WHDH-TV NBC 7, Boston, Massachusetts
“Liv, if you’re done napping, come down to the front desk.”
“Get some new material, Marv.” The joke was just as unfunny yesterday. Liv looks down over the balcony at the bustling newsroom floor. She sees Marvin Green, WHDH Station Manager, taking a quick break from assigning segments for the 5PM broadcast to look back up at her.
I guess the kid gloves are off.
She takes the open air steps to the main floor two at a time, a show that her momentary lapse, although poorly timed, was in fact momentary.
As she approaches, Marv continues to address the team.
“Any video that hits Youtube, Facebook, wherever, I own the exclusive by 4:59. Signed contracts and videos pulled. Kim, Tom, you’re the eyes. Brendon, Jamie, you close the deals. This is our town. Anyone who wants video roll from Grossman’s lecture must go through us. Understood?”
Liv had heard earlier about the MIT lecture from Sam. He didn’t have much to tell. Susan, the freckled girl in editing, had much more. Marv bought a video of an MIT lecture from a German student sitting dead center 2 rows back. Kid didn’t even understand most of it, just heard Antares, 1 million atom bombs and figured he could sell it to the AP for a round trip ticket home to Munich. Marv watched the tape and immediately started buying up every other video posted online, boxing out the market. He even tried to get access to the course’s student email list, highly illegal, which he claimed was a joke but Susan thinks it may have happened. How else would he have been able to snipe 14 videos in an hour?
The team returns to their tasks and leaves Liv and Marv at the dispatch desk.
“All better?” he asks.
“All better,” she responds.
“Are you pregnant?” he follows.
“No! What? No.” A pause. “Don’t fire me.”
“Can’t fire you. Uncle Sam, women’s rights, worker’s comp, take your pick.”
“Right,” she replies. “Still, don’t fire me.”
“I’ve been fielding a lot of questions. The twitter, yeah, thinks you’re pregnant. Facebook thinks drugs. There’s a stellar youtube spoof.”
She had seen it. Not stellar.
“And you crashed the site,” he continued. “Nerds upstairs didn’t have the servers set up for everyone in Boston at the same time.”
“I’ve stayed offline, to let things settle.” She hoped that would be enough.
“The station is planning an official response for release tonight. It’s why you’ve been called in for the 5pm airing. We want you on camera, conscious, with the traffic. Brass wants Boston to see your rosey-reds rosey again.”
“Ok. Thanks?” Liv responds.
“Seems like an opportunity, I know.”
“Don’t get excited. It’s not.”
Liv’s smile flicks a hint of sarcasm. She turns to walk away.
“One more thing,” Marv interrupts. “Your presence has been requested.”
Liv half-turns, a raised eyebrow on her face. Her tasks for the station had always kept her glued to traffic monitors crammed in the second floor balcony.
“You’ve seen the Grossman footage we’re running with?” he adds.
“At the end of his lecture, Professor announced an emergency symposium next week at the Hynes Convention Center. They canceled some comic con thing to make room. An industry colleague of mine who is taking part in organizing asked for a meeting with you.”
He stops to let that sink in. Liv’s brow curls. She pulls her notepad out of her back jean pocket. This is worth noting.
“He asked for you by name.”
Liv jots notes as quickly as she can remember them. When was this? At the Hynes? Was this the break?
“So you continue to pretend you’re a traffic girl…”
“Ha. Funny,” Liv interrupts. “Any details on what they want covered.”
“Head up to see Susan in editing. Watch the Grossman tapes. Prepare for everything.”