Monday, August 22, 2011

Zip Tripping in Hanover

By: Jaclyn Deshowitz

As my summer internship at FOX 25 WFXT neared its end, I decided to attend one last Zip Trip with the morning show crew. Not only have Zip Trips proven to be a ratings booster for the station, but they have also shown me how much support the viewers have for the show. I enjoy being able to take part in these events with the station, and I feel very fortunate to have attended both the Yarmouth and Hanover trips. Zip trips help highlight the good things that are out there in the world, and if only for a few hours, viewers are treated with a broadcast full of positivity.

We arrived on set around 6 AM, and already the crowds were beginning to form in Hanover. Though the weather was hot and humid, the fans did not let that stop them from attending and keeping in high spirits. As usual, we had our sponsors there providing fans with coffee, munchkins and t-shirts, and even some early morning ice cream delights! It was great to be surrounded by people who were in high spirits, and right from the start, we were off to a great show.

As the morning show continued, we had our usual Zip trip mini-pieces prepared, and all were carried out smoothly. Guests arrived on time, and there were no monkey wrenches thrown into the production of the segments. There was however, and impromptu guest who was lucky enough to make an appearance on the show. About an hour after we began filming, a teenager approached me claiming that he was a magician and he could bring some great tricks to the show. I asked him to do a trick for me to ensure his legitimacy, and I must admit that I was impressed! I thought there was a good chance they would want him to demonstrate his talents on air, so I decided to approach the producer and ask if this was something that we could put together. The producer was skeptical as well, so she asked to see the tricks that he had to offer. It turned out that she was just as impressed as I was, and she found a free slot to give him some air time. His card tricks were a hit on the set, but more importantly I could tell how much this meant to him on a personal level. He was young and trying to promote his talent, and I found his determination and eagerness to be very notable qualities for such a young person to have. He looked so overjoyed to have been able to take part in the show, and I was happy to have helped make that happen.

Throughout the day, I acted as somewhat of a liaison between guests that we had scheduled and the producers. It was my task to keep track of the time and make sure that the guests were setting up in the right areas, had microphones, and had all their necessary materials to speak. It was a challenge to pick people out among our large crowd of fans, but overall I think I completed my tasks successfully. It is so important to keep track of the guests, because it is ultimately because of them that our Zip Trips are so popular. People love seeing others from their town highlight what makes their home unique, so needless to say, they are crucial to the show.

As expected for the Zip Trips, we have a segment towards the end of the show entitled "Good Eats". During this time, we allow local restaurants to strut their stuff, and show the viewers why their food is the best around. Hanover certainly did not disappoint, and the fans were presented with everything from gourmet whoopie pies to piping hot pepperoni pizzas. Everything looked delectable, and I was secretly hoping that these restaurants would let the hungry, hard working staff take a stab at the leftover scraps! Lucky for me, the staff table was literally bombarded with food at the end of the show. We had piles upon piles of cookies, pastries, and brownies at our disposal, but my personal favorite was the pasta salad and sandwich spread given to us by one the deli's. As a bit of a health nut, I opted for the spinach wrap filled with turkey, tomato, and fresh avocado,so I did not feel terribly guilty about that. However, once I was greeted with the pasta salad which was smothered with fresh veggies and feta cheese,I simply could not say no. It made for an irresistible dish, even for the most carb-conscious of dieters.

As I sit here writing and reflecting on my summer, I realize how truly lucky I was to have such a unique opportunity to learn about the business of news production, and all that goes into it behind the scenes. My co-workers were all extremely knowledgeable and they were always willing to explain things to me, which I greatly appreciated. Though I am sad that this is all coming to an end, I am excited to start the next chapter of my life. I question whether or not my path in life will lead me back to the wacky world of news, because as of now, I am not entirely sure if it will. Life has a tendency to be unpredictable, so I feel as though my best option is to see where it takes me rather then creating a strict, regimented plan for myself to follow as soon as a degree is placed in my hands—that would be unrealistic. So, for the time being, I plan on enjoying my last semester of my undergraduate career, but perhaps one day in the future, the road will once again lead me to 25 Fox Drive.

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