A Day at ABC
By Dylan Van Arsdale, junior
Even before stepping foot inside ABC’s facilities in Lincoln Square, New York City, I knew I had an incredible day ahead of me. Not only would I be walking the set of shows like Eyewitness News and Live! With Kelly and Michael, I would also be meeting with Art H. Moore, VP of Programming for WABC-TV and Ithaca College Alumni. What started as a rainy day in Uptown soon became a crash course tour through a future career.
My day began with a one-on-one chat with Art Moore. It didn’t take long to find out we hold a surprising amount in common, even having worked for the same Ithaca College Television show, only almost 50 years apart! Being the Director of Programming for ICTV myself, I knew I had been given a remarkable chance to get professional advice to move our award-winning television station forward. But the insight didn’t stop there.
I soon had the pleasure to meet WABC-TV’s Production Manager, Kevin Fitzsimmons. Kevin and I chatted about the industry, how to break into production management, and even the best place to get a burger when I head to the Los Angeles Program in the spring. Speaking with Kevin, it soon became apparent how personable and down-to-earth people still exist in the hustle-and-bustle of broadcast media.
Finally, my day ended with a behind-the-scenes tour of the WABC-TV studios. I stood by the camera as anchor Lori Stokes delivered the news in one of the most technologically advanced television studios in existence. Television screens, remote controlled cameras, and dozens of lights far outnumbered the tiny crew of three professionals running the entire broadcast. I snuck into the control room, where one person, half a block away, could control every element in the studio, from lighting to camera adjustments. Finally, I learned a few television secrets after stepping onto the set of Live! With Kelly and Michael. For instance, the bookshelf of the set can slide away to reveal a hidden refrigerator!
Glamor and glitz aside, I came away from the New York City shadowing experience with some valuable insight. After speaking with Art Moore, Kevin Fitzsimmons, and everyone at WABC-TV, I now have a clear career goal in mind. Not only that, but I now see the path of how to get there, and I now know the people who have travelled it before. With any luck, I’ll be back at WABC-TV one day with a shadow of my own.
Want to read more about the shadowing trip? Check out junior Park Scholar Jennifer Segal's account here.