Standby. In three, two, one. This just in! Students at the University of Mount Union take on the news set at Fox 8. On Tuesday, November 19, Mount Union’s Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) group traveled to Cleveland, Ohio to visit Fox 8 News.
As a member of PRSSA, I was extremely excited for the trip. While waking up at 6 a.m. was not ideal, it was absolutely worth it. When arriving at the station, we were guided straight into the news room, where anchors Kristi Capel, Wayne Dawson and Mount Union alumna Stefani Schaefer ’93 were on air for Fox 8 News in the Morning.
We were all giddy with excitement as numerous cameras (without operators might I add) were zooming around, the “On Air” light was flashing red, a green screen was getting set up in the corner and the anchors were smiling and following teleprompters in front of them.
I was amazed at how the anchors were all business one second and as soon as a commercial break hit, they would pull out their phones to text, spoons to hurriedly eat breakfast, or mirrors to make sure no crumbs were left behind. Then came, “Stand by. In three, two, one,” and in a flash the phones, dishes and mirrors disappeared. Schaefer told us later on that broadcasting has become a second nature to her, which is why she is able to text one minute and report breaking news the next.
During a commercial break, Schaefer ran over in her shiny, gold heels and told us to follow. We flew through the station and into the control room as she ran quickly back, just in time as the on air countdown began. It was so cool to see “behind the scenes” of “behind the scenes.” The control room calls all the shots. The producer decided on music selections, news stories and screen shots right on the spot. While I was nervous that there would not be enough time, the Fox 8 staff was cool, calm and collected the whole way through.
At the end of Fox 8 News in the Morning, us PRSSA students, along with our advisor Professor Harry Paidas, gathered behind the anchors as they sported Mount Union baseball caps and gave us a shout out on air! Yes, I was on the news for a whole minute. Yes, I waved and smiled. Yes, I’m a celebrity now! Don’t worry, I’ll sign autographs.
After Fox 8 News in the Morning, Schaefer gave us a tour of the station. We got to “kick it with Kenny” (reporter Kenny Crumpton), see the weather reporting station and the location where cooking segments are shot.
The Fox 8 News staff was extremely kind and provided us with an amazing opportunity. We are so thankful we had the chance to see this exciting side of communication and, as Mount Union students, are proud to call sparkly, optimistic Schaefer one of our own.
While our morning was a whirlwind of excitement, our day was not complete. That afternoon, our group visited Fahlgren Mortine, an independent marketing and communication agency. Check back for the second half of our trip!
Would you like to get involved in the world of broadcasting? What is your dream career? Leave your comments below!