By: Jason Colthorp
By: Jason Colthorp

From the start of election day til the end, get updates on what's going on in the WILX newsroom and out in the field as election returns and results roll in.

10:11 am - I voted at my polling place in Clinton County. It wasn't busy, but one of the volunteers told me they'd already had 10% of the precinct come through and vote already. She said it had been years since they hit 50% in voter turnout there, but we agreed there was a good chance this year.

3:15 pm - Afternoon News Meeting
The night crew runs down assignments and coverage. "Zakalik is at Bernero, Liam is doing Snyder, Meaghan is on Walberg, Jamie has Schauer and Shirene and Alex, you guys are going to be running all over for the local state House and Senate races," says News Director Kevin Ragan. Things talked about in the meeting: why Tim Walberg has decided today to stay home to watch election results, one employee thinks he was one of 12 people in Clinton County to vote for Enderle (the guy running against Mike Rogers), and missed predictions of the past, like the boss's call on the GOP primary. (In gruff voice) "It's gonna be Governor Cox!"

3:30 pm - Random Quote
Lauren Zakalik to Tim Staudt: "Hey, Tim are you coming to my goodbye party at the Mayfair?" Tim: (laughing) "Well, a dive bar... I guess I'll have to be there." Background: Lauren's last day, along with producer Erin Fleming, is tomorrow. Both got jobs in Albuquerque, New Mexico. :(

4:02 pm - Working on editing some sound bites from the gubernatorial candidates to front for the 6. Weirdest part of election night is having to do a 5 & 6 newscast and fill it with something!

4:50 pm - Taking feed on new Bernero & Snyder sound from this afternoon. Might have to re-cut earlier bites. Snyder's was pretty short and said nothing so need something better for the 6.

5:22 pm - Totally detoured from my stuff to help Alex Goldsmith get some info from Ingham County on a car accident Monday involving MSU trustee Faylene Owen and her husband Larry. They're OK. Details at

5:46 PM - Just finished cutting/writing Bernero/Snyder vo/sots for the 6. EP Jeff Proctor goes over the game plan with Kristen Lowe (producing the FOX 10:00) and Erin Fleming (producing 11P) for their shows. Basically, the advice is hang on to your hat, because anything can happen. Could drop sports entirely, could cut away to victory/concession speeches etc.

6:07 pm - David and I agree that the tone of the interviews today with Bernero and Snyder show one guy who knows he lost and another ready and anxious to get into the Governor's mansion.

6:16 pm - Random Quote
News Director to Assignment Editor: "Any catastrophes yet?" AE: "There was a shooting today over here." ND: "Huh."

6:21 pm - It's definitely the part of the evening where we wait. Tagharobi and others agree that Fleming smells nice, we're giving fashion advice to young Goldsmith about his purple, pocketless shirt, and everyone wants to know when the pizza gets here. What you need to know about Election Night, is that it's our version of the Sports Blitz. A lot of games to cover and at the end it's madness. It's also like a lock-in because no one goes home and we order in. So, I'll say again-- when's the pizza getting here?!?!?!

6:37 pm - PIZZA IS HERE!!!

6:54 pm - Random Quote
Thom Pollack (Master Control Op): "Do you think they used soy oil on this pizza?"  Crickets.

6:55 pm - Let it be known AJ HIlton, Craig Scott (5p producer) and Kevin Ragan (News Director) all went back for seconds on the pizza.

7:19 pm - Rep. Rick Jones (R-Grand Ledge) apparently wants to go to bed now. Statement from his campaign basically says he can't wait to work with all the Republicans who will win tonight-- including himself in the State Senate-- on Jan 1.

7:29 pm - Reuters reporting Tea Party Republican Rand Paul wins in Kentucky Senate race. (R) Rob Portman wins Senate seat in Ohio.

7:34 pm - Alex and Sherene running out the door to get sound bites from state legislature candidates.

7:42 pm - EP Jeff Proctor and I estimate when we'll be busting out the Monster energy drinks. Soon.

7:44 pm - 6P Producer Kaci returns to find all pizza has been eaten.

7:45 pm - Craig, after being publicly shamed for getting seconds, gives Kaci one of his pieces of pizza.

7:46 pm - Random Quote
After being shamed for getting seconds, News Director says, "I have a large motor to keep running."

7:52 pm - Eight minutes to first cut-in. Liam Martin reports from Snyder headquarters that he's expecting a big win. Being told his cabinet is already in place. 

7:54 pm - Bernero family together at his headquarters in Detroit.

7:59 pm - ...and playing Kool & the Gang says Lauren Zakalik. Hey, DJ, step ya game up!

8:01 pm - Our first cut-in goes off with a hitch-- bad audio. Hey, audio, step ya game up!


8:08 pm - Tea Party (R) Marco Rubio wins Senate seat in FLA

8:11 pm - (D) Chris Coons defeats (R) Tea Party Candidate Christine O'Donnell in Delaware Senate race.

8:16 pm - Random Quote
"Well... and just like that all the drama has been sucked out of election night."

8:22 pm - Eight min away from second cut-in and suddenly only big race in doubt is Schauer/Walberg. Jamie about to report from Battle Creek for this cut-in. No official local returns in yet.

8:35 pm - Breaking news cut-in calling races is over. EP Jeff now coordinating to get our live shots and Liam involved from here on out since GOP is sweeping big races.

8:37 pm - Mark Schauer expected at election party soon.

8:40 pm - Election Results
1% reporting-- Snyder 66-31; Ruth Johnson 58-37; Schuette 59-34; Walberg 48-44; Mike Nofs 71-29 (2%); State Board of Education-- Zeile, Weiser; UM Regents-- Newman, Richner; MSU-- Breslin, Lyons; Supreme Court-- Kelly, Young

8:48 pm - Opsommer (R-93rd) thinks GOP takes back state House and 67th (D-Byrum vs. R-Oesterle) is most intriguing race.

8:58 pm - Virg scheduled to address crowd at 10. LZ reports, mood not great.

9:00 pm - Election Results
3% reporting-- Snyder 64-34; R. Johnson 57-38; Schuette 59-36; Walberg 51-44; Nofs 71-29 (2%); Supreme Court-- Kelly, Young (2%)

9:05 pm - NBC News reports GOP will win enough seats to take back House. Somewhere Nancy Pelosi just punched a staffer.

9:13 pm - GOP winning big in big 3 races. State Senate: 16th-- Caswell 60-40; 19th-- Nofs 71-29; 24th-- Rick Jones 71-26; 33rd-- Emmons 68-29; State House: 93rd-- Opsommer 69-31; State Board of Ed-- Weiser, Zeile; UM Regents-- Newman, Richner; MSU-- Breslin, Lyons; Supreme Court-- Kelly, Young

9:23 pm - AP calls Governor's race for Snyder.

9:25 pm - Virg to concede at 10. Watch it as it happens on News 10.


9:46 pm - 8 min from next cut-in, Jeff and I crack open our Amp and Monster energy drinks, thus shifting this election night into overdrive.

9:54 pm - Cut-in goes awry with technical difficulties and me almost saying, "Erection results." Almost. I think I stopped after Ere--.

10:00 pm - Bernero delivers concession speech to supporters in Detroit.

10:11 pm - Walberg hanging onto 6-point lead with 29% counted.

10:17 pm - From Alex: Big cheer at Country House in Mason at Ingham County GOP party as US House called for Republicans. Bernero leaves stage in Detroit without talking to reporters.

10:24 pm - CLOSE RACES
US House-7th Walberg leads Schauer 51-46 (40%); State House-67th Byrum leads Oesterle 51-49 (41%)

10:27 pm - Kaci wants to talk about the final cut-in that leads into the 11pm newscast tonight. Breathe.

11:06pm - Instructions coming fast and furious as lives and stories get added and dropped. Floor director just nervously advised he didn't know what was coming next. I'll tell ya, David is a real pro at this on-the-fly stuff!

11:15 pm - Not too much confusion as election nights go, as we talk to Erin the producer during breaks to see what's next.

11:24 pm - Andy talks weather and David and I take a breath. I'm just now wondering if MSU won it's opener in hoops tonight.

11:26 pm - Tim Staudt enters the studio during Andy's weather waving and acting as if there's a crowd cheering somewhere. There isn't.

11:40 pm - We're ready to stay all night!



11:59 pm - David and I sign off for the night. Snyder is new governor... Walberg wins back US House seat... and GOP sweeps through Michigan. Barb Byrum looks like she'll hold on to State House seat in the 67th.

12:08 am - Random Quotes
"Other than that glitch at the top of the 10, it was a good night. Good job, everybody." --News Director
Thanks, boss.

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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Dave Location: Holt on Nov 3, 2010 at 07:49 AM
    Great commentary Jason.
  • by Katie Location: Albuquerque, NM on Nov 2, 2010 at 01:11 PM
    following your blog tonight, JASON!
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