Crew Assignments

"I have an itch to be part of a newsroom."
- Jane Robelot announcing her return to local television

Crew assignments and operation are imperative to a smooth-running broadcast and production crew. Therefore, students must know each assignment definition and its responsibilities. You can either assign each student for the entire semester to a specific assignment, or you can rotate throughout the semester, enabling all students to experience each role. This is an excellent opportunity for you as an educator to essentially “cross-train” these students, ensuring each student will know each assignment, therefore allowing another student to step in another assignment if required.

Below are crew assignments and job descriptions.

Daily News Producer: The daily news producer is responsible for the newscast production. He/she is responsible for the entire production crew and coordinating technical and nontechnical production elements of the broadcast. The daily news producer is also responsible for gathering and assigning stories.

Line Producer: Responsible for producing the program, the Line Producer oversees studio preparation, equipment, on-air broadcast, including anchor direction, and studio clean-up post-broadcast. The Line Producer is also responsible for overseeing the run-through, or pre-show, ensuring the script is smooth and anchors are polished.

Anchor(s): The anchor’s responsibilities include preparing the broadcast script around reporter stories and features (with the direction from the assigned producer) and ensuring a professional, on-air professional broadcast. Good posture, clear speaking and pace are very important aspects to consider when anchoring. It is the anchor’s job to engage the audience.

Director: The director is responsible for directing all aspects of the broadcast, including the technical director and camera operators, ensuring both receive direction on switching cameras and count-downs.

Technical Director: Taking direction from the director, the technical director operates the video switcher during the live broadcast, including punching, switching and fades, as well as ensures all clips for the day’s broadcast are loaded and cued.

Camera Person(s): Responsible for camera operation during the broadcast, the camera person(s) should make sure before the broadcast all cameras are operational, white-balanced, on the tripod, all wiring is correct and the feed is being read by switcher. The camera operator should go through the broadcast run-through, familiarizing him/herself with the broadcast run-down.

 

Audio Engineer: Assisting the director, the audio engineer makes sure the sound board is on, working properly and the signal is being read by the audio mixer or recorder. The assistant director is also responsible for microphones and all on-air broadcast participants can be heard. Additionally, the assistant director/audio engineer chooses the music for each broadcast. Remember copyright rules before choosing copyrighted music.

Character Generator Operator/Lower Thirds: The character generation operator will create all pages of text (for example, credits), lower thirds and overlays before the broadcast. He/she will also ensure all still pictures are available and cued for broadcast.Script Editors: Script editors are responsible for ensuring the script is well-written, grammatically correct and factually accurate. If corrections need to be made, or problems are evident, it’s the script editor’s job to correct the information.

TelePrompter Operator: The teleprompter operator must keep up with the anchor by constantly slowing down and speeding up the scrolling of the text. The teleprompter operator also needs to do some pre-production work.  They should at the very least have a show rundown and compare what’s loaded into the prompter with the rundown.  If there are any discrepancies, alert the producer and the anchor.

Sports Producer: The sports producer gathers scores from relevant games, provides the scores and results to the producer and CG operator, game schedules, and ensures all game footage, interviews, etc. are given to the video editor in time for the broadcast.

Video Editor(s): Responsible for editing all offline footage shot by camera persons, for example, interviews, game highlights, school events, etc. before the daily broadcast to be integrated into the show.

Reporter(s): The reporter’s main responsibility is to gather information for stories and features for the broadcast. This is done by interviews, press releases, public records and other sources. Splitting his/her time between working in the newsroom and going on field assignments, they compile, write and sometimes edit the story.

Floor Director: The stage manager is responsible for ensuring the set is ready each day for broadcast, including set design, dressing the set for appropriate events and making sure the overall appearance of the set is broadcast-ready. The floor director also signals to on-camera talent (anchors, etc.) which camera is active and how much time is remaining the the story or segment.