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 Ed Keohane. Ed produces the first hour of American Morning – he decides what happens on air for that hour, and sits in the control room during the show to guide the plan along. He’s been with AM since October 2006.
How did you end up here?
Back in 2005 I was producing a morning show in Boston. Our sister station in New Orleans got knocked off the air during Hurricane Katrina forcing the staff to relocate to Orlando. A skeleton crew of anchors and producers worked round-the-clock from there, broadcasting live shows that got beamed back into NOLA. Within a few days the team in Florida called for some Beantown backup. I caught a flight, headed south and ended up working alongside a guy who later became CNN's New Orleans bureau chief. We stayed in touch after the storm clouds cleared and a few months later he told me about a job with AM. The stars lined up and I got the chance to come do TV in Manhattan – the news capital of the world!
Describe your average day:
I operate on the exact opposite schedule of just about everyone I know! My alarm goes off at 10:07pm (I figure sevens are lucky, so if I wake up to one I'm already ahead of the game!) My BlackBerry sits directly next to my alarm clock, so seconds after I switch off the buzzer I'm dialed into the CNN news machine and going through the hundreds of e-mails that pile up in the six hours I was asleep. Our show has a 24-hour staff, so within minutes of waking up their notes have me up to speed on where the next day's show is headed – the guests we've booked, the video we've taken in, the news that's broken and the crews we've called in or put on planes to bring it to you at 6am. Once I'm in the newsroom, it's a few phone calls to our assignment desks in Atlanta.
Finally, we put the pieces of the puzzle together - and build out the show, deciding exactly what you'll see every second of each hour. After that, there's meetings with our writers, conference calls with reporters in the field and finally a meeting where our Executive Producer (the BIG boss) gives the greenlight to our show plan. At 5:59am we go live. I'm in the control room talking into the anchors' ears, making sure the show stays on time, and bracing for breaking news. If something big happens, all our planning goes out the window! That's when things get crazy and we really earn our keep! At 9am we wrap up and hand the reigns over to Atlanta. There's some post-show meetings and chit-chat, then it's on to the next day!
What’s the hardest part of your job?
The schedule. Trying to sleep in the middle of the afternoon is no fun.
What do you like most about working at AM?
The people. TV is a team sport and I wouldn't trade the crew that I work alongside for anything. In addition to that, it's the excitement of never knowing what's around the corner. Every day we're doing something new - and we're going at 110 miles-per-hour. It's a great way to make a living!
Outside of work:
I'm a huge Jimmy Buffett fan... and anytime I stumble across an all-day marathon of Steven Seagal movies, I feel like Christmas has come early.
What else do you think people should know about you?
You can take a guy out of Boston, but you can't take the love for the Red Sox and the funky Boston accent out of the guy.
From Aparnaa Seshadri, CNN