Ryan Brown ’18, current NBC/JCU “Meet the Press” Fellow, reflects on his first few months working at the program.
When I walked into the NBC News Washington, D.C., Bureau this September, I couldn’t help but think, “how did I get so lucky?” It was my first day as the NBC/JCU “Meet the Press” Fellow and I was overcome with nervousness, gratitude, and excitement, all at the same time.
Being the NBC/JCU Fellow means you are tasked with many different responsibilities throughout the week. The main jobs are research for the producers, helping produce one of the panel segments, and green room manager on Sunday mornings. These jobs, although challenging, have offered so many opportunities to learn what it takes to put on not just any TV show, but the longest-running television program in history. My time at John Carroll, in many ways, prepared me for all of these tasks. Whether it was working late on The Carroll News, or walking families around campus as a tour guide, I can honestly say I would not be able to do this job if not for my time at JCU.
My life the past few months has been full of “pinch me” moments. My desk is just a few feet away from Chuck Todd’s office, and every time I talk about sports or politics with him is a “pinch me” moment. Walking acclaimed columnist and ex-Ronald Reagan speechwriter Peggy Noonan to the green room early Sunday morning is a “pinch me” moment. Honestly, every time I walk into the newsroom of “Meet the Press” is a “pinch me” moment.
One of my favorite, smaller tasks as a fellow is the last thing I do on Saturday nights, the night before the show is taped. It’s a simple task, really. All I have to do is deliver some folders to the studio right before I leave for the day. It’s my favorite thing because often times when I walk onto the set late Saturday night, there is no one else there, the set is dark, all of the seats are empty, and it’s shockingly quiet.
It is the true definition of calm before the storm, because by 6 a.m. the next day the set will be bustling with people and action. Chuck will be in his chair going over some last minute details of the show, the executive producer will be off to the side making last minute decisions with the people in the control room, the stage manager and other behind-the-scenes folks will all be running around making sure the cameras are all in the right spot, along with a million other things that have to get done before we tape live at 9 a.m. It is in those crazy last few hours and minutes that, when I get a minute, I stand back and can’t help but think again to myself, “how did I get so lucky?”