Behind the Scenes @ FOX19 News

Steven Ackermann, News Director
Steven Ackermann, News Director

This is something new.  It's an idea that I am borrowing from a friend and former news anchor (more about her later) who wrote a weekly newsletter about things in her newsroom including some of the more interesting tidbits that didn't make it on TV.

Some of you may recognize my name because I am one of the folks who answers viewer emails here at FOX19.  Most News Directors do their best to avoid being on TV, but people do ask what we do around here.   I guess I would describe the job as part (football) coach and part (baseball) manager.  And, I like to think that I carry a little of Harry Truman's philosophy about "The buck stops here."  In reality, the buck often goes on to my boss (that's John Long and he is the one who you see doing Consider This), but I stop them as often as I can.

From time to time the folks you do SEE on TV will contribute some of their own off camera bits and I hope to introduce you to some of the other "behind the scenes" people that are part of the FOX19 News team.

This will also be a place to tell you some of what's coming up on FOX19 News.  For example, Dan Carroll is starting a new feature this morning called Cool Schools.    If you are a regular FOX19 Morning News viewer, you may remember us asking for emails about things that make your school "cool."   Today, Dan will feature Goshen High School; Friday will be Greendale Middle School in Lawrenceburg; Monday will be Indian Hill High School and next Tuesday is Scarlet Oaks.  If you know someone at one of these schools, tell them to watch at 6:20 AM or again at 8:35 AM.

This is also a good place to answer some of your questions.  You can email me directly by clicking here.     Some of the questions that I've answered more than once?

Why did you let Bill O'Reilly (or some other FOX News personality) say that?

I don't let Bill O'Reilly or anyone else at FOX News say or do anything.   They don't work for us.  Just like the ABC, NBC and CBS stations here, we just get some of our programming from them and we get some of our news from them.  We get our local news from our own folks and also get news from CNN, the Associated Press and a number of other services.  We try to help when FOX does a story in the area, but sometimes that doesn't work either.  That's another story for another day.

What happened to...

Sometimes people leave.  Once in a while, it's something we can't talk about.  Generally, it's just like any other workplace.  Paul Horton is now working in Phoenix which is a bigger television market and closer to his family on the west coast.  Valerie Abati is now working in Pittsburgh which is closer to her hometown.  We were sorry that both of them left, but we're happy to have Christie Dutton and Frank Marzullo as new members of the team.

What were you thinking...

Generally, we WERE thinking.  Sometimes, we weren't.  We talk a lot about what goes into the news and try to make the right calls.  When we mess up, I'll tell you.  If you are wondering why we did a story or treated it a certain way,  just ask.

And, then there are my obsessions.  It's not a big deal unless you are the reporter assigned to make a story out of the current obsession.   Right now, it's Daylight Saving Time.  It ends a week later this year--this Sunday--because of something called The Energy Conservation Act.  It's supposed to save energy (it probably does) and it's supposed to help Trick-or-Treaters (does it?)  My issue is that the sun doesn't come up until after 8:00 AM this week.  It's even worse as you go west (until you enter Central Time)--sunrise Friday will be 8:15 AM in Indianapolis.  And, then there are all of the computers that were smart enough to adjust themselves LAST weekend.  OK, I'm better now and looking forward to sunrise NEXT week shortly after 7:00 AM!

If  you know someone who would like to receive this weekly newsletter, you can forward this copy and there is a link at the bottom of the page.  Make sure they select the box marked "Breaking News."

I told you my friend Jolene used to write a newsletter like this one, so appropriate credit goes to her. Sometimes she was serious; sometimes not so serious.  We'll see how this goes, but Jolene always ended by thanking our viewers for taking the time to read along.

So, I'll do the same.