“Hey, Ryan Braun just broke…” — July 26, 2013

braun suspendedThose were the words that I got from my Sports Director when I answered my phone shortly before 5pm on July 22nd.

We knew it was coming. We just didn’t know when. All we knew is that the suspension would come down after the All-Star game. Of course, they waited until my day off to hand the suspension.

I was in downtown Wausau, about to try a new food court shop, Casual Joe’s. I was walking towards Wausau Center Mall when I got the phone call.

We had a plan. Someone would go down to Milwaukee, with a photog while another would stay behind to anchor. Since I was nowhere near dressed to head to Milwaukee, it was decided that the Sports Director would head out right after the 5pm newscast, when she’d do an A-Block hit on the breaking news. I’d take over at the desk.

I decided to get food anyway, because at this point, who knows when I’d eat again. Then I rushed home, changed and headed to the station.

What followed over the next few hours was chaos, stress, and in the end, a story to tell. I had to grasp the news that just broke first. Then figure out a way to tell the viewers that would offer context. It wasn’t enough just to say that Ryan Braun is suspended for the rest of the season. What does that mean? How did we get here? Where do we go from here?

The 6pm was a little rocky. After all, I walked in to the newsroom at 5:30pm with some portions of the sportscast still left to be produced. And those portions had nothing to do with Braun at all. But for 10pm, we had time to tell a story, and go live to Milwaukee for reaction, and talk about where the Brewers go from here.

Plenty of elements were still undecided even after the 10pm show started. Manager Ron Roenicke had just talked to the press and I was yelling in the newsroom letting everyone know that we had to get that sound in.

We were the only station in the market to send a reporter to Milwaukee, and I was very proud of the coverage we produced.

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