is a fantastic idea even though it is just one more lima bean on Ben’s plate that he needs to finish each day. I live in Las Vegas and I don’t even watch the program in question, however this blog and your website make me feel like I’m right back home in Chicago.

    To Ben: Kudos, sir. You are one talented young whippersnapper. Your humor and wit will be sadly missed when you are someday recruited by the WGA to write better striking signs.

    To Dick: Shame on you, sir. Your blog was a list of unsung heroes but it glaringly neglected Ben. What’s that? The list was intended for unsung GREEN heroes. Come on! With a strong Irish name like Bowman and that striking, woolly, red hair…I bet if he broke his leg lime Kool-Aid would come pouring out.

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