Friday, January 28, 2011

Remembering the Shuttle Challenger Tragedy

January 28, 1986 is a day many Americans remember well. The Space Shuttle Challenger had just lifted off from the Kennedy Space Center when it exploded.

All seven on board died in the accident.

The Challenger Learning Center in Paducah is remembering the day with a special guest. Kentucky's only astronaut, Col. Terrence Wilcutt will be on hand.

We talked to him about the tragedy and his life as an astronaut. Click here to hear that interview.

Here's what some of our Facebook friends had to say about that day 25 years ago.

Ray Lindsey:
I was in the 4th Grade at Chisholm Elementary School in Edmond, Oklahoma. My classmates and I were watching it live in the auditorium. When the disaster happened, our principal Mrs. Mitchell, turned the Television off. I remember that The Cosby Show was supposed to be on that Night but instead President Regan was on TV. He said a line in his speech I will never forget to this day. "To leave the surely bonds of Earth, to touch the face of God."

Allan Shotts:
When we came in from recess at 10:45, we found our teacher in tears, she was recording the launch as we were studying space and was following a teacher.

Bill Chaplain:
I lived in Fl at the time and was driving down the road , listening on the radio to the launch. I watched out the window of the van I was driving as it blew up ...... It was a very somber daw at work after that and for several days everyone was very sad for what had happened.

Amy Lynn Curry:
I was in Kindergarten in a small school. My class was sitting in the library and we were all excited to see the shuttle launch. We had been learning about all of that in the days leading up to it. I remember when it happened just like it was yesterday...We were all sent home early that day.

Jennifer Stowers:
I was in third grade in a West Frankfort School. We were watching the launch on TV, when the explosion happened our teacher turned off the TV and many teachers gathered to discuss turning it back on for us to see what came of it. They made the decision that it was something that we should not see. I also remember watching some of the memorial service at school.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Behind the Scenes with Evie

Good Morning! Thanks for visiting the morning show blog. On a daily basis during the news, we bring you stories from across southern Illinois. Here, we're doing a blog series... sharing the stories of our News 3 This Morning team. Today's blog features Associate Producer, Evie!

    Behind the Scenes with Evie
    Evie Allen began at WSIL as an intern, and is now an Associate Producer for News 3 This Morning!
    Keep reading to learn more about her journey!
  • Describe your daily routine as part of the morning show crew...
As an Associate Producer for the morning show, I usually get up around 2am. I start my day at News 3 at 4am. When I get to the station the first thing I do is check to see what video needs to be edited and from 4am to 5am I cut and edit video for the days shows and then at around 5am I load what is called Aurora. Aurora is the system that receives all the video me, Ross and Josue edit. When I get in there to load the Aurora machine with all the video we edited, I check what is called a run down (lets me know the list of videos we will run that day) to make sure all the video has been sent to Aurora. There is a lot of video to load because we have 3 half hours of news so if video is missing I check with Ross and Josue to see where the video is.

From time to time I have to go out and shoot breaking news or news that happens before reporters come in. Also from time to time I work the cameras on the floor but most of the time I am in the control room making sure ALL the morning show videos are ready to air. My shift is from 4am to 9am. To sum it up, that is most of what I do as an Associate Producer (A.P.) but there is more to my job. Which brings me to the next question.
  • What's the most stressful part about your job?
During the week I am in charge of 2 on air segments, so the most stressful part of the job is fulfilling my A.P. duties and working on material for my two segments. Don't get me wrong it's a good stress. I love my job but it gets to be hectic and a lot is going on in my brain.

On Mondays when I come in at 4am I do my usual A.P. duites, and then after the shows at 7am I begin planning for Tuesdays Schoolhouse Update. Now my regular shift hours are from 4am to 9am so Mondays I usually stay later than 9am. I will stay later to make sure I've got everything I need for Tuesday. Then I spend the rest of week looking for the next Tuesdays and Wednesdays stories and events. On Tuesdays and Wednesdays I concentrate more on weekend events for my Weekend Events Calendar segment that airs on Thursdays. Sometimes I come in earlier than 4 so I can clean-up my scripts or add any other events to the calendar. Once 4am hits I am expected to help Ross and Josue edit video. So sometimes it seems like I never have enough hours in the day.

It can also be stressful setting up interviews and then there might be a cancellation for some reason like weather or a teacher is sick or maybe not enough time to shoot my interviews. That's when I have to come out with a back-up plan. So sometimes the pressure is on because this is a deadline business.

Tune in to News 3 This Morning to see Evie's reports on education and local events!

  • What's the most fun?

The most fun I have is working with the people I work with and I enjoy my duties here. We get along and we have a great team. The people are funny and real laid back. That relieves a lot of the stress that I have. I also find it fun editing video. We are in charge of what will air and it's almost Art sometimes the way we edit these videos. I also have a lot of fun with my segments and going on interviews. I like people, so it's always fun to meet new people. Some of the stories are really fun too.

  • What's something viewers might be surprised to learn about you?

Well, I come from a family that is heavily involved in Church ministry. And in 2004 I became a licensed minster. I am an Elder at Good Fight of Faith Church and I'm in charge of bringing a sermon from time to time at my church. I am a devout Christian and if I could do anything right now it would be full-time ministry but for now I'm happy right where God has me. :) Another surprise is that I am dating Aaron Thompson the graphics guy. We met here during my summer internship in 2009 before I was hired on.
  • Why did you first become interested in TV news?

I think I first became interested in TV news when I was told I had a "news" look. I havn't been in News that long. I graduated from SIU in 2010 but I only did 2 years in the news program. I became more interested once I tried it and was told I had potential. So I pursued it and I felt better in this field than my original major (social work). And that is what led me to today. I can't say that I've wanted to be in news ever since I was a child. I always had dreams of TV stardom though. I wanted to be a famous singer/dancer. My idols were Whitney Houston and Janet Jackson. As I developed as a person I seemed to have fallen into news and I'm enjoying the journey. Channel 3 is the first station I've worked at outside of SIU's Channel 8.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Behind the Scenes with Emily

Good Morning & Happy Wednesday! Hope your day's going well. The topic of today's "Behind the Scenes" blog is Emily Eddington!

Behind the Scenes with Emily 
We do a wide range of live interviews on the morning show!
On this day, it was Superman!
Emily has been at WSIL for 4.5 years, and has been on the morning show for 2.5 years.

  • Describe your daily routine as part of the morning show crew...
As a morning show anchor, my daily routine starts EARLY. I have a bit more work to do on myself than Kevin & Clint, so I roll out of bed at 1:30 a.m. to get the process moving. We don't have makeup artists, hairstylists, or wardrobe experts here, so all of that work is up to us. I try to pick out my outfit and accessories the night before, and then in the morning I do my hair and makeup, and then get dressed. Sometimes anchors save their makeup & hair until right before the newscast, but I always fear that we may have breaking news, or it takes longer to get through scripts than normal... so I want to be pretty much ready, so all I need to do before the newscast is a few touch-ups.

Once I'm at the station, I read through the scripts that our producer Weston has written, and try to browse the news wires to find anything extra that can be added. Kevin and I will also write teases, and prepare for live interviews... and write anything else that's needed. My goal when writing/reading over scripts is to make them as conversational and easy to read as possible. There will always be stumbles on the air, but my goal is to lessen the chances, by altering the scripts to the way I naturally speak. Once the morning show is finished, I also anchor a couple of the cut-ins, and Kevin or I will record a promo for the next day. For the remainder of my shift, I'll either do a story for that day's evening newscast, shoot or write an Unsung Hero story, or just work on things for the next day's show.
  • What's the most stressful part about your job?
It's not usually a big issue, but sometimes we'll run short on time and be hustling to read and write scripts before the show. It always gets done though, with a few minutes left to look in the mirror and make sure there's no lipstick on my teeth, cat hair on my jacket, etc. Some people might find breaking news during the show stressful, but between Kevin, myself, and Weston our producer- it comes off very smooth. I think Kevin and I actually enjoy being able to go off the cuff with some new "This Just In" type of information. We like to ad-lib and Weston is great about communicating with us from the control room so we know what's happening, and what changes are being made to the show. I think to be a good anchor you have to have confidence-- and that comes from the people around you. I have so much respect for all of the morning crew members... the hours are crazy but everyone manages to come with a good attitude.
  • What's the most fun?
The people I work with on the show are a blast. The morning show definitely has a different tone from any other newscast. We're getting people ready to start their day... so we want to get the information out there quickly, but have fun in the process and wake people up! Commercial breaks are always good moments to recover from a laugh attack that may have been brewing during the previous block of news. Whether it's Ross or Evie or Josue on the floor-- I'm grateful for the way they keep us so upbeat! I try to keep in mind that if I'm not having fun doing the show, people probably aren't having fun watching it. As a kid I would sort of mock news anchors with their stiff presence and lecturing tone of voice... so I try to just be myself and act natural. It's harder than it sounds when you're on live TV in front of thousands!

On a day when Aaron, Ross, and Emily were all wearing different styles of red News 3 shirts, a modeling snapshot was in order.

  • What's something viewers might be surprised to learn about the morning show?
Something I hear from visitors or first time guests is that they're surprised at how laid back we are! We are continuously joking around and often times we're chatting right up until the moment we come back from a commercial break. Viewers would also be surprised to learn just how funny and goofy Kevin is. I think they get a taste of that from time to time on the news, but he has a great sense of humor and has us all laughing our heads off on a regular basis. Also, viewers might not realize that our crew is really like a family. We get along during our shift, but we honestly care about each other. You build sort of a bond with people who have to roll into work at 3:30 a.m. It's something nobody else can truly understand until they do it daily.
  • When did you first become interested in TV news?
When I was in elementary school, it was just part of my morning routine to watch the news. My parents always had it on, so I'd sit and watch it for awhile. I remember being fascinated- not so much by the stories- but by the anchors, and the whole production. My mom recently reminded me of a journal entry I was assigned to write in 3rd grade about who I wanted to trade places with for a day. I named a local news anchor... it was actually the elderly man that delivered the farm & market reports...hmmm... It was hilarious to hear mom read that to me again. Anyway, I always liked the news but for quite some time, I was very intimidated by what they had to do. As a kid, I remember thinking... I could NEVER memorize all that information! Someone enlightened me about the concept of the teleprompter.

I wasn't fully convinced that news was what I wanted to do until college, when I did some work for the campus TV station, and ended up getting an internship at a local TV station. I grew up watching KHQA in Quincy, Illinois, and one summer as an intern- I was reporting stories. I have never learned so much as I did that summer. Not only did it improve my writing, but just my independence, and ability to go out and gather news on my own. I gained a lot of confidence, and will be forever grateful to the people of KHQA for teaching me SO MUCH.

There are still more Behind the Scenes blog posts to come!
We're on the air weekdays from 5:30 to 7:00 a.m. in HD...
You can also join the conversation on Cover it Live during the news!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Behind the Scenes with Ross

Hi Everyone! It's Monday already! Thanks for taking a minute to check out our blog, as our "Behind the Scenes" series continues! Members of the News 3 This morning crew have been giving a sneak peek into their routine on News 3 This Morning. Today's blog is all about Associate Producer and Racing Superfan, Ross Wece!

Behind the Scenes with Ross
Ross Wece is all over the place at News 3... Sometimes behind the camera, sometimes in front of it!
He's currently attending SIU, purusing a degree in Radio-Television Production with a specialization in Electronic Journalism.

  • Tell us about your daily routine as part of the morning show crew...
My alarm clock goes off at 2:30 AM and I usually try to be up 2:45ish (I'm on a first name basis with my Snooze button!). I try to be out the door and on the road for work by 3. I live south of Carbondale in the
Giant City Park area so it usually takes me around 20 minutes to get to the station in the morning.

Once I get to the station, Weston, our morning show producer who you read about last week, gives me the list of packages I have to prepare for the show. We download some of the packages you see in the show from a national ABC network called "Pathfire" and we also get packages from CNN. After I get packages done I work on other videos that air during the show. It could be anything from doing a Google Image search of Corn Dogs for the "Eat This, Not That" Segment or downloading video from Pathfire about a crime event that occurred over the night!

Hopefully, the editing is done by 5AM so I can head out to the studio floor and begin prepping for the show. Our director usually turns the studio lights on if I'm running behind so when I get on the floor I get our cameras set up and positioned, setup our plasma monitors, and get laptops set up for Kevin and Emily to run Cover it Live with. Once we go on the air, I run studio cameras with another morning show AP Josue Orellana. My shift continues until 9AM so after the show I may prepare videos for the next day's show or work on videos for one of my Superfan/Behind the Wheel segments.

The days that I do my on-air segments really aren't all that much different. I still run studio cameras during the show. But when the time comes for my segment I grab a chair and run up to the desk with Kevin and Emily!

  • What's the most stressful part about your job?
I'd say the most stressful part of my job is some of the editing I do in the mornings before the show. We are always striving to get more and more fresh and new content on News Three This Morning instead of just re-hashing the same stories you saw the night before. While this makes for a better show, it increases the amount of editing that must be done before the show. Luckily, we just got a new AP, Josue Orellana, on the morning show and he is a pleasure to work with as well as a fast editor. It's awesome having his set of hands on the morning shift!

  • What's the most fun?
By far the most fun part of the morning shift is my co-workers. You can watch the show and see the friendship the Kevin and Emily have and I can assure you that that is exactly how they are when the cameras AREN'T rolling. The off-camera crew is just the same way. We are all great friends and it makes the work that much more fun. I love my job and my co-workers are a big part of that.

  • What's something viewers might be surprised to learn about the morning show?
I think folks would be surprised to know the sheer effort required to put an hour and a half show on the air daily. Our producer starts at 12:30 in the morning putting the show together and when Kevin and Emily arrive at 3:15AM they jump right in start writing their scripts and putting stories in the show. A lot of people have the misconception that the anchors just show up and read words off the teleprompter and that couldn't be further from the truth. Kevin and Emily work extremely hard to put a great show on the air daily. Then the three associate producers spend and hour to an hour and a half preparing videos (sometimes longer!).

Ross got dressed up in NASCAR gear for one of his Superfan segments!

  • When did you first become interested in TV News?
I guess it would be my junior year of high school. I had never really considered a career in TV before that, but the then music minister at my church said I should consider getting in Television production since I do
a lot of tech work at my church in Carbondale.

I started at WSIL through a high school co-op program in 2007. I went to school until lunch everyday then went and worked at the front desk at the station for 3-4 hours in the afternoon. I filled in on the phones for the receptionist during he lunch hours and made DVD copies of stories when folks requested those.

In August of 2008 it was looking like my time was coming to a close at the station since my co-op program was for that year only but luckily I got offered an Associate Producer position on the morning show and I've been with News 3 This Morning ever since!

Thanks Ross!
Don't forget to tune in weekdays from 5:30 to 7:00 am for News 3 This Morning in HD!

Friday, January 14, 2011

$mart Money Preview

Jeff Rose, Certified Financial Planner
Since starting our $mart Money segment about two months ago, we've had a lot of great response.  It allows you, the viewer, to ask our financial experts questions about your money.

On Monday, January 17, Certified Financial Planner Jeff Rose joins us in the studio.  Jeff will talk about four, 15 minute financial fixes.  Ideas include starting a Roth IRA, checking your Credit Report, creating an Emergency Fund, and Simplifying Your Finances.

As always, we invite you to email your questions to  You can also ask questions on our chat Cover it Live.

Hope you have a great weekend.  We look forward to seeing you all weekday mornings between 5:30 a.m. and 7 a.m.

Behind the Scenes with Aaron

Good Morning! TGIF! Hope you've enjoyed learning about members of the News 3 This Morning team! If you have any questions for us, you can always type those in the comments section, or contact us on Facebook, Twitter, or by emailing

Behind the Scenes with Aaron
Aaron handles the graphics you see on News 3 This Morning
  • Tell us about your daily routine as part of the morning show crew...
My job, day to day, is dictated by the number and depth of the graphics requests that I receive. On most days, it's either feast or famine, meaning there's either a lot of graphics to make or barely any at all. When it comes to making the final image that you see on the newscast, it all begins in Photoshop. Depending on the story, I gather the appropriate pictures and edit the image together. From there, I enter another program called Lyric, where I can import the image I made in Photoshop and assemble it together with the appropriate text needed to tell the story. After all that, I assign each image a specific number. Using that number, I can call it up at the right time during the show.The final result is called an FSCG, or Full-Screen Computer Graphic... hence the title CG Operator.
  • What's the most stressful part about your job?
I love my job. I work on Photoshop all the time at home for fun, and I've gotten pretty efficient at it, so the stress for me is pretty low. Every now and then, however, I'll get a request for a graphic very close to the beginning of the show or even during it, meaning I have to balance creating the new image while running the graphics for the show at the same time and make sure that the new one is done by the time it's needed.

Aaron spends his morning in the control room, designing all kinds of graphics.

  • What's the most fun?
Did I mention that I love my job? Like I said before, I work with Photoshop all the time at home. But the key difference between my work at the station and at home is that at home I do digital painting, utilizing a pressure-sensitive pen tablet, which lets me create dynamic brush strokes and "paint" on a digital canvas. This allows me to be very fast and free with my actions, not caring if I mess up or decide to take the painting in a different direction... just hit undo. I basically just taught myself by looking at what I liked and experimenting. This experience I've gained at home has definitely carried over to my position on the Morning Show, and it's still fun making stuff for the news because creating images, whether it's a painting or an informational graphic, is a pleasure for me, not so much a job. I've been very blessed in this regard.
  • What's something viewers might be surprised to learn about the morning show?
I think that pretty much anyone who is a regular viewer knows that the anchors get along very well on camera, but that also goes for the off-screen crew as well, before, during and after the show. Most of us have been working together for almost three years now... some longer than that. So we've definitely cultivated a chemistry that I doubt most work environments have the privilege of enjoying. We're all really like a family here... a very diverse and unique family... to say the least.
  • When did you first become interested in TV News?
During my Junior year of High School, I was very privileged to join a television broadcasting class, which was surprising for a school as small as mine (Anna-Jonesboro). We had several nice Canon cameras and computer workstations with a non-linear editing program included. We were tasked in creating anything from mock commercials, music videos, short films and eventually a school-wide newscast. I had a blast in the class.

My senior year, I was one of only six students from TV 1 that was included in the first year of TV 2, where we were given more advanced projects. This became so fun for me, that I'd show up to school an hour early just to work or experiment. On top of that, I'd spend my regular class, lunch hour, study hall and sometimes, an hour or two after school, working in the lab. I'd often finish projects early and ask the teacher for new ones. He usually turned me down and made me wait on everyone else. I just wanted to learn. From there, I decided that I wanted to take the post production skills that I had gained to college to nurture them and eventually use them as a livelihood.

In May of 2007, when I was nearing the end of my Bachelor's Degree in Cinema and Photography, I was hired on at News 3 as an Associate Producer, editing video and running cameras. It wasn't until late 2010, however that I went full-on graphics, after someone noticed some of my digital paintings. Though I truly love films more than television, News 3 has been a great outlet thus far at sharpening my editing and graphics skills.

Thanks to Aaron for telling us all about his work at WSIL!
There are more "Behind the Scenes" blogs to come!
Don't forget- we're on the air at 5:30 a.m. in High Definition!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Behind the Scenes with Weston

Good Thursday morning! Think you're up early? Chances are, News 3 This Morning Producer Weston White has you beat. He's the topic of today's Behind the Scenes blog post!

Behind the Scenes with Weston
Weston White produces the morning show.
We fondly refer to him as "Dub Dub"

  • Describe your routine as part of the morning show crew...
I generally arrive at the News 3 studio around 12:30am each morning. My first task is to sort through messages and emails about any new news, story updates, etc. Next I go through the scripts of the previous night's shows to see what is still usable for the morning. Finally I check the state and national wires-- and the CNN and ABC national archive for new stories.

Once everything is compiled I start writing and changing scripts...and searching for video or pictures to accompany them. We treat each of our three half-hours as its own separate show- so I start with the 5:30 show and work my way through the 6:30.

Kevin and Emily generally arrive around 3:15am and start proofreading scripts. They also help me search for stories and add any stories that they find. Without their help there'd likely be no news happening in the morning!
  • What's the most stressful aspect of your job?
The most stressful part of producing the morning show is trying to get everything done before showtime.
Most days there isn't a lot of news happening between 10pm and 5am...(and when there is it's hard to get officials to provide information/confirm information/etc). We strive to have as much new news as possible on the morning show-- but that isn't always possible. So just finding enough content to fill the show, while at the same time maintaining a good what I struggle with the most.
  • What's the best part about your job?
The best part of the job are my co-workers and the stories we get to do.
There's a bit more freedom when it comes to stories and segments we can do on the morning show. Case in point...roller derby and tasers.

Weston uses his stop watch to time the show from the control room.
Kevin, Emily, and Clint wear earpieces so they can hear Weston's time cues.

  • What's something viewers might be surprised to learn about the morning show?
The fact that everyone is having fun at work can easily be seen while we're on the air. What happens off the air and during commercials is usually even funnier. Some viewers get a glimpse of that on Justin TV or from clips we post online. But that's just the tip of the iceberg. Despite the fun everybody still maintains their professionalism-- which is one reason (in my opinion) everybody works so well together. We can report the news and weather and have fun while doing it. That's the reason I love my job.
  • Why did you first become interested in news?
I've always been somewhat interested in news. My first job was at a news, talk, sports AM radio station in Sparta, Illinois. That was really my first taste into the world of delivering news. I decided to go into the Radio and Television program at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale because I enjoyed working in radio. In one of my introduction classes they took us into the TV studios...and that's when I realized that radio wasn't where I wanted to be.

I was never able to participate in the student-run station at SIU because of my jobs. Luckily I had interned at River Radio (as "Intern Weston" on Z100's Nut n Honey Morning Show) and was offered a part-time job upon graduation. I worked there and at Pinckneyville's newspaper office until I got a part-time job here at WSIL. After a few months of working nights and weekends...I applied for the soon-to-open morning producer job. Somehow I was offered the position and the rest is history!

 Thanks, Weston! There are more Behind the Scenes blogs to come!
Join us on News 3 This Morning in HD starting at 5:30 am!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Behind the Scenes with Clint

Good Morning! Hope your Wednesday is off to a good start. Chances are, one of the big things you need to know about before you head out the door- is the forecast. Clint Misselhorn brings you the Weather on the 3's weekdays on News 3 This Morning. And now he's taking us behind the scenes, letting us know what it takes to do his job! Thanks Clint!

Behind the Scenes with Clint
Clint has been with WSIL for 6 years 

  • Describe your daily routine as part of the morning show crew
My daily routine starts out by making sure all of the computer systems in the weather center are running smoothly. We work off of a network of computers that pull radar and satellite data, weathernet cameras, and our ADONIS models. It takes a little over an hour to really push through a tough forecast by looking at all of the charts and models. After I've made a forecast I create all of the weather graphics on our network of computers. This process can be slow at times when the weather is really active. Once all of the weather graphics are ready, it's time to get ready for air and away we go!
  • What's the most stressful part of your job?
The most stressful part of my job has to be handling a severe weather event. Remaining calm while you are inundated with breaking weather updates and rapidly changing conditions can wreak havoc on you! During severe events there are always 5 things going on at once and you never have enough hands to monitor it all.

Clint stands in front of a green screen as he gives the forecast- referring to a monitor off to the side so he knows where he's pointing.

  • What's the most fun?
The most fun doing weather the roller coaster ride during the show. During the morning show we have the Weather on the 3's, which means I'm up with a different angle on the forecast every 10 minutes. This keeps me hopping and it seems like the hour and half show just flies by.
  • What's something viewers might be surprised to learn about the morning show?
Viewers might be surprised to know that we don't just rip and read the forecast from the national weather service. I sit down to forecast each and every morning looking at countless charts, graphs, and models and breaking down the science of meteorology. Translating that science into everyday language is the final result and what you see on air.
  • Why did you first become interested in TV news?
I first became interested in TV news when I was a kid playing sports. News 3 would stop by Trico and shoot highlights and I would always run home and see if I was in the highlights (I rarely ever was!). Sitting at the kitchen counter hoping my school would be called off for snow also sparked an interest!

Thanks Clint for taking us Behind the Scenes! Look for more blogs from other members of the News 3 This Morning team in the days to come.
And don't forget- we're on the air at 5:30 a.m. in HD! That's when we fire up the Cover it Live chat so you can discuss stories in the news! (or anything else that's on your mind)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Behind the Scenes with Matt

Good Morning! Thanks for stopping by our blog, as we launch our "Behind the Scenes" series! Each member of the morning show team is sharing little-known facts about their job. Not only will these blogs introduce you to those on the News 3 This Morning crew (both on-air and off), but it may change the way you watch the news... knowing exactly what it takes to pull off our daily 90-minute show!

Behind the Scenes with Matt
News 3 This Morning Director Matt Howell has spent 5 years at WSIL

  • Describe your daily routine as part of the morning show crew...
Show up to work at 3:30 AM and get the Kayak Technical Directing Board ready with my settings along with the Audio board, and the OTS graphics. Then by 4:00 AM I start marking my scripts for the show. At 5:30 AM we start our first show and go till 7:00 AM when we have our morning meeting. Then I rush to mark the scripts and get the ready for the fisrt cut in at 7:25:28. After that I am able to take a break and then mark the rest of the cut ins for the day. After the last cut in I either go out on a story and get video or go with a reporter and do a packaged story. If nothing is needed I change the lights in the studio, and archive past video.
  • What's the most stressful part of your job?
Directing is very stressful. Prep work may not be that bad (marking scripts with camera shots, video and graphic channels, special instructions, etc.) but during the show, that all changes. I have to be on my toes during the whole hour and a half of show. If I relax and slack off then I miss something important. It's a double check system for everyone here. The producers check to see that what I got up is right, I check the floor crews camera shots and CG operators work to make sure it's the right thing and they me. Anchors check everyone to see where we are at and what the skinny is of our work.

Matt spends the morning show in the control room.
  • What's the most fun?
While I would not say it's fun, I would say it's satisfying to have a difficult show and come out of it with a perfect, good looking product.
  • What's something viewers might be surprised to learn about the morning show?
I think they would be impressed to learn what all goes into a newscast. The anchors of the morning show do more then just write and read scripts. They are responsible for web chats and dealing out scripts for editors. Our producer has to work for hours to scrounge up enough news to put on a 90 minute show. Associate Producers work fast and well to edit lots of different pieces of video. (Sometimes even when the show is in progress). Also they are reponsible for running floor cameras and running our video playout system. I think some people would be surprised that I have a ton of buttons to push in a short amount of time. Also that I have to pay attention to more than whats going on in the now, but also what will go on in the next two or three minutes and even next show. The graphics maker has a hard time sometimes due to last minute stories coming down the line and having to make a visual fullscreen graphic at the last minute, but the artistry of such a thing is truly astounding.
  • Why did you first become interested in TV news?
I switched my major from Forensic science to television because I like being able to create something that would last.

Thanks to Matt for taking us "Behind the Scenes"... Look for more blogs from the rest of the News 3 This Morning crew in the coming days!
And don't forget to tune in to the morning show weekdays on WSIL from 5:30 to 7:00...
the only local morning news in high definition!

Monday, January 10, 2011

$mart Money: Learn from PITS

We're still in that phase of the year where we're thinking about goals and resolutions. This week's $mart Money expert- John Forbes with Forbes Financial Group- took a look back at some of the major events from 2010, and how we can move forward, and apply those lessons to our finances. The overall theme is PITS:
  • Perseverance
  • Irritations
  • Tragedies
  • Surprises
We also want your questions for future $mart Money segments! Here's how you can contact us with your financial questions...
  • Email
  • News 3 This Morning Facebook Page
  • News 3 This Morning Twitter Page
  • Call (618) 985-2333 before lunchtime and ask for Kevin Hunsperger or Emily Eddington
  • Right here on the News 3 This Morning Blog comments section!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Behind the Scenes with the Morning Crew

Hello everyone! Just wanted to give you a heads up on a morning show blog exclusive. As you probably realize, the makings of the show go far beyond the 3 people you see bringing you the news & weather everyday. We have a producer, a director, a graphics person, and associate producers that also work crazy hours in order to pull off a daily morning newscast.

In the coming weeks, you'll see blog posts from all the members of our crew (both on air and behind the scenes), sharing what their typical day is like, and exactly what it takes to do their job. Through words and pictures, we'll let you see what it's like to be part of our crew, which tends to feel more like a family.

Is there anything you're especially curious about when it comes to our show? Anything you'd like crew members to address as they write their "day in the life" blogs? You can let us know in the comments section here, or shoot us an email at

Thanks for checking out our blog, and look for more in the near future!

News 3 Ring Circus...

Good Morning! Hope your Tuesday's off to a good start. It's a bit of a 3 Ring Circus on our show today. We have lots going on... here are some of the highlights-

 In the Lion's Den!

The owner of an animal refuge in Florida is living with Lions!! For the month of January, he'll spend 24 hours a day inside their cage. We'll have the full story in our 5:30 half hour, but you can also watch the experience LIVE ONLINE.

 Harlem Globetrotters!

Handles Franklin will show off some tricks live in our studio!
Look for him in our 6 & 6:30 half hours.
The team will play at SIU Arena Jan. 13th at 7pm...
tickets are still available.

 Have a Scam-Free New Year!

We'll have a live interview with Chris Thetford from the Better Business Bureau. He'll help us all become smarter consumers in 2011, staying free from scams! He'll touch on the latest issues with employment-related scams, identity theft, and those tempting "free trial offers." You'll find this story, as well as a number of technology-related headlines in our Tech Tuesday segment in our 6:00 half hour.

Join us for these segments and much more on News 3 This Morning...
We're on the air at 5:30 a.m. in HD!
CLICK HERE to join our chat room & watch live online!

Monday, January 3, 2011

$mart Money!

Hi everyone! Hopefully you're noticing a theme on Monday mornings. Each week, we bring in a different expert to talk about various issues relating to finance. We've talked about spending, saving, budgeting, pensions, and more. Today David England joined us live on the set. He's an Associate Professor of Finance at John A. Logan College, and founder of the website "The Trader's Eye." He told us his stock market predictions for the year ahead, and also took some viewer questions about gold and short term investments.

Our goal for $mart Money is to make it interactive-- covering the topics YOU want to hear about. We welcome your financial questions, and you don't have to contact us in a certain window of time. You have all week to let us know, and then on Monday mornings, we'll pop your question up on the screen for our expert to answer.

Here's how you can contact us with your $mart Money questions!
  • Email
  • News 3 This Morning Facebook Page
  • News 3 This Morning Twitter Page
  • Call (618) 985-2333 before lunchtime and ask for Kevin Hunsperger or Emily Eddington
  • Right here on the News 3 This Morning Blog comments section!

Don't forget, you can always shoot us an email from you smartphone! On Monday, January 10th, our $mart Money expert is John Forbes with Forbes Financial Group in Carbondale. Thanks for stopping by our blog, and have a great day!

Be Healthy... Eat the Fruit & Veggie of the Month!

Good Morning! It's Monday already. Thanks for starting the day with News 3 This Morning! Don't forget, we're chatting away on our Cover it Live chat room live during the show! It's up and running from 5:30 to 7:00 a.m.

How many of you are working plenty of fruits and vegetables into your meals? If you could use a little inspiration, take this tip from the organization Fruits & Veggies More Matters. They've designated bananas and snow peas the fruit and vegetable of the month! Here are some fun facts and recipes to help you work these foods into your meals! Both recipes meet the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention guidelines for healthy recipes. (all information courtesy Fruits and Veggies More Matters)

Go Bananas!
  • Did you know... banana trees are not trees- the banana plant is a giant herb!
  • Choose bananas with slight green on the stem & tip. They should be firm.
  • Store unripe bananas at room temperature, and store ripe bananas in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
  • Bananas are fat free and sodium free, and a good source of fiber, vitamin C, and potassium.

Banana Berry Pancakes
Prep time: 20 minutes
Serves: 4
Cups of fruit & veggies per serving: 1/2

  • 1 large banana, peeled and sliced
  • 1 cup complete pancake mix
  • 1/2 cup water
  • nonstick cooking spray
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen strawberries (unsweetened)
  • 2 tablespoons strawberry jam
Pancake preparation- Place banana in a medium bowl and mash with fork. Add pancake mix and water; stir until blended. Spray a large skillet with non-stick cooking spray over medium heat. Pour 1/4 cup batter for each pancake into hot skillet. Cook pancakes for about 2 minutes per side or until cooked thorugh.

Topping preparation- Place berries in a small bowl with jam. Microwave on hgih for 1 minute. Stir, then cook for 1 minute more. Spoon topping over pancakes.
Snow Pea-palooza
  • At one time, snow peas were only seen in Chinese restaurants. Now, they're available everywhere.
  • Choose snow peas that are shiny & flat, with very small peas that are barely visible thorugh the pod.
  • Store unwashed peas in a perforated bag in the fridge for up to 5 days.
  • Snow Peas are an excellent source of vitamin C and iron.

Chinatown Vegetable Medley
Prep time: 20 mintues
Serves: 4
Cups of fruits & veggies per serving: 1/2

  • 1 teaspoon cooking oil
  • 1 medium carrot, thinly sliced diagonally
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/2 yellow onion, cut into 1" pieces
  • 2 ounces baby corn
  • 1/4 cup broccoli florets
  • 1/4 cup cauliflower florets
  • 1/2 cup snow peas
  • 1/4 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon oyster flavored sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
Combine sauce ingredients in a bowl, set aside. Place a wok or wide frying pan over HIGH heat until hot. Add oil, swirling to coat sides. Add vegetables and stir-fry for 1 minute. Add sauce and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-high; cover and cook for 5 minutes.