Mr. Chalian said that his job will be to streamline the flow of information to the control room producers. “You can’t let your eye off of one moving part,” said Mr. Chalian. “They all feed the whole. You just want to make sure that you’re staying ahead of the story.”
Over at NBC, Phil Alongi, the NBC News Specials chief (read: debate guru), said that the swelling audiences this campaign season have energized the ranks of the off-air talent. “The fact that people are tuning in and are really interested, it gives you even more creative juice,” said Mr. Alongi. “You want to make certain you get them, keep them and don’t lose them.”
And what about the many political analysts, correspondents, and anchors?
“Ultimately what they all want is what’s best for NBC News,” said Mr. Alongi, who over the course of seven debates has juggled talent from MSNBC, CNBC and NBC News. “Brian Williams is the face of NBC News, and Tim Russert is the strong political dog. So as we moved through the year, we gave everyone a little bit. But now that we’re in the homestretch, at this point, everyone here is cool with Brian and Tim being the lead people.”
Back at CBS, Mr. Friedman will face the same problem only with much less real estate to dole out. How do you keep the talent happy?
“They all love getting on with the information they get,” said Mr. Friedman. “The people who probably get most frustrated are the people who have been slogging around with these candidates for weeks working ridiculous hours in ridiculous conditions, and who will be at various campaign headquarters that night and hardly get on the air.”
“You never satisfy everybody,” he said.