Monday Chicago inaugurated its first new mayor in 22 years. Plenty of ink has been spilled over the significance of this event, but you may not realize what a big deal it was for local media.
On WBEZ radio we devoted 3 hours of airtime to the festivities, including a live anchored broadcast from Millennium Park. That may not seem like a difficult task, but in public media we pride ourselves on producing the highest quality programming more efficiently than our commercial counterparts. Therefore, we have no remote van or satellite hook-up and rely heavily on the ingenuity of our engineers to make things work.
Monday morning our engineers got to Millennium Park to find that the audio connection we’d rented for the day was set up wrong, forcing them to find an alternative on the fly. Add to that the truncated schedule the Emanuel administration announced late Sunday night and a lot of details were in flux. The person responsible for keeping all of this straight was News Desk Editor Ammad Omar. I was in the park with him on Monday and shot this video of him in action.