Check it, Peons: Your CNN Humiliation Compartmentalized

Monday, August 24, 2009


Good Morning Peons!
I'm happy to brighten your Monday with a vintage story from a CNN pioneer. A control room veteran known as Oy The Audio Man stumbled on Peon Confidential. He wrote in and said:
"I was one of the Original employees at Atlanta, and signed on before CNN went on the air, or the building was even completed. I was scheduled to be in the building 14 hours a day, and was usually there more. I worked 7 days a week for over 3 months, and therefore was there for a lot of incidents. Especially as most nights I slept in the equipment/props storage area on the Sandy Freeman Show furniture. So in many cases when hell broke loose somebody woke me up to help."

As you can imagine, this man has plenty of great tales, but one in particular was my favorite. It's proof that the transition from ancient paper TelePrompter to modern newsroom technology was not so smooth:
"The computer-fed prompter put up a nasty letter of resignation by error. [Anchor] Bob Cain was reading and it started out, 'I'd like to inform you of the passing of something near and dear to me at CNN - myself.' Then it got really nasty. After about 20 seconds of reading, Bob looked at the control area and said, 'Do you really want me to go on reading this?'"

Beautiful. Oy the Audio Man--keep 'em coming please!


#1Peon said...

Hi Oy! I'm glad you found Peon Con. What was CNN like the first night on air? What was it like while you guys were getting ready for air? It sounds it was really crazy.

Oy the Audio Man said...

Everyone was nervous. You know, some of the originals with whom I'm still in touch have said that I should write down some of the stories. Of course, I dare say that some of the former management might prefer that I not. Example:
One day the anchor was doing a story about the wedding dress of Princess Di in her upcoming wedding. The man on duty at Master Control was feeding the program to the satelite uplink, normally a just sit and watch it go through job.
He was bored, and put something up on the preset monitor to watch while he just sat at the switcher. Unfortunately, he put up the Miss Nude America feed that he dialed up on the router. Did you ever notice that long orange bar on the switcher labeled "take"? If you hit it, it flips what you put in preset to air. You got it, he leaned on the take bar.
The result was the anchor saying roughly, the new wedding dress of Princess Di is causing quite a stir..Bang- cut to a full nude shot from the program I mentioned. After about 4 seconds, Master saw what he had done and switched back.
Then, he calmly took off his headset, put it down on the switcker, and walked out of the building. I was later told he never even bothered to pick up his fnal check.
Meanwhile, back at the Master Control ranch, panic set in because no one left in the room knew how to run the MC switcher. Someone got on the building PA and announced "Anybody who knows how to run the Master Control switcher come to Master Control - IMMEDIATELY." Someone showed up in about a minute.

vjdutton said...

This had me laughing so hard I had tears rolling. I love it.

Anonymous said...

Awesome. Just awesome.

Prince Charles said...

What a disgrace! You lowly Americans are so terribly vulgar.

Camilla's Tampon said...

Err...I agree!