If you could merge “Wayne’s World” with “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” your mind might imagine a program similar to WRAL.com’s daily 10 minute program ”LIVE@” that streamed online in 2009.
The first couple of questions one might ask are…LIVE at where? LIVE at when?
Where = The internet. Specifically, WRAL.com
When = Weekdays at 1:00pmish. Kinda like “hipster time” which means within +/- 10 minutes of the stated start time.
Before we go any further. Take a few minutes to watch a couple of episodes of “LIVE@” we have posted on the CBC History website. You will never look at David Crabtree, Bill Leslie, and others the same way again. We have seven “LIVE@” episodes on the CBC History website for your viewing pleasure.
I caught up with Brian Shrader, host of this “Animal Housesque” free-wheeling show and with Jodi Glusco, New Media Director of Content.
Jodi shared that “LIVE@” had its origins back in 2005-2006. The original “LIVE@” was a one person band; a photographer wandered through the newsroom and briefly chatted with whomever had a few minutes to go “live” with impromptu banter for WRAL.com viewers. However, “LIVE@” in that format did not survive.
A few years later – 2009, audience desire to watch a program on an internet based platform, plus WRAL.com’s ability to produce a live program with a more traditional look, set the stage for the return of “LIVE@.” Jodi added “The tone of the revised program was inspired by the wildly popular The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Stewart opened the door to mix satire with real news. LIVE@ sought to play off viewer acceptance of news reporters showing their lighthearted side, their sense of humor and humanness – if you will.” The jesting and joking between Brian and his guests included wisecracks about odd and strange stories posted on WRAL.com.
Pam: When did you host “LIVE@”?
Pam: Whose idea was it?
Brian: As I recall, it was Jodi Glusco’s idea.
Pam: What was the purpose of the show?
Brian: I’d started doing the “Siteseeing” segment on Fox 50 morning news. It was a daily collection of strange news and websites. We thought it might work well as a longer-form chat with some of the sterling personalities around Western Boulevard.
Pam: Why ten minutes?
Brian: The number one rule of show business: Do your business and move on!
Pam: How did you get the nod to be the primary host?
Brian: Oh, I bought off management. It was a poor investment in the end, but it was fun while it lasted!
According to Jodi, “Brian was the perfect choice. He is very clever and quick witted. “LIVE@” allowed Brian to be himself.”
Pam: How long was the show a presence on WRAL.com?
Brian: A year sounds right, but I don’t really remember. After a while, the news department decided it needed me on the street turning stories for the evening news, and that was the end of “LIVE@.”
Pam: Looks like the set was scavenged from things destined for the dumpster…tell me about where the “B” on the front of the desk was bought or found. Where did that “Box” crate chair for the guest come from as well as the cyc material hanging in the background?
Brian: Yes! The set was “upcycled” before upcycling was cool! I think Bill Burch found the desk and chairs around the building. The “B” came from next door. The Papa John’s used to be a First Citizens Bank branch. When the bank moved out, Anita Normanly and I were walking back to Mission Valley and saw the guys taking down the letters. So, we asked if we could have some. I got a couple of B’s – big, beautiful steel B’s.
Pam: Who directed the show?
Brian: Jodi usually directed it.
Pam: Which mini control room/studio?
Brian: I think it was in Studio D. It was one of the first uses of those mini-studios.
(Jodi gives credit to director James Ford for his hard work configuring the mini-studio for “LIVE@”)
We are not sure if “LIVE@” was ahead of its time or in a time-warp of its own. One thing for sure, it was a hoot while it lasted! Check out more “LIVE@” programs on the CBC History website. http://history.capitolbroadcasting.com/?s=live%40
Thanks to Corp’s Pam Allen for this capcom story & these photos. Pam Parris Allen is a former WRAL newscast producer/director who now works as a researcher and producer on the CBC History Project.