Rain Rain Go Away

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The heavy rain that hit the New York region today devastated many commuters (myself included) but it also had an unfortunate impact on the network news operations. Fox News, which has their studios below ground level at the News Corp. building in Midtown Manhattan, saw their newsroom flooded.

Then there was CBS’ Early Show, which had a very very bad day… and managed to salvage it, at least according to this report:

"You don’t need to remind the staff of CBS News’ THE EARLY SHOW of the adage, “When it rains, it pours.”  They experienced it, both literally and figuratively, early this morning (8) when torrential rains and flash flooding in the New York area took a toll on the GM Building in New York City (59th Street and Fifth Avenue), the site of the broadcast’s set, control room and newsroom.  

At approximately 6:20 AM, ET, it began raining inside THE EARLY  SHOW’s studio and newsroom.  Quick thinking and impeccable execution enabled the staff to move the entire broadcast about a half-mile west to the CBS Broadcast Center on the far west side of mid-town Manhattan.  Michael Bass, the senior executive producer of THE EARLY SHOW; anchors Harry Smith and Hannah Storm; SATURDAY EARLY SHOW anchor Maggie Rodriguez; weather reporter Dave Price; the director; producers; technicians; guests; contributors and other staff all took taxis and cars west, arriving at the Broadcast Center just 20 minutes before 7:00 AM, ET, when the live, two-hour program begins. 

There were some unique challenges for the staff:  home improvement contributor Danny Lipford, scheduled to do a segment on fences, had to have his props quickly loaded into a truck to move them to the Broadcast Center.  Six models participating in a fashion show crowded into taxis for the trek west, and New York Knicks All-Star Stephon Marbury, scheduled to talk about his low-price line of basketball shoes, had to change from sweats into a suit in a hallway at the Broadcast Center – which he did with good humor.  In the end, the broadcast went live for two hours without a hitch, but it’s a day none of the staff will ever forget.  

As Steve Friedman, Vice President, Morning Broadcasts, CBS News, quipped, ‘Did you ever think you’d see a fashion show on the set of the CBS EVENING NEWS?’"

Quick thinking and some taxis saved the day. They were lucky, I had to walk.

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