Thursday, January 9, 2014

Help...omg...the net's down!

Sunday morning panic at NBC Radio

I was a news writer at NBC Chicago in 1969...before going to Nam as their correspondent.
NBC Radio network had a thing called the “rack” which was a manuel switcher between New York and Chicago. Chicago originated news on the hour several times a day with John Dancy or Jim Ruddle so New York would “flip” the rack and when Chicago finished we’d “flip” it back.
One sunday morning I was writing the newscasts and Jim Ruddle read one at the top of the hour on the whole NBC Radio Net.  Engineering went through their normal routine but  we couldn’t get the rack back to New York!
The very popular “Monitor” program was set to begin the next hour so panic began to set in.
We were told in Chicago that we would have to improvise “Monitor” until the rack problem was corrected.
Faxed scripts were coming in...Jim Ruddle was standing by to host and all hands were digging through wastebaskets for tossed copy to use as filler.
Ruddle was cool...but the rest of us were shook-up!
Then about five minutes before the top of the got the “rack” back to NYC....and Monitor went on the air as scheduled!

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