This is a personal web page and does not necessarily reflect the views of WCVB.
Comments by Rick Zach.

 

 

Behind the scenes at the NH Primaries  1-8-2008.
The views that you never get to see.

 

Interesting trivia: 
This was an extremely long day with few, if any breaks for the TV crews.  At each campaign headquarters, the Republicans tended to feed the press and take good care of their participants. 

With the Democrats, you're pretty much on you're own.  The exact opposite of their political philosophies... 

 

 

 

 



Most candidate video was delivered from several NH sites by fiber optics to WMUR
then by dual 60-mile microwave relays through Mt. Uncanoonuc back to WCVB. 
The reliability of these microwave links were absolutely critical.



Wednesday: Test#1 in freezing rain didn't work as reliably as we had hoped. 
Thursday: Neither did test #2 with the wind chill temperature at -10.
Friday & Sunday:  Attempts #3 and #4 in better weather were a charm.

 

 


Election day...   Can you hear me now?

 

 

 

     
Four candidate sites were fed by fiber to Mount Uncanoonuc
and then by microwave to Boston as shown above.
Three candidate sites were separately fed by satellite. 

 

 

 


Edwards Campaign Headquarters

Edwards was not in the lead so this ended up being one of the smaller satellite setups.  The Edwards campaign was the least savvy candidate group (by far) in providing essential accommodations for press logistics in both 2004 and again in 2008.

Just one example of many:  The Edwards venue had no electricity available until very late on Election Day.  No working setups or pre-event testing was possible.  Until that time, the WHDH-TV news van provided electricity to the shared Verizon fiber equipment used by all outlets. This type of field cooperation is not unusual among TV news competitors.

 

 

 


The WCVB crew at the Edwards HQ which was located
in an old, narrow mill complex.  The room had posts in the camera shot. 
This crew was savvy and creative because they had to be.

 

 

 


                                                                                                                                  Steven Donnell cell phone photo

 

 

 


Clinton


The Clinton campaign provided one of the larger media compounds.  Media logistics were well thought-out
with one exception. Clinton forgot to provision electricity for the camera crews until 24-hours before the event.

 

 

 

 


Huckabee


WCVB rented two extra satellite trucks, this one at Huckabee.
The venue was at a small country club so that truck parking was at a premium.

 

 


Editing a story inside the satellite truck.

 

 

 


Romney


The Romney facility was first-rate,  the participants notably well-heeled.

 

 

 


TV crews were comparatively well provisioned (and well fed) by the Romney Campaign.
No crews needed to leave for lunch.  Smart move.

 

 

 


Inside the second rented satellite uplink truck, this one at Romney HQ.  (by Videolink)

 

 

 

 


WHDH-TV ch7 at Romney utilized the most-miniaturized
satellite package of any media outlet.

 

 

 

 


Obama


For each live camera inside, there was a satellite truck outside.

 

 

 


Although understated on the outside, used by NECN and called "Beastie Boy",
this was one of the most sophisticated control room trucks at any location.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


The Obama headquarters attendance was the largest by far.  And no food anywhere.
Due to overcrowding, the WCVB crew was able to get to their box lunches sometime after 11:30PM.
It was a very long day...

 

 

 


The Obama live camera area was very large.

 

 

 


The Obama press room was huge.    But he lost.

 

 

 


McCain


The McCain press room was fairly small.  But he won.

 

 

 


Some reporters brought their own stepstools but WCVB toughed it out.

 

 

 


Many Apple MacBook Pros were used by the media
for photos, story text and even laptop video editing.
Many HDV Prosumer-type HD video cameras were also seen.

 

 

 


Lots of Macs...

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 


Street actor and write-in candidate "Vermin Supreme" was seen at the Obama HQ
earlier in the day but he wasn't allowed inside.  He was admitted into the McCain HQ
but only after the candidate left.  His campaign slogan: "I'm against gingivitis and plaque"

 

 

 

 


For many crews the day started at 8AM. 
After the news coverage ended at 11:32PM, the day could finally be called a success!
But it wasn't over yet...

 

 

 


Most crews returned to the WCVB studios by 1:30AM.
Due to some cabling issues, the last crew returned at 4AM
and still reported for work the next morning.

 

 

This is a personal web page and does not necessarily reflect the views of WCVB.