• Find Your Focus During Tough Weathercasts

    Good weathercasts are all about focus. Unlike news anchors, broadcast meteorologists don’t usually read off of the tele-prompter. Instead they ad-lib, creating their script in their mind as they go, based on the forecast story they’d like to tell. Without focus, the connection between the mind and the mouth break down and you are left with nothing to fall back on except your graphics. Broadcast meteorologists who are great at what they do have a good plan before every show, and are able to confidently ad-lib everything they had prepared on live television.

    Too often, distractions steal our focus. Things go wrong. We aren’t feeling ourselves or the situation just gets a little out of control. These are the times when we need to find our focus and land the plane without the landing gear. When you are able to keep your focus, you avoid turning a tough weathercast into a total disaster. Here are a couple of tips that might keep you on track:

    Have a game plan. You can’t expect to get up in front of the camera and wing a good weathercast. Always have your important points outlined and have clicked through your show from start to finish before the show starts. You never know who has been messing with your graphics. Creating a plan before every show will allow you to focus better during the broadcast in the case that something unexpected happens.

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  • Mastering The Early Morning Routine: Gary Sadowsky

    There are no good shifts in local television news but among the worst, I’d say that the morning shift has to be the hardest. I’ve only had to fill-in for a week of mornings here and there, and I can tell you that by Thursday and Friday, my brain is pretty much mush. Its a change in lifestyle, and it can be a big adjustment for any broadcast meteorologist making that transition. I spoke with WCAX morning meteorologist Gary Sadowsky to shed some light on waking up well before dawn, and give us a perspective on the early morning routine.

    What’s your daily routine like?

    Alarm goes off at 2 AM.  Earlier in the winter.  Eat breakfast while zipping through recording of 11 PM news from the night before to get an idea of what the weather/news has in store for the morning broadcast.  Minimizes any surprises. Get to work by 4 AM (should be earlier, but I’ve got the routine down so I can do it in my sleep).  Look at all the model data, NWS forecast/discussion, do forecast, make the pertinent graphics, quick make-up session, and on the air at 5 AM sharp. 4 half-hour shows in a row (morning viewers are fluid – different people watch at different times, usually for about 10 minutes while they get ready for work/school).  5 weather “hits” per ½-hour show, so you never go too long without giving a forecast.

    During those shows, I constantly run back to the weather center to check for updated conditions/watches/warnings, etc. and change the necessary graphics. Also check e-mail, phone messages and Facebook for viewer reports/comments and use pertinent information from viewers on the air. At 7 AM, network takes over bulk of broadcasting. We do 4-minute cut-ins at 7:25, 7:55, 8:25 and 8:55. During the off-air times between 7-9 AM, I update our website forecast, record the weather phone, Tweet, and Facebook. 9 AM – break time!  I live 20 minutes away, so I go home and take a nap.

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