True class, a painful Wednesday, Katie rant, a typical day

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I just got done watching the new Gap ad.
Love it.
If you haven’t seen it, check it out at

Known for having “cool” television ads, often featuring sexy celebs like Madonna or Sarah Jessica Parker, Gap has hit it out of the park this time (in my opinion).

This woman is the reason why.
I am a huge Audrey Hepburn fan. To me, the woman is the embodiment of class. Not just because of her films, or her beauty or her sense of style, but also because of her work off camera in her “twilight years.” She started doing work for UNICEF beginning in 1988, and continued helping people in underprivileged countries until she died in 1993. I’ve watched many interviews in which Hepburn talks about those experiences, and she is remarkable.

The picture below is a scene from the film “Funny Face” – the one featured in the new Gap ad. It doesn’t hurt that the creators use ACDCs “Back in Black” for the tunes.

Wednesday was painful. The day started at the Y. I intended to meet Kerry Kavanaugh there to take a bike class. The problem . . . no one was there to teach it! So, I did. Kindof. I guarantee it was not the best exercise class these people have ever attended.

The day got worse when I realized that I’d overlooked the giant sticky note I left myself as a reminder to do something very important. The sticky note read “BUY HUSKER TIX!!!” Once I picked up a bunch of random junk that was cluttering my desk, I found the note. . . too late. Well, technically not too late. I still got tickets to the Iowa State – Nebraska game, but we will be on the hillside. Bummer. Oh well . . . it will still be a good time. Go Big Red!

I just need to vent about Katie for a moment. Or rather, about the hoopla surrounding her debut on the CBS Evening News. First, I should let you know that I’m pretty ambivalent about Couric. I don’t love her, I don’t hate her – maybe it’s because I’ve worked nights for so long and haven’t watched much early morning tv, who knows. However, I think the way the media and the public have reacted to her ascension is disgusting.
First of all . . . no one raised a stink when Elizabeth Vargas was promoted to sitting in the anchor chair on ABC World News Tonight after Peter Jennings died. I realize she was sharing the desk with a man, but she was still the first woman to be put in such a position and we didn’t hear squat about it! Then, when it’s announced that Katie will be moving up, people completely freak out about it. I don’t get it. I am thrilled that a female is finally filling these shoes. What irritates me to no end is the way she’s being critiqued. Her first night on the air, the cable stations had all sorts of critics on for interviews – bashing K.C. for her hair, her makeup, her clothing, her legs showing during an interview. Oh yeah, and her delivery (although that was merely a sidebar). And viewers are no better, I was reading a blog the other day about this “new era” and 90% of the people posting were leaving comments about appearance. Has it occured to anyone that none of this happened when Brian Williams took over for Tom Brokaw?!?! I never heard or read one tidbit about what the man was wearing, or what his hair looked like. It’s sexist and degrading. Judge the woman (any woman) on how she’s doing the job, not for how she looks. Please. OK, I’m done. Thanks.
Finally, a number of you have asked about a “typical” day. There isn’t one. But, I’ll try to give you a basic rundown here.
1:00 – 1:30 Arrive at Channel 13
1:30 – 2:00 Afternoon meeting. This is where we go over the 5 and 6 o’clock shows, and then throw out story ideas for the 10 o’clock newscast. Reporters get their assignments in this meeting.
2:00 – 2:45 Check email, respond to emails, make phone calls, research any stories I’m working on, help reporters if they need it, read through promos.
2:45 – 3:00 Finish doing my makeup & hair (because I’m never ready when I get to work).
3:00 – 3:20 Live update at 3 o’clock, tape other promos and News At Your Desk
3:20 – 3:30 Look over early show rundowns to see if anything has changed, look at scripts
3:30 – 3:45 Talk with Bachman about shows, anything he thinks needs to be changed or added
3:45 – 4:45 Writing and editing scripts, talking with reporters about their stories, more email and phone calls, maybe some meetings
4:45 – 4:50 Check hair, makeup, see if I’m wearing anything I’ve eaten at my desk, brush teeth
5:00 – 5:30 Newscast
5:30 – 5:40 Post show meeting, tape promos for 10pm show
5:40- 5:50 Read 6 o’clock scripts, make any final changes
6:00- 6:30 Newscast
6:30 – 6:40 Repeat of what we did after the 5 o’clock show
6:45 – 7:00 Meeting with Bachman, 10 o’clock producer, news director and reporters. Review the show rundown, talk with reporters about their stories.
7:00 – 8:00 Writing for 10pm show, reviewing scripts with reporters if they ask me to do so.
8:00 – 9:00 Hopefully go home to eat, maybe get to see Michael
9:00 – 9:40 More writing, emails, phone calls.
9:40- 9:50 More checking on appearance, brush teeth again
10:00 – 10:30 Newscast
10:30- 10:45 Post show meeting
10:45 GO HOME!!!
Of course all of this is interspersed with lots of talking and some days, screwing around with co-workers. And some days, all of this goes out the window because of breaking news or working on a story myself. It’s all unpredictable, and that’s part of what I love about it!
I’m starving – gotta go eat.
Thanks for reading, and posting your comments!


  • Nicholas

    Erin — I love the thoughts on Katie. I really feel her “delivery” is a breath of fresh air from the stale evening newscasts. Its too bad our society only looks at her beauty and not what is coming out of her mouth. I was watching Scarborough Country and they had an expert on to see if she had Botox (I am sure they won’t do that to Brian, Charlie or even Matt!)…It was great to see you at the wedding this weekend, and I might make it to one of your kickboxing classes this week…Take Care…

  • Heather R.

    WOW! Erin! Thanks for the breakdown. I hope everyone agrees with me, you have a busy day! Thanks again for the update! :) Oh and my mom is a HUGE Big Red fan and is always dangling her flag out. I think were the only family in Altoona with a Nebraska flag! Im not kiddin’ either. We’d be in trouble if my Hawkeyes ever played Big Red! Ouch!Have a good one!

  • Casey

    Erin,Thanks for the detailed schedule. Gives you an eye into your newsroom. As for Katie, I was never a Katie fan, perhaps, I am never up at that hour of the day when she was on the Today Show. Now that she’s at CBS, I watch her everyday, since my station is a CBS affilate. I’m really glad to see a female anchor on network news like that, its very nice. I agree, she should not be judged on what she wore, her makeup, etc. she should be judged on good solid journalism. Yes, one night I thought the shirt she was wearing was just plain ugly, but I got over that. I think as long as we produce news that’s Fair, Accurate, and To The Point, we’re doing our job. What you think…-Casey

  • Diane

    How could you forget about Barbara Walters–one of the best in the business! She was the first woman to co-anchor the evening network news–not Elizabeth Vargas. She co-anchored with Harry Reasoner from 1976-78 on ABC.

  • Trisha Shepherd

    Hey,Erin!A little note from your early morning counterpart…Amen to your comments on Katie. I’m tired of the bashing, and like to hear from people willing to give her a chance.I also am going to steal your idea for the timeline breakdown for our morning blog! So many people ask Pat, Jeriann and I about our schedules… I guess it’s worth “blogging” about!You’re dong a great job – maybe we’ll actually see each other in person sometime! Trish (Shepherd)

  • ErinEKiernan

    Hi, gang!Thanks for your comments. Nick, great seeing you at the wedding – drop me an email so I have your address. Heather, our days probably aren’t any busier than yours, it’s just more hopping from one thing to the next. Casey, right on. The news should be the news. Diane & Anon – you are right, Walters was the true pioneer. I guess I was writing from a current perspective, not a historical one. It’s sad to me that things haven’t changed that much in 30 years. Finally, Trish – we are like ships passing in the night (or morning & afternoon)!

  • Anonymous

    I think it’s funny how you comment on the hoopla surrounding Katie’s debut – when just a few short months ago, I can remember hearing nothing else except your big return to TV… and that’s not exactly a pioneering role! This TV viewer thinks Katie’s doing a fabulous job – and she IS doing something no other woman has done – she’s being allowed to steer an evening news broadcast by herself, without the help of a man!

  • Stout Family

    I agree about your comments on Katie couric and I really think Elizabeth Vargas was doing a grrreaaatttt JOB! I was so proud of Elizabeth’s stand to do the news, but not get too busy so that her family life suffered! We need to keep Bob Woodruff in our thoughts too as he continues his recovery! Right now I am really enjoying Charlie Gibson….I was more of a GMA fan than the Today show anyway! Great Job on the news!

  • Casey

    It seems like everyone in here has the same opinion about Katie doing the evening news; which in my opinion is good. No matter if you’re a man or women it should make no difference. In regards to the stout family comment, I thought Vargas was doing a great job as well, what do you think the main problem with her was? Do you think it was all family trouble, or was it because she was a lady, and ABC was not in the number one rating slot with her and Woodruff? Erin, what do you think it was?-Casey

  • Anonymous

    Um Trisha!… I’m afraid you got bit by the Patrick Dix Typo Bug. DONG?!? No, DOING we knew what you ment I mean meant. LOL-Brenda E.

  • Anonymous

    hey erin!! Thanks so much for putting in what a so called “regular” day is like at work! I’m 13 and I really want to be a newsbroadcaster when I’m older. Even though it sounds like a lot of hussle and bussle, it sounds like soo much fun! please keep writing your blogs!! i really enjoy them. You are my favorite news anchor!!~*Charlotte from Urbandale

  • Jill

    Hey Erin! Have never done this “blogging” thing before, but yours is a lot of fun to read! Thanks for the insight on your day at WHO…a lot of work!! I’ve always been curious about how you guys maange your day. Also, a little insight on your life has been fun. You seem like a very smart and fun person. Keep up all the good work, and look forward to reading what you have to say in the future!!!

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