Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Cyclist Profile: WTOP Staffer Rolls on Two Wheels

I can't get on the air without the aid of the WTOP staffers in "Ops"--"Operations". These folks make sure the audio that reporters file from the field gets processed and ready for the anchors in the Glass Enclosed Nerve Center to play for you.

Their job is no big deal. If you consider juggling chainsaws no big deal.

The men and women of Ops are constantly taking in sound and monitoring our air. New reports come flying in, from the CBS network and from reporters on the street. Ops staffers may also be asked to monitor TV reports, roll on press conferences and help us maintain the vital emergency broadcast system network. Editors are making decisions on the fly as news breaks, and sometimes reporters on a deadline with seconds to go until air call in, frantic, while Ops staffers calmly help them troubleshoot tech glitches so that no one blows a deadline. Without the Ops crew, reporters get ulcers and you get dead air.

Zach Shore is one of the Ops staffers who makes my day run more smoothly. And he's a bike commuter. He's been rolling into work at the Glass Enclosed Nerve Center for years. The other day I asked him a few questions about his commute.

What does he like best about it?
It's fast and easy--he's just over a mile from the Glass Enclosed Nerve Center.

What does he worry about?
Being doored.

Does he ever ride on the sidewalk?
Sometimes, but he doesn't like to. It's for pedestrians. And Zach adds: "There are a lot of dogs in the neighborhood, and I worry about colliding with someone's little dog."

And he doesn't want to run into you, either.
I mean, he's a friendly guy, and would probably enjoy running into you at the grocery store, but he doesn't want to run into you--or over you--on the street. He's nice like that.

Always. Safety first.

So if you see a cyclist on the road, it might be Zach.

So please, check before you open your car door, and give him a wave. He's a nice guy. And he probably just spent his day making sure WTOP sounds like a million bucks.

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