Breaking News: PVN Goes Behind the Scenes

A group of Presbyterian Village North (PVN) residents boarded the community’s bus on Wednesday morning and headed downtown to discover for themselves what really goes on behind the scenes at a television station during a broadcast.

WFAA (Channel 8), Dallas’ ABC affiliate, has always been a pioneer in the television industry, leading the charge in media innovation. WFAA was the first television station located in Dallas, the first to break the news of the JFK assassination, the first station to use a helicopter, the first in the nation to unveil a computerized local newsroom and the first in DFW to publish a television station website!

This lucky bunch of residents experienced a first-hand look at this innovation as Jason Whitely, WFAA’s Senior Political Reporter, provided an hour-long tour through the famed downtown landmark. Jason stays busy at WFAA hosting Inside Texas Politics, which airs statewide on Sundays, and co-hosting the Y’all-itics political podcast, among other assignments, so PVN’s group was especially fortunate to receive the inside scoop from him as he carved out time to show them around.

The outing included stops in the Channel 8 studio where the group watched (and participated in) the first few segments of the WFAA Midday news broadcast anchored by Tashara Parker. They were particularly fascinated with Mariel Ruiz‘s weather report via the use of a green screen. Other tour highlights included seeing an original studio spotlight boasting the autographs of celebrities who have stopped by for an interview over the years (autographs include: The Dixie Chicks, Ted Nugent, Ann Margaret, Linda Gray, Don Henley and more), visiting the control room and standing in the original studio where the JFK assassination was first reported. They also visited the newsroom, received a brief introduction to prominent television personality, Jane McGarry, and more.

After departing the studio, the group of residents enjoyed lunch in a popular downtown restaurant. An additional tour is expected to be scheduled later this summer to accommodate residents on the waitlist for the inaugural tour.

About Jason Whitely:

Jason’s reporting has earned 24 Emmy Awards, three Edward R. Murrow Awards and two dozen others including the Emmy for Best General Assignment Reporter in 2019, 2018, 2017, 2010 and 2005. Prior to moving to Dallas, he worked as a broadcast news reporter for television stations in Houston, St. Louis and Nashville. Learn more about Jason Whitely here. Click here to learn more about the show Inside Texas Politics, hosted by Jason each Sunday. Click here to listen to Y’all-itics, the unofficial political podcast of Texas, hosted by Jason Whitely and Jason Wheeler.