On a trip, the most difficult thing for me is getting to sleep. No matter what I do, I always find a reason to put it off. So, it’s no surprise it was after 1:30 AM CST before I fell asleep. Actually, it would have been difficult to go to bed any earlier as I had a noisy neighbor in an adjacent room.
Good opportunity for some thoughts on The Grand Hyatt. The walls were paper thin – don’t like that. On the other hand the bed was very comfortable with good lighting when I needed it (like reading things on the nightstand).
The TV didn’t pull from it’s cabinet making it difficult to watch while using the computer (which was tethered to the high speed Internet line). The desk and chair at the DSL cable’s termination were excellent. The swivel chair was very handy and a nice touch… and it was comfortable .
I had never stayed in a room with the right chair for a desk area and it really makes a difference.
The bathroom was well lit with a good sized sink area. The shower curtain was cloth/plastic and hund from a rod that curved outward from the tub. That’s why Sunday morning, when I forgot to tuck it in, the floor was flooded. The water pressure was excellent. The towels were almost large and thick enough (water pressure and towel size/thickness make or break a hotel room for me).
My meetings started early Saturday morning and lasted all day. I am pleasantly surprised that I did get something positive from the trip. Most of the presenters were excellent, but not all. Most of the presentations were correct for the audience, not all.
That’s about all I can say. Sorry.
The meetings ended at 5:30 and after a break to wash my face, call home and check email, Kirk (my boss) and I headed over to WMAQ Channel 5, the NBC owned and operated station in Chicago. One of our former anchors, Darren Kramer, is now a weekend anchor there.
WMAQ is located in a brand new facility not far from the Tribune and WGN Radio. The building is an homage to 30 Rockefeller Plaza, the NBC headquarters in New York City. In a plaza in front of the building is a freestanding building containing a single studio with glass walls, like the one the Today Show broadcasts from. That studio is used for the morning news.
The newsroom, and studio used for the Saturday show is on the second flood of the building. The newsroom itself is large and contains a second studio used for Telemundo, NBC’s Spanish outlet. We met Darren’s co-anchor and the weekend weatherperson and then went upstairs.
WMAQ has three studios on the third floor – and uses none of them. One is leased to Jerry Springer, and I understand taping days for that show are a trip, to say the least. A second studio is used for Judge Mathis, a court show which used to precede our news cast (and provided horrible ratings as the lead-in). More interesting is what’s come of the third studio.
It is outfitted like 8H (Conan’s studio) in New York, with audience seating. On weekend nights, a live Sinatra tribute is performed (though not broadcast) from there. It’s a pretty cool idea. We were in the studio for a moment and the setup and performance going on were very impressive. The room was just right for what was going on.
Dinner was downstairs in an Italian restaurant. I’ve become pretty good at ordering while dieting. It was Caesar salad as an appetizer and a steak entr