Thursday, January 22, 2009

Inauguration Week

Inauguration Day- Travis in the control room

post-Inauguration Day

Mindy at FOX News on roof near Capitol Building

President Bush flying out

Covering the Inauguration of President Barack Obama
Our Inauguration week actually kicked off the week before!
On that Saturday night, Travis had to go into work for several hours to cover Obama coming into Washington via train. We decided to make a day of it and went to DC early to sightsee. We went to the National mall and saw all the media setting up. Huge jumbo-trons were being built along the sidewalks and crowds of people were already milling around. We went to the Smithsonian's American History museum to see the special Inauguration Day displays. They had a walk-thru display for Abraham Lincoln and another for the Office of the Presidency. While in line, we saw Bon Jovi getting his own personal tour! He was our only celebrity sighting of the week (other than media folks like Matt Lauer and Ann Curry!) We bought a few official Inauguration souvenires, including a lapel pin for Travis and an Obama family coloring book for Mindy's shadow box.
The toughest part of our work week started early Monday morning when both our alarms went off at just after midnight. Mindy was booked to field produce for FOX News Mon.- Wed. and Travis had several crews to man for Tribune Broadcasting. That Monday, both of us were super busy doing liveshots and preparing for Inauguration Day. There were a lot of technical problems to sort thru and both of us were exhausted long before Inauguration Day actually started. That night, Mindy spent the night at FOX News and slept on the floor of an empty closet. She was worried that if she went home to sleep, the road closures would become a problem on Tuesday to get back to work. Travis did go home, but since he had to be back at midnight he was ok getting back to DC.
On Tuesday, Travis started work at midnight that morning while Mindy got up around 1am. Travis was in charge of producing for two separate reporters. One was on the Inauguration stands and the other on the National mall. Their job was to do liveshots for 10 hours for all the Tribune owned tv stations across the country starting at 5am. Mindy's job was very similar. She was assigned to a reporter/photographer team up on the roof of FOX News. They started doing liveshots at 5am as well, with a view of the Capitol Building in the background. It was a busy day and we were both jealous of those who could spend the day just watching all the coverage. For Travis, he says the highlight was just being a part of the hub bub in DC. For Mindy, it was when she witnessed President Bush fly out in his helicopter and right over her head!
On Wednesday, it was back to the grind with our alarms going off at 1am again. We both covered President Obama's first full day of office, starting with details from the Inauguration balls, the early morning church service, and the President swearing in his new staff.
We loved being a small part of this week's Inauguration coverage. Although we would have loved to have been on the National Mall personally, we both realize we had a unique experience of the historic moment. We hope to some day be able to tell our own children that we were there when President Obama became our 44th president!