Each Friday in “Meet AM,” we’ll introduce you to the people who get American Morning to air.
Today, we’d like you to meet Eric Brodsky. Eric is the technical production manager here at AM, also known as TPM. This means that he is the one who coordinates all the live shots you see on our show, whether it’s Candy Crowley reporting in the field, or a guest in our Washington studio. Eric’s been with us for four and a half years.
How did you end up doing what you do?
I worked at NBC for 3 years as a Production Manager booking studios and setting up remote locations. I transitioned to a TPM when I moved to MSNBC. The biggest difference between the two jobs is that a production manager is in the field and as TPM you are in the control room managing all the live shots. I got the chance to make the switch to CNN and haven’t looked back. Working on the morning news has always been something I wanted to do. It’s great to be able to work on a show that sets the trend for the newsday.
Describe your average day:
I get in at 4am everyday. I start the day by looking at the rundown and putting a live shot sheet together. It’s a rough sketch of the guests/correspondents for the show. Then I piece together the technical info. I need to make the shots happen. I type out a list of IFB/PLs and email them to the crews in the field [IFBs, or interruptible foldback, is the way that people outside of the studio can hear the program, and PLs stand for producer lines – that’s how the crew on the ground talks to the control room, and vice versa]. This makes the communication between the control room and crews easy.
Once the show starts I just have to make sure my preparation was correct so I can coordinate all of the live shots. We have live feeds coming in from all over the world and it’s my job to keep everything in order. The producers will ask me to bring in a live shot so we can see the latest live video from the scene. It can go on the air seconds later! The great advantage at CNN is that we have bureaus all over the world. We have the ability to gather info and put in on the air as it's happening.
After the show ends I do post tapes and the weekend show tapings. I constantly check my Blackberry throughout the day to see what we are covering the next day. Then the alarm goes off at 2am and the day starts all over again.
What’s the hardest part of your job?
The toughest part is making sure that you keep up with the rundown. We are always making changes to keep up with the news. Since we are live for 3 hours, we need to make sure that we stay current. That means lots of changes!
What do you like most about working at AM?
Definitely the people. We have a great team. When we have breaking news we are at our best. Putting a rundown together at the last second really tests your ability to put on a great show.
What do you do outside of work for fun?
I love to watch/play golf. I try to play a few times a week.
What else do you think people should know about you?
My wife and I are expecting our first baby next week!
From Aparnaa Seshadri, CNN