Grateful For An Incredible Opportunity
I was interviewed by Fox News Wednesday morning.
Candidly, I'm still trying to wrap my head around that - you know, as a guy who started podcasting in my closet just a little less than 3 years ago!
Kayleigh, a member of the Todd Huff Radio Team and the one whom I affectionately refer to as the Hippie Lib, told me I should tell the story of how this interview opportunity came about and share what went on behind-the-scenes during the process.
That sounded like a great idea. So here we go!
Monday: Fox News Contacted Me
On Monday afternoon, as I was having a working lunch with the Hippie Lib, I received this email from Jim Murphy, a producer with the Fox News Channel.
My name is Jim Murphy. I’m a producer with the Fox News Channel. I’m working on a story regarding the Senate race in Indiana and more specifically the recent announcement of Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court.
We’re interested in getting a third voice in the story. I’d like to have my correspondent have a chat with you and see if you’d be a good addition to our story. Would you have a few minutes today to talk on the phone with Mike Tobin?
We’re planning on being in Indiana by tomorrow late morning and will be there at least a day or two. Hopefully we can do an on camera interview with you while we’re there. Feel free to give me a call on my cell…
Would I have a few minutes to talk? Of course I would!
So after a brief email exchange with Jim, I set a time to talk with Mike Tobin, Fox News correspondent. He and I spoke for about 20 minutes at 2:30 Monday.
Mike and I chatted about the Kavanaugh nomination, the Senate confirmation process and the politics of the upcoming Senate vote.
And at the conclusion of the conversation, we set a time for the interview. It was originally set for 4pm on Tuesday, but Mike said he wanted to come during my show - so we rescheduled for Wednesday at 5:45am.
Preparing for a show on a regular day takes a good deal of time, thought and preparation. But having a Fox News crew in the studio along with a videographer, the Hippie Lib and Brad Justus (our brand strategist from Jarbo) can make things a lot crazier!
Tuesday: The Day Before The Interview
I broadcast each day out of our home studio, which is very convenient, efficient and nice. I really wouldn't want it any other way.
But it's also our home, and since we have 3 young children, there are other factors to consider when scheduling things like, you know, television interviews.
So I needed to communicate with my wife, Danielle, about this.
Danielle is a behind-the-scenes superstar. She's very meticulous and detail-oriented. She's very organized. She's very conscientious about the quality of her work. And she works incredibly hard.
But she doesn't like attention.
So hosting an on-camera interview with Fox News in our home is a big deal to her.
She was very excited about the interview, but knowing that there were are a lot of behind-the-scenes details that need to be taken care of for something like this to work, she was also a bit concerned about the short lead time.
And she also knew I wasn't going to have much time to help with any of those important details. I had to prepare and manage other things. (I should note here that we own another business and we have a fantastic young lady named Lauren who manages it. But she was on vacation this week - so that made things even more challenging.)
So all of that factored into the following text dialogue I had with Danielle that went something like this:
Me: How do you feel about the interview being in our home?
Danielle: Todd?? Why?
Me: Because the [Freedom 95] studio is getting paved ...
Danielle: So you're asking me if Fox News can come to our house & film in our basement? Where?
Me: Well, now I'm politely telling you because [Mike Tobin] wants to come during the show!
Danielle: I'm freaking out a little ...
That's an actual condensed text dialogue I had with my wife. Please don't get the wrong idea: she was very excited about this opportunity. She just wanted to make it perfect, as she always does. And that required a lot of work in a short period of time.
So Danielle, along with one of her good friends (Becky), worked to prepare the home studio for a television interview. They had it looking great and ready-to-go by the end of the day Tuesday.
Wednesday: The Day Of The Interview
The day started like most other days. I woke up and started preparing for the show. But today I also spent some time putting some finishing touches on the home studio. Nothing major - just some details I wanted to get right before the crew arrived.
The Hippie Lib arrived with donuts and fruit about 5am. (She told me she had been awake since 3am!)
The videographer, Brad Kercheval, arrived around 5:15am.
And Brad Justus, our brand strategist and president of Jarbo, arrived right about 5:30am.
After having some very brief conversations with our team, I went upstairs to make final preparations for my show and to clear my head for the very important, busy morning that was about to unfold.
I came down the stairs about just before we went on-air. As I passed through the kitchen on my way to the studio, I realized Mike and the Fox News crew had arrived.
I quickly introduced myself and said, "I'm sorry to run, guys, but I've got to be on-air in 30 seconds!"
So I headed downstairs and started the show as usual.
But things didn't remain "as usual" for long.
Svein Schwab, the Fox News photographer, came down shortly after the show went to air and was setting up his camera to get b-roll footage. (I didn't always know what b-roll footage was, so don't worry if you don't either!)
If you were streaming the show on Facebook, you may have seen me interacting with people off camera. Or maybe you even saw Svein on camera!
Svein took shots from almost every conceivable angle. I wasn't used to that going on in the studio as I was on-air. And it reminded me that I do, in fact, have a face for radio.
At another point, I looked out the studio door and saw Svein standing at the edge of the woods, getting video of the back of the house (and maybe me) through the backdoor.
Near the end of the program, we made Mike, Jim and Svein honorary members of the Conservative Not Bitter Party. It was fitting that the first honorary memberships were handed out by the Hippie Lib. I think they got a kick out of receiving the gifts on-air!
When the program was over, we quickly got set up for the interview. That included:
- Svein getting me mic'd up.
- A little friendly chit-chat.
- Setting up the location of the interview (very quickly).
Once I was mic'd up and ready-to-go, we jumped right into a short interview. It lasted about 5 minutes or so I think. I felt very comfortable on-camera with Mike. I can't say I was ready for just how bright those camera lights were, though! I knew they'd be bright, but not quite that bright!
I don't know why, but I assumed Mike was going to be beside me (in the camera shot) during our interview. But he was off-camera. It made sense to me once I saw that he wasn't going to be in the shot, but it was just a tiny little thing I wasn't expecting. It wasn't a big deal or anything. It just surprised me a little - but it shouldn't have!
When we wrapped up the interview, we chatted for a bit, got a group photo and then walked the Fox News crew up to their vehicle.
Next Week: The Airing Of The Interview
We'll be sure to keep you updated concerning when our interview will air on the Fox News Channel. As of now, the plan is for it to air in live segments throughout the day beginning at 9am. And the main (full) story will air during Special Report with Bret Baier. But as with anything in TV news, it's subject to change!
Conservative, not bitter.