State of the Union

Ten-and-a-half secrets of the control room

A tiny peek into what goes on behind the scenes in our control room during our broadcasts.

10. There’s a special phrase we use to alert show staff to the presence of non-show staff/guests so we tone down our salty and often foul language.

9. Always use your headset but keep in mind if you mutter something mean about someone under your breath, that person will likely hear you because everyone is on headset.

8. When we want to talk to someone over headset, we say their name, then our own, so that person knows we want to talk to them. That person will then say “Go [insert name here].” We also say it in regular conversations - in front of normal people - because we think it’s funny.

7. Everyone’s headsets look alike, so we attach our names or some other type of identifier to distinguish them. Why? They’re very expensive and you get in trouble if you lose yours. One staffer wears a sparkly headset.

6. Lids on drinks are required. Discussions can get heated, and gesture-y. People have learned this lesson the hard way so an engineer is always around in case it accidentally “rains.”

5. Everyone has assigned seating – absolutely no switching and no saving seats for your friends. The Control Room is remarkably like Middle School.

4 ½. When the phone rings, we answer it by saying “Control,” which is both geographic and ironic.

4. The most important phone in the room is the red one. If it rings, everyone in the room gets a little skittish.
3. We have never done a good luck high-five before the show starts…but one staffer would really like to start doing so.

2. When things go awry, we all stand up…as if verticality will stem the chaos. The meerkats are on to something, right?

1. What happens in the control room, stays in the control room. (I guess except for this list…)