TV Rundown 9100 Page 7
"The key is organization --- making certain we would not be surprised by what
happened," he said.
They took advantage of every cut-in the network gave, plus they carved out times of
The first night they kept a reporter on all night and did updates twice an hour on how
people were reacting to the news --- from parents watching the coverage to shots of
The Milwaukee Journal coming off the presses with "WAR" as its headline.
"That's the kind of coverage we hope will set us apart -- - constantly having a
presence, not to override the network, but to provide a comfort zone for viewers who
are wondering about the local effect," he said.
The station worked with the blood center to encourage donations and organize
the flood of people showing up at the centers.
"We have set up a program with the Blood Center in which a person who wants to
donate blood simply has to call a toll-free number to register with the center and make
an appointment. This allows the center to make maximum use of the donor beds,"
It worked out very well, and the Blood Center had a tremendous response from people
who were available to donate if more blood was needed.
This was a concrete action which had two benefits: it could help the troops who would
need it, and it introduced a whole new population to the Blood Center, which had had
problems of getting donations since start of the AIDS scare.
Military families were contacted in advance to find ones who would be willing to
talk and let a news crew into their homes.
"We could quickly go to people who had already given their consent," he said.
Wisconsin families living in Saudi Arabia had been contacted.
They reached several people living in the Middle East. When a news crew traveled
there several months earlier, the crew got pictures of some of them.
"We have stayed in touch with these people and they have become our adopted
family," Luljak explained.
The people sent videotapes of them celebrating Christmas and meeting with the troops.
"We have been able to profile these people over an extended period of time with our
viewers," he said.
On the night of the opening attack, the station aired phoners with them, using graphics
and stock video.