On Monday, I came in and found that the normal assignment desk staff weren’t there, and WAVY’s Christine Bethea was running the desk in their absence. I offered to help, and she gladly let me answer the phones and listen to the scanner. Getting experience helping run the assignment desk is invaluable – Christine was extremely nice and very adept at explaining how the assignment desk is ran. I had watched Mike and Dominic work the desk plenty of times, but that was only a theoretical understanding. Working the desk with Christine allowed me to gain invaluable real-world experience.
Watching the socials for new information is a big part of the assignment desk – as is listening to the scanner, an impressive system that includes the frequencies for all the local first responders. When you hear something interesting on the scanner, the next step is to call the appropriate dispatcher and ask if the public information officer (PIO) has been notified – if they have, then there is likely something significant going on.
Academic obligations kept me occupied for the rest of the workweek, but on Sunday I had the pleasure of helping the WAVY Promotions Department with the Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Walk. This is a special event for WAVY because our morning and midday anchor, Katie Collett, lives with MS and is an inspiration for the station staff and the community at large. We gave out lots of free WAVY gear and raised a lot of money for a great cause. Promotions are a key part of news station success – and I now have a great deal of appreciation for the work they do.