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.

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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