ABC GMA Crew Sends Local News Crew “where you’re supposed to be”

May 11, 2010 discussion, lead

From:  KOKH-TV

While doing morning live shots for KOKH-TV in Oklahoma City, photographer John Biebrich and reporter Liz Dueweke had a “run-in” with Good Morning America. It appears the Fox affiliate crew moved into a location reserved by the ABC network crew and reporter Sam Champion.

Without all the details, it’s difficult to know the dynamics of what happened before and after this live-shot. All I can tell from this video is the encounter doesn’t look like it was friendly.

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  1. dhart says:

    Looks like someone had one too many 3:30AM calls 🙂

  2. Matt says:

    I hate to see network crews treating local crews like this. This happens way too often.

  3. Friz says:

    That’s too bad. That this “Pro” decided to put his book in front of the lens and then continue to talk to the photographer, and really destroy the live shot. Show some respect to fellow media. There is room for all. Try that with me..and I promise once my cam button is switch too “off”…you’re gonna be in for some trouble.

  4. Earl of Twirl says:

    The whole scene post tornado has been a joke. GMA claimed to have exclusive rights to the store…however when store owners arrived their tune changed.

  5. Craig Carpenter says:

    Network crews are a bunch of thugs. I had a problem with an alleged producer with Fox and told him in the kindest way that if he touched me one more time as I tried to take pictures… the guy was toast. That was it… no more problems.

  6. Kyle says:

    Why was the local guy wandering into the networks liveshot? We have all been in these situations, just plan your liveshot better and you won’t put random crews on the air.

  7. Cornelio says:

    What a douche move on the networks part. I dont think the network was doing a live shot at the time. If they were i dont think the local guys would have wondered over there.

    Of course that is my assumption on the situation.

    I dont see a problem with heading that way if there is no live shot going on at the time. I mean hell, storm damage is storm damage and people want to see the mayhem, so why not go into the store.

  8. okieviewer says:

    I am from Oklahoma City & saw the incident on the morning news as it happened. It was absolutely shameless, the way the network jerk behaved. He should have considered the situation – tornado season is nothing new for us – neither is the devestation it leaves in its path – but it is still a difficult situation for a community to deal with. There were fatalities that day & SO many people lost homes, business & cars. Sure makes something like a “live shot” intrusion seem awfully s-m-a-l-l.

  9. Beau says:

    Having been on both sides, but also not being at this seen I want to be fair, however…

    It has been my experience, especially with morning shots, that the local crews show up at the last minute and want to run thru all of you set-up in the name of coverage. I am guessing (from past experience) the GMA crew got there at around midnight — with, did I see a jib?– had permission to be on the owners private property, and having a frontline talent had 16 live hits to worry about. Then some local guy shows up 10 minutes before his live, and start getting his shot ready in a hurry. Then fires up the toplight and start roaming around live without saying anything to the network crew and THEN SHOVES A CAMERA IN SAM’S FACE. If I was on that GMA crew I would have lost my S&*%. I would have then gone to the News Director that morning and told him that his crews need to act like professionals..

    This is not and ego thing. I respect alot of guys who work in my local market, they have the same right to cover the news as I do. But if your telling me that that is what a liveshot of weather damage HAD TO BE I have a problem with that.

    Again, I am assuming, but I speak from experience.

    Last month I was covering John McCain for GMA. I was there at 1AM, Set up 7 lights, and made sure to leave room for others when they arrived. Some Jackass from a local station shows up 5 minutes before we hit and starts making a bunch of noise. My producer says nicely, “can you hold off for 10 minutes?” he says “well I have to get my show on TV too”. I almost yelled to show up early at a big event and not treat this like a county fair, but refrained…. In reality his shot was not for another hour, he just wanted to show us that he’s important too.

    there are 2 sides to every story.

  10. beau says:

    I just watched it again. Sam tried to be nice. Why did that idiot go over there. I am sure this was the first time he walked over there WHEN HE WAS LIVE.

    John, that was a pretty small market move….

  11. Adam says:

    This bad live shot is 100% the local crews fault.

    Before their hit they should have approached ABC and explained there live shot plan and worked something out.

    It doesn’t matter if this crew was local, network, or international. It is poor planning to point your camera at another crews set-up and invade there working space.

    Also, you don’t get in to a verbal spat on air over this! As soon as he flashed the binder just back away and put the camera back on YOUR reporter and finish the hit. The time to talk is BEFORE the hit even starts.

    The local Fox crew was unprepared, rude, disrespectful, and just plan lazy.

  12. Paul says:

    Can’t we all just get along? I understand both sides, but the GMA dude talking while the local guys were live was LAME. Yes, something should have been worked out BEFORE the shot, but once you are live everybody should just be cool. Yell, scream, act like an idiot: AFTER the shot.
    And network guys, you’ve all been in the postion of showing up 20min before a shot because THERE WAS OTHER STUFF TO DO before your live. C’mon…

  13. Youngin says:

    oh, beau. You haven’t been in local news in a while if that is your view. You also haven’t chased storms in Oklahoma if you think we have 7 hourse to set up a shot, or tear down a shot. We don’t have a truck op, and a producer and a sound guy and a light guy. Heck we are lucky if we even get time to look up and live. I would hope that network crews haven’t been so far departed for so long that they forget what it’s like to run on breaking, have to forfeit all your hard work to national networks who claim it as their own and then get chastized by pompus jerks about wether or not we can show our local viewing public the gas station they have been to a thousand times, reduced to rubble because they “own this space”. They probably had 15 other damage sites to shoot that day, I really doubt they had time to worry about whether or not they were hurting someones feelings by “borrowing their light”. I shared my lights all the time, my competition shared their light with me, that, my friend, is professional courtesy.

  14. Mike Peacock says:

    Agree with Beau. It looks very much like the local crew were trying to make a “point” after being denied access to what the net crew had obviously gained access to and had control over.
    This is just way too bad.

  15. Brent says:

    No matter who’s at fault, it still makes you want to punch out the dude with the notebook.

  16. Mikey says:

    I’ve been a cameraman for 30+ years, local, domestic & international networks. I’ve been on all sides of these situations. My first reaction on seeing this was ‘WHY did the local guy purposely move into the GMA operating area?’. It is common professional courtesy for all parties to confer and establish what each are doing, especially if you’re the guy who shows up second. In the spirit of professionalism and consideration, the Fox camop could have found a decent shot from another angle. There was soooo much destruction there, he had to be blind, or very lacking in vision and talent, to insist that where GMA was set up was the ONLY place that he could shoot from. While I don’t think that the notebook move was very classy, Fox-boy is lucky that he was actually live. This probably saved him from a much uglier confrontation. If ABC tried to say that they had an exclusive in such a massive scene, they were stupid to try that one. But there was certainly enough good background there for 50 live crews to share.

  17. John Biebrich says:

    Thank you for all your advice on what a local photog should do at a scene you weren’t even at. As for what really happened, GMA lied about exclusivity, hogged up the WHOLE store and didn’t even let their local affiliate in the store. NO GMA was not in a live shot, unless you saw sam on abc yelling at me. I’m sure everyone who works at a network didn’t take shit from anyone when they came to their small markets where they started, and I wasn’t going to either. The best shot was where the survivors hid in the cooler during the tornado that was blocked off by them, professional courtesy my ass, I don’t care where your from you still gotta wipe your own ass, unless clip board sam has someone do it for him By the way, where were the networks for the three days and five tornado’s prior to that day? Local guys always share the scene at least we do here in OKC. Were more about informing the people rather than jerking ourselves off because we got a shot not seen on another station. After butt-chang yelled at me I moved back to a less visual spot, which was where I thought we should be in the first place, but I wasn’t alone out there. Also Beau,Adam and Kyle can sit on it.

  18. Ryan says:

    Jeez. I forgot what it was like to work in a small market. You get such an inferiority complex about it all. Find another location. Plain and simple. Or just drag some more cable. In my opinion it looks like you took your liveshot over there out of spite. Dont be a baby. Just drag some cable.

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