Fox News Democratic and Republican National Campaign Coverage

Client: Fox News
Category: Television Broadcast
Services: Production Management, Lighting, Rigging

John and his Wolf Productions crew are no strangers to the unique demands that live news shows present, due to their years of experience supporting Fox’s lighting needs outside the studio.

“Most events and shows have a linear format,” John told an interviewer from Lighting and Sound America, “but the dynamic nature of news runs counter to that: You can never commit to the structure of a show. So scheduling and planning are very difficult, and I and the entire lighting team have to deal with that.”

But no one knew quite what to expect when faced by the unique challenges presented by two historic political conventions, each with their own unique production needs, scheduled to occur virtually back-to-back, 1,000 miles apart.

And just to make it interesting, Fox announced that this year they weren’t just broadcasting multiple hours from the convention, they were broadcasting multiple shows. In a bold programming move, Fox was taking popular properties like Fox & Friends, Hannity & Colmes and the O’Reilly Factor “on the road.”

This meant that John’s production approach would not only have to meet the needs of the Fox News anchors and producers… but also be able to quickly adapt in order to fill the unique requirements of each individual show.

In Denver, the Democratic National Convention coverage required not just working inside the Pepsi Center, but also at nearby restaurant Braun’s Bar and Grill, which, after a month of intense conversion, had become the center for all of the network’s television, radio and web operations. Finally, there was the small matter of covering Barack Obama’s historic nomination acceptance speech outside at Mile High Stadium in front of an expected audience of 80,000.

In St. Paul, the Republican National Convention coverage required lighting and broadcast support within the Xcel Energy Center as well as the “Fox Experience.” Located in a large tent outside the convention, the “Fox Experience” was the broadcast and command center for all network operations in television, radio and web.

John and his crews (which grew to include multiple lighting directors in order to accommodate the needs of the additional shows) worked virtually around the clock for the duration of each convention. They successfully managed the complex demands of Fox’s ambitious programming approach, and were gratified to see that it was so popular with audiences, that the ratings made Fox the number one broadcasting network in America.