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Colorado Inside Out: The Producer Blog

It seems fitting as we begin the new year that we begin a new blog here on CPT12.org.  Every week, this space will be occupied by the Colorado Inside Out Producer blog, giving you, our viewers and fans, a special behind the scenes look at Colorado Public Television’s flagship weekly public affairs program.

This week, our esteemed host Raj Chohan was not able to join us, so Patricia Calhoun, editor of Westword and original CIO panelist, guest hosted.

The panel included Alicia Caldwell from the editorial page at The Denver Post, Brad Jones from Face the State.com, Eric Sondermann, political analyst from SE2 and freelance journalist April Washington.

For this week’s look behind the curtain, our theme is the show you script is not always the show you get.

Each week, my key job as producer is to prepare the script for the program.  However, very little of the actual show is scripted. I only write the initial topics that the host reads to kick off the discussions.

Each script has a kick off topic, four longer issues and our favorite segment, Disgrace of the Week and Say Something Nice About Somebody.

We don’t firmly time each and every segment, nor do we edit anything. Everything that is said in the studio goes straight to the viewers at home.

So, since most of the show is unscripted and there is no editing, the panel, and really the host, are in charge of keeping the conversation rolling and more importantly, on time.

If the panel doesn’t talk long enough, the show runs too short, and the host will need to stretch.  But if the panel has a lot to say, the host needs to be sure we don’t run late and must edit the script on the fly. Our program has a concrete total running time and if we run over, it would impact the entire programming schedule.

This week’s episode put our host Patricia Calhoun’s ability to keep us on time to the test.

Because there was a lot to talk about regarding the first three issues, I decided to cut the fourth topic from the discussion, since we were running out of time. But since that didn’t quite do the trick, I also had to cut the Say Something Nice Segment.

Our host Patty had to negotiate all of these changes on the fly, without any instructions from me, except for a few cues from a teleprompter.

The show ended right on time, but few if any viewers will know how hard Patty had to work to make that happen.

So while she has received national recognition for her editing of a newspaper, I will be the first one to urge national recognition for Patty for editing live video on the fly!

It’s one of the many reasons why I love working on this show; getting to watch real professionals do amazing stuff every week.

Please stay tuned every week for more behind the scenes stories and secrets.

This entry was posted in 12 Talk by Dominic Dezzutti. Bookmark the permalink.

About Dominic Dezzutti

As the CPT12 Director of Production, Dominic Dezzutti is the coordinating producer for the station's weekly community affairs programs. Dominic serves as producer for Colorado Inside Out , Colorado Decides - the debate series jointly produced with CBS4 and serves as Executive Producer of CPT12's weekly live call-in program, Studio 12.

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