Glenn Schuck is just one of the WINS reporters who will be covering Pope Francis. Photo CBS Radio
CBS Radio’s WINS(AM) in New York is preparing for extensive coverage of Pope Francis’ visit to the United States, notably when he is in New York. Radio World spoke with WINS Assistant News Director Ivan Lee about those plans.
Radio World: What plans are in place for WINS operations to cover the pope?
Ivan Lee: Our coverage plan for the pope’s visit to Washington, Philadelphia and New York City will obviously focus on the New York events. We will have special in-house reporters starting Wednesday and continuing through the pope’s departure. Our reporters will be previewing and providing updates on the pope’s visit, as well as special guests to provide commentary on Friday, the pope’s busiest day in New York. While he is traveling in other cities, we will rely on our CBS Radio network resources.
RW: What’s involved technically; what codecs, audio connectivity or other audio equipment will the team be using?
Lee: We will be using various devices including Comrex Access portables as either IP (wired or wireless) or POTS codecs, and smartphones for recording.
RW: What is the standard audio rig these days for your news people in the field?
Lee: Each 1010 WINS reporter has a Comrex Access unit that they can feed audio cuts to the station from their laptop or hard disk recorder while they are going live. The laptops also have full editing capability and can act as a standalone recording device to supplement the other equipment. In addition, they carry smartphones that are outfitted with an app that streams MP3-quality audio back to the station.
RW: Will there be an audio mixing location at these events, similar to what you might do for inaugurations and other big events?
Lee: We won’t have audio mixing stations, but we will be using pool feeds. Our reporters will carry with them all the editing capability they need.
RW: How many bodies will be assigned by the station?
Lee: We will have a team of reporters assigned to remote locations, as well as several others who will be working in-house to ensure that everything goes smoothly. We also have a special producer assigned specifically for the coverage.
RW: What other special considerations does the pope’s visit bring to your news management planning?
Lee: Everyone in the city will have a difficult time traveling while the pope is here, so planning the logistics has been at the top of our list. One of the priorities is to make sure the entire team is in position at the appropriate times. It is also important to capture the special moments that will happen outside of the pope’s public schedule. This requires us to be flexible enough with our staffing and our coverage to get to the scene so we can report on the interactions between the pope and the people. Those connections might be the most memorable moments of his trip.