Today was the very first Must See Monday of the Fall semester. We hosted a panel featuring the female anchors from all of the local news outlets including Catherine Anaya from CBS 5, Lin Sue Cooney from 12 News, Carey Pena from 3TV and Linda Williams from Fox 10. Sadly Katie Raml from ABC 15 was out of town and we missed her dearly. We have had her visit for events many times in the past and will have her here for an event soon, I just know it.
We are really fortunate here in Phoenix to have one of the largest markets in the country (we’re ranked #12) and also one of the friendliest. Reporters, anchors, producers, journalists, photographers and all kinds of other professionals in the journalism industry are always willing to share their time and expertise with our students. Their visits really invigorate (what I think) is an already extremely enthusiastic student body and it’s great to get to see it in person every week.
I of course brought my Glass along to document the evening.
Preparation for a Must See Monday always involves moving the furniture in the First Amendment Forum and setting the stage. We remove all the coffee tables and line them up along the Library and Resource Center wall where they act as overflow seating. We then take all the armchairs and rearrange them theater style. Must See Mondays are some of our highest attended events, especially in the fall, so we also put down as many extra chairs as we can.
For tonight’s event we put down 4 racks of chairs so we had seating for about 200 people just in the chairs.
Once the chairs are down, we set the stage. Since we had 4 people on the panel and our lovely moderator, professor and Cronkite NewsWatch producer Melanie Alvarez, we needed seating for 5 and tables for waters.
We were scheduled to start at 7:15 tonight to accommodate the schedules for our anchorwomen. Most came straight to the school after anchoring a newscast and then left to go back on the air. But at 10 minutes to 7, the Forum was already filling up. My final headcount for the evening was 232.
The ladies arrived right on time, we mic’d them up and got them on stage to start right at 7:15 on the dot. I love when things start right on time ;D
Things went mostly smoothly from an events standpoint. We had a little problem with Linda’s mic cutting in and out. I’m going to have to adjust how I seat 5 person panels on the stage going forward. My audio guru Chris tells me she was seated too far from the receiver that picks up the signals from the wireless LAV mics we had them using. We’re going to do some tests on Friday to figure out the problem. I will also be shifting the seating a bit to the left to try and avoid the problem in the future. Fortunately Linda is a pro and managed to maneuver herself so that her mic kept working for most of the presentation. She had amazing and funny things to say so I was really worried when we started having issues with her microphone.
When we got to the portion of the evening where our students can ask the speakers events it felt like almost every had in the room went up. Historically, our students have been a bit shy at Must See Mondays, but our newest incoming class is one of the most engaged groups I’ve ever seen. They have a lot of drive, they know what they want to do, they ask a lot of questions and they’re super involved. It’s going to be a great season.
I got to meet two of our graduate students when I was giving out the extra credit slips which I always love. They’re always super busy with their bootcamps so it’s a treat when they attend one of my events. I have a lot of admiration for the hard work that goes with being a graduate student at the Cronkite School.
All in all a great kick off to the Must See Monday season. Can’t wait to see how next week goes!