Live TV News Blooper: My AirPods kept falling out of my ears
Plus how I fixed the audio problem for home studio
As most of you know, I was a national TV reporter for years doing daily live hits and stories. Before that, I guest hosted or was an analyst on TV for years on most every network – Fox, ABC, HBO, OAN, CNN, CNBC and more.
All those times I had professional production teams to do the technical aspects – a camera, lighting, audio, editing, plus crews in the studios and control rooms. Plus I had professional equipment.
But with just a home studio and amateur equipment, I had a big blooper on live national TV. I admitted it on TV. This is a behind-the-scenes story about what happened and why and how I learned to fix it.
You can also watch this report on YouTube video below:
TV NEWS, PANDEMIC CHANGE
Everything I knew about TV news changed during the pandemic because almost everyone is now doing TV hits from home.
The full-time TV reporter and anchors have professional equipment in their homes. But the rest of us use the equipment that all of you are using for your remote work from home — zoom, skype, laptop camera and audio.
I’ve mostly worked in national news and that is top-notch production value. My first job out of college was at NBC network news, where I was a production assistant. Then I went to ABC network news as a researcher for “This Week” and moved up to the associate producer.
So it’s been a challenge for me to do TV post pandemic– or video on my new YouTube channel – without it being as perfect as I have come to expect from working with the best professionals.
WATCH THE BLOOPER!
So I made a new video on my YouTube channel to show you the blooper and explain why it happened, how I handled it and how I fixed it for this week’s show.
You can watch the video below BUT please click through and subscribe to my new channel so you can be notified of new videos that I’m not sending out as emails.
Two weeks ago, I was live on national TV as a guest on Sean Spicer’s show on Newsmax. I have to use AirPods to hear the anchor ask me questions. But I have small ears and during the live show, the AirPods kept falling out of my ears.
Things go wrong on live TV all the time, so I knew it was best to openly address the viewers about the distraction of the AirPods flying all over the place. The segment was a big blooper.
THE TV FIX
This week, I was set to be on the show again, and I asked Spicer’s production team for help so the same problem didn’t happen again. His producer Anna connected me to a member of the Newsmax Technical Operation staff.
I told him I was used to an IFB – which is a professional earpiece for reporters and anchors that connects to a remote communication box that we wear on our backs or the chair in the studio.
I can’t explain it in my technical detail because it’s always just been handed to me! But I learned this week that IFB stands for interruptible foldback or feedback. The button is a receiver.
The IFB you see in the photo was made from a mold of my ear so it fits perfectly. I nev
The Newsmax technical operations team said that I could use my IFB with my computer. I never even thought of that idea! But there is a plug that fit perfectly into my old MacBook Air laptop.
Then he walked me through what I needed to do with the settings on Skype so I could hear the incoming audio (Spicer’s questions) and the outgoing audio came from the lavalier-style microphone that was also attached to my laptop.
The only problem was the IFB cable is short because it was always intended just to reach down my back to the pack or to the chair. I was sitting about two feet from my computer so the cable was stretched behind and under me and pulling me into the computer. I was a little worried it would pop out again on TV, but it didn’t.
Afterward, I asked Spicer’s awesome team about that problem and they sent me a link to a 6’ long connector HERE that I ordered off Amazon and will connect next time. I’ll let you know how it works.
I made a longer video about other behind-the-scenes TV news things that you can watch below ….. and then ask me anything about TV news in the comments!
What do you want to know about what happens behind the scenes in TV news? What have you seen go right or wrong and wondered why it happened?