All posts by Jacob Helwig

Helwig Internship Week 10: April 21st & 23rd

This week marks the end of my internship at WESH 2 news. During this week I still preformed my normal duties of assisting with audio in the morning and prepping shows in the afternoon. I also prepped more movies this week and got to tune in a couple of live trucks for the 5PM newscast. On top of these regular duties, I also explored a couple of different other departments at the television station. Since WESH is a hub station for Hearst Television, I got to sit down and with the head of the traffic department and also the local sales representative. Both of these people gave me really great in site into other job possibilities in television.

During the beginning of the week I talked with the local sales representative, Kevin Orchard. He was a very nice man who informed me of what the normal tasks of his sales reps were and also told me how sales makes money for the rest of the company. Along with that, we went over the day to day routine of a sales manager: talking to clients, maintaining accounts, and going to specific meetings. Overall this meeting was informational and taught me the importance of advertising. On the other end, I meet with the traffic department manager. Now this type of traffic has nothing to do with your car, it has to do with the organization of ads into a day to day log that you watch on TV. So when I talked to the manager at the hub she went though how she takes ads from the sales managers and puts them into a system which then organizes them into the daily log. These logs are usually finished 3 days before they are put onto television. We also went over how she communicates with the head station up in North Carolina to put this all together. This conversation was helpful to me so I could understand how the log was created in master control and to give me ideas of other job opportunities in television. To conclude, this internship opportunity truly gave me a broad understand of television and how to do the task of entry level positions in master control and production.

Helwig Internship Week 9: April 7th & 9th

During this last week in my internship I had the same duties as usual, audio in the morning and prepping all afternoon.  On the production side of things, I learned how to properly set up the conference area on the second floor for satellite interviews. Sometimes WESH will host some special interviews for NBC since the station is a hub in Orlando. Learning the set up was easy, it was just plugging in the microphones in specific areas and calling in the IFB by a special phone attached to the chair. On the other hand I prepped the usual shows for Tuesday and Thursday, and also shaded the afternoon newscasts. Also this week I had another meeting with the programing coordinator, where we discussed different FCC laws. We went over the basic areas which consisted of children programming, captioning, profanities, and music laws. I took a lot of notes on these sections but I will give the basics for each sections in this blog. In the area of children programming, the station is required to show about 3 hours of educational children’s programming during the week. This programming must also have limited commercial times and have a certain amount of PSAs. All programming must have close captioning that is 90% correct on pre-made production and 80% correct on live productions. In profanities, the station must report any incidents to avoid being fined and music has to be paid for though major record contracts. There is so much more detail to this but this is the basic stuff that the programming coordinator also has to take care of. I am having another discussion with her next week covering ratings. Overall, learning about the FCC laws has been one of the most interesting parts of my internships thus far.

Helwig Internship Week 8: March 28th & 30th

During this week in my internship I had the same schedule as usual working audio in the morning, then continuing the day with master control work. When I say I am “working audio” in the morning I am purely board operating for the noon show. I am pretty much turning on microphones and bring up music levels when necessary. I also check battery levels on the microphones so none of them die during the news cast. Some of the fundamentals of audio I learned in the intro class here at Stetson has helped me in this area. Like learning the specific measurements of sound. The second half of the day I spend this week prepping movies for the station to use throughout the month. This is a big responsibility since movies come in big reels that have up to 10 segments and they also get a lot of views, so everything has to be correct. This task pretty much took me most of the day since I had 2 movies to prep. One other event that took place this week is that I started discussion with the stations program and media coordinator. I wanted to learn more about the business itself so she kinda took me in and started teaching me. Our discussion this week was talking about the Orlando market and how it consists of three different duopolies, including WESH which is NBC and The CW. She also explained simple programming and why certain shows appear at certain times and how they correspond with advertising for the station. We ended our discussion with an introduction to some of the FCC laws, which we would discuss in more detail the following week. Overall, I was very excited about learning about television programing.

Helwig Internship Week 7: March 24th & 26th

This past week of my internship was sadly cut short. I only got to go into work on Tuesday because I got into a car crash on Wednesday. I was on my way home when someone rear-ended me. Ended up going to the hospital where I found out I sprained my neck. I called into Wesh from the hospital, and they advised me not to come into work the next day. On Tuesday though I pretty much did the same thing I was doing last week. In the morning I was practicing on the video board, learning how to operate the vis (the system that flows video stored on a server to the board). The concept of the vis is hard to wrap my mind around, but luckily I am working with one of the most experienced technical directors in the building. On the other hand, in engineering I was prepping shows all day and learned how to prep shows on the video client. The video client is different from other linear editing system since it is not laid out like a movie editing software. You have to work with time codes and it is very confusing but once you have doe it once or twice, it is not as bad. Also while I was in engineering, I talked to my supervisor about shadowing a co-worker named Stephanie who works with programing the satellites. I think this would be interesting to learn about since I am getting a good understanding of everything else. Hopefully next week will be more exciting in injury free!

Helwig Internship Week 6: March 17th & 19th

In the past week of my internship I have been perfecting my skills in both master control and in the studio. To start off, I have now transitioned on to learning the video board WESH uses to technical direct its broadcasts. It is a Sony board so it is hard to understand but this week I was taught the basic and how the buttons are lined up. In the next couple of weeks I will be learning it more in depth and hopefully will be able to practice with it in between news casts. The second part of my internship in master control I have been prepping a bunch of shows every day and even got to prep a movie. I have not gotten to a point where I have learned all of the times where the barter blocks are so it have become very easy to prep shows. During the evening news casts I have been also shading and bringing in microwave shots all by myself now. From time to time they have had to check up on me but they really let me handle “Video Control” by myself which is pretty awesome. It took me a couple of weeks to learn all of it and locate where the trucks are but it feels good to be trusted. Especially with shading as well, it really takes an experienced eye to understand how to shade properly and its just nice to be able to do it correctly. I will continue to work towards excellence in the weeks to come.

Helwig Internship Week 5: February 17th & 19th

During this week of my internship my schedule got switched around a little bit. Instead of working the day half in master control and half on production I am now learning audio in the morning for two hours and the rest of the day in master control. The reason is so I can get more hands on experience. In the mornings I am finally in the control room instead of being on the floor, which is nice. I am working with Kyle who is teaching me the ins and outs of the sound board. It is a very complex machine with many different sources coming in going to different groups. The main things I have learned so far though is the process of setting the board up at the beginning of the shift, checking batteries, mixing anchors during the show, and proper breakdown after the show. These are the main processes but next week I hope to dive into sound effects and mixing packages. Over in master control I have been working on prepping more complex shows are running acquisition for the nightly news cast. The shows I have been prepping are more complex because each of them require that you know specific fee spots and commercials to barter. Luckily there is a reference sheet but to help my speed I am working on memorizing it. Running acquisition has been great as well since I am actually shading live shows and calling in microwave trucks that are used for the shows as well. I have been struggling with learning the router used for calling in shots but hopefully after a few more weeks I will have it down. Overall, this new schedule has been getting me more hands on work which has helped me learn even more.

Helwig Internship Week 4: February 12th

This week of my internship was cut short due to illness. I eat out at some bad chinese restaurant and ended up with some kind of food poisoning. Anyways, I did go into WESH on Thursday and worked both in engineering and on production. While I was in engineering my boss Jim called me to his office and told me I was doing a great job prepping shows that he was now going to let me prep longer shows. So, part of today I spent shadowing acquisition and they also let me call in the live shots and shade the noon news casts. I have shaded cameras before while working for Stetson Broadcasting Productions but this system was different and took some adjusting. The other half I spent prepping shows such as Glee and Whacked Out Sports. These shows were very similar to the shows I was editing before except they have more segments, so its very important  that you separate things correctly. On the production side, I finished shadowing floor directing and took some extra notes on tasks that need to be done before and after each newscast. On another note, next week they are changing the distribution of my time between production and engineering. I will now start on production and shadow the noon newscast for two hours then the rest of the time I will be on engineering. The engineering department has taken a liking to me and has more hands on work for me. Overall, even though this was a short week, it seems that I have made some progression.

Helwig Internship Week 3: February 3rd & 5th

During this week in my internship, things stayed pretty steady on both ends. On the engineering half, I was working in master control for most of the week rather prepping games for other stations. The reason being was that a sister station was coming in next week to learn our master control system because they were getting the same system as we have. Since I spent most of my time in the control room, I took the following list on the main duties of the operator. The main mission of the operator is to keep logs so the station knows if any content is lost and to make sure that every show has closed captions so the station will not get in trouble with the FCC. When keeping track of the logs the operator is also making sure the times are on point so hard breaks can roll as well. Other duties include logging power levels of transmitters, watching volume levels, and also running weekly national emergencies tests. The station also runs monthly ones that are just important. These seem to be all the duties of the operators but there could be some small ones that I have overlooked which I will list in the next upcoming weeks.

During the other half, while I was on production I switched from camera operator to floor manager. While floor managing I learned a couple of different things. The first was the proper signals to give to the anchors, like countdowns and pointing directions to look at each camera. The second was the proper places to put the cameras so the operator can get certain shots. And lastly I learned to properly make my script before and during the news cast to preform these tasks. I did mostly shadow this whole week on this position but next week I will be able to follow the director around and give the signals as well. Overall this week was more repetition but I feel like I am understanding things better then I was before.

Helwig Internship Week 2: January 27th & 29th

This week in my internship I was working in the same areas that I was discussing my first week. I started out both of my Tuesdays and Thursdays working in master control. For the first hour of my shift I was prepping Family Guy and American Dad episodes getting them ready to go on the air. The process is pretty easy just scrolling though the episodes and marking where the commercials were and also where the segments ended. The next couple of hours I shadowed in master control and took down times that the commercials played so the marketing department has proof for clients that the commercial aired. During this time as well there is a noon news cast where I shaded cameras as well.

After working in the engineering department, I went on the floor where I shadowed the robotic camera person. Just like last week I took notes on the broadcasts on the different camera angles they used. I also learned how to properly test the microphones before the broadcast and how to make sure all of the studio lights look good. Also this week I went in on Saturday to shadow a super bowl special. This was an interesting experience because they used a different part of the set that I have never encountered before. This was the coach set that they used for the morning show. Since I am not there in the mornings I learned the proper way of setting it up and which camera angles to use on it. Overall this week was once again a lot of observation but it was nice to get practice in master control and on the robotic camera.

Helwig Internship Week 1: January 20th & 22nd

During the past couple semester I have taken an interest in the art of broadcasting. To gain more practice in this field I decided to put my application out on the market and apply for internships. After waiting for responses for a while, WESH 2 news in Winter Park accepted me into the program. This past Tuesday I finally started my internship in broadcast engineering and production.

Like I stated before this internship was split into 2 parts, one in the engineering department and the other in the production department so each Tuesday and Thursday I am in two different areas. My shift starts at 11:00AM and ends around 7:00PM each of those days. On my first day, I started out the shift in master control which is the control room for 5 different NBC stations in the area. I shadowed the master control operator for four hours of my shift and learned his duties for the day. These duties include: logging that shows and commercials are playing every 10 minutes, monitoring incoming television shows that are about to be prepped for the air, checking on temp levels of satellites, making sure bugs go on air, and a couple more smaller tasks throughout the day like lining up satellite shots. This job is very important to the television station since commercials are money and if they don’t air, they will not get paid. The second part of the day was spent on the production side for the afternoon news cast. The first month of the internship I will be out on the floor shadowing the floor manager and the robotic camera operator, 2 weeks each. So the second part of the day was spent behind the scenes with the robotic camera operator. What I learned on the first day was how to translate the news script and how to coordinate different shots for the news casts. The script has many abbreviations for shots I have never knew of, so for the 4 hour broadcast I pretty much sat looked at the abbreviation then looked at the camera angle to figure out what it was. This was helpful though so I know what they are in the future right off the bat. Overall, I did a lot of shadowing the first day but I learned a bunch.

The second day was very similar  to the first one, I started out in engineering in the morning then went to production in the afternoon. This time in production I was in master control, but I was learning how to prep shows for 4 hours. Prepping show is the process of breaking down shows so the station can put local commercials in it and put there bug (watermark) on it as well. To do you have to pull the show apart in a linear video editing software called AR. The process involves scrubbing though a bunch of shows then marking in and out points. Along with that, it has to be double checked because once it is done, it could possibly go right on the air. (I have the whole process lined out in my notes.) I spent the 2 hours learning the process and then they actually let me prep shows like Family Guy for the rest of the time. After I was done with prepping then I moved on to production for the rest of the shift. Just like day one, I spent the four hours learning the abbreviations by listening to the headset, looking at the shots, and writing down notes. This might have been a little redundant but practice makes perfect. To conclude the second day was great and I am excited I got to do some hands on work. I can’t wait to learn more next week!