Inside the Tent at ABC News

By SteveK 

As the Democratic convention ends and the Republican convention is about to get underway, the one constant will be the media — either en route to or already broadcasting from St. Paul.

And one of the constants of the media presence is the set up — large tents and small trailers that house all aspects of broadcasting the news. TVNewser stopped by ABC’s tent and got a tour of the various departments housed in the big tent.

At one computer, ABC News correspondent and Weekend GMA anchor Kate Snow was writing her story for that night’s broadcast. Snow begins reporting from her sixth convention Monday. “Each one is a little different,” she tells TVNewser.

Echoing the sentiment of many of the ABC News crew, Snow described the over-orchestration of the event.

“They’re held in large part for the people at home,” she said. “And we, the media, are part of the show. So it is a little hard.”

Nightline’s Terry Moran was also at work on the other side of the tent. He described Nightline’s role at the conventions, and how ABC News compares to the cablers.

Of the cable news networks, he said, “They dominant the punditry of the convention,” while ABC wants, “To be smarter, authoritative in a way.”

As Nightline anchor, Moran sees the huge positives of closing the nightly discussion at each convention. “It’s a great role,” he said. “We can wrap it up in what we hope is a smart, fun, different way.”

A few tables away, Charlie Gibson was preparing for an upcoming interview. Of course, he could also have been prepping for his newest blog entry. The World Newser, Gibson’s blog, has been active at the conventions.

“He seems to be getting a lot of response already,” said World News EP Jon Banner of the blog.

Banner described with pride the news-making Money Trail segments at the DNC and looked forward to next week’s reports at the RNC. “It takes a significant amount of resources — not only time, but financially,” he said. “It’s something we’re really proud of.”

On the other side of the tent, Sam Donaldson prepared for his ABC News Now Web program. Donaldson and Rick Klein, editor of The Note anchor coverage every night from 6-11pmET. The camera set up (pictured) is where correspondents file reports for the show.

We talked to Fiona Conway, who as executive director of ABC NewsOne, is responsible for overseeing the affiliate news service. At conventions, the amount of partnership work is increased. From Al-Jazeera to CTV in Canada, many networks from around the world depend on the affiliate feeds.

As does Jimmy Kimmel Live — the show hits the conventions and produces segments with Kimmel’s dad, who bears a striking resemblance to CNN’s Wolf Blitzer (see here for evidence).