In television, any little distraction can be huge. Somebody drops something, someone walks in, someone's talking, whatever. Because FOX 47 and WILX are in the same studio, most of us are conscious of walking in when the other is on the air. I do my best to come in during a commercial when AJ's on simply b/c I remember how distracting it was when I was on that set and someone walked across your view behind the camera. The other snag is we house our video gear in the studio so photographers are constantly coming in and out, but they've been good about going in and out during breaks, too.
And then there's Tim Staudt.
First of all, everybody loves Staudt and thinks he's a funny, amiable fellow. A caricature of a human being, if you will. He's way more Ron Burgundy than I am. He's never had a problem with anyone poking fun at him i.e. doing an impersonation of him, b/c he doesn't care what anyone thinks. That said, what you need to know about the Dean is he lives in his own world. A world that doesn't involve anyone else until there's free food in the newsroom, he needs more time for sports, he has been defeated by technology, he's ready to tape overnight sports, he needs to identify an obscure hockey player or until they've called into his radio show.
So, it shouldn't surprise anyone that he's the king of strolling into the studio when other people are on the air. He's anal about being early so he always has time to stand around, check a TV for a sports score, and make a funny gesture to me in an effort to make me laugh. But Tuesday night was a little much. He walks in while Andy is doing weather. Strolls behind the cameras in his line of sight, over toward me, makes a silent joke and then heads for the keywall. The keywall is where Andy does his thing. He walks over right next to the camera-- never looking at Andy or trying to distract him in any way. He just lingers. This is what he would call white noise until sports. But then the topper, after being almost close enough to be on camera with Pro, he heads back toward where he came in AND STARTS WHISTLING! You know, the ol' "doo do doo, time to kill" quiet whistle. At this point, I'm shocked and Andy even starts to laugh a little as he heads for the 7-day Forecast. We finally go to break and I start the inquisition on the Dean. What were you doing? I was waiting for you to pop your head on screen and ask, "Are you done yet?"
And in classic Staudt, with Andy and me giggling, he just looked at me with a puzzled look like he didn't know what I was talking about. I'm sure in his world he had no idea what had happened.