Leanne and Tony Rich onset with director Drew Watkin

Are curveballs par for the course at your workplace? Leanne and Tony Rich, directors of Mt Maunganui’s Gerrand Floorings, thought they knew all about that – until they sat in the engine room at Auckland’s MediaWorks during The AM Show and snuck into the Newshub studio. Leanne reports…

Behind the scenes

As business owners, we’re used to last-minute changes. But this was on a whole new scale. Cyclone Cook had hit New Zealand the day before we visited, causing flooding and damage. So the planned schedule for The AM Show changed, and kept changing –sometimes with 90 seconds notice, and with each player in the broadcast being informed remotely, in the middle of a storm.

The hosts were expected to present ad hoc, while instructions were constantly delivered by the frantically busy team around them. It was as if they could all reads each other’s minds. They worked about four steps ahead, and I couldn’t believe how much information they could hold onto while working so quickly. They kept adding in more and more to manage, too: “If you’re an arborist or a plumber – call us.”

While all this was going on, they cut back and forth to some of the planned content, like the guy with the most Homer Simpson tattoos in the world. It’s someone’s full-time job to look for this sort of thing!

Co-host Amanda Gillies’ mum, Betty, was on set because they were heading off to a Mother’s Day photo shoot after the show. Amanda calmly chatted as she had her hair and makeup done; unsurprisingly, Betty looked pretty overwhelmed.

What we learned

I really came to appreciate just how much is involved in getting three people on screen to calmly deliver a programme like The AM Show. The presenters are truly the tip of the iceberg.

Technology is crucial when trying to remotely organise everyone to fit neatly into the schedule: the cameras, the sound, the lights, the transmission – everything.

MediaWorks’ culture really flows from the top of the company right through to the regional office we’re used to dealing with at Gerrand Floorings. There’s a strong sense of “We’re all in this together.”

When it all wrapped up at 9am, I felt like it was time for Friday 5pm vinos!