When NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams ends on the East Coast and viewers there are doing the dinner dishes and settling in for the evening, 3,000 miles away here in Burbank, Calif., just a modest freeway drive from the Pacific (if any freeway drive out here can be called "modest"), Nightly is still 90 minutes from its first airing. And producers, a director, and a control room crew are at work to make sure we stay on top of news that happens as stations in the West prepare to broadcast Nightly during one of the three time periods when it is fed out from Burbank: 5:30, 6:00 and 6:30 Pacific.
We can update on very short notice and have done so literally thousands of times over the years. The start of wildfire season in the West offers a perfect example of the demand we face to bring fresh pictures and information to our "Western Edition," which is how we title the broadcast whenever we update so that viewers will know, right out of the blocks, that they will be seeing brand new editorial content. Satellite technology has made quick-turnaround updates possible from around the world. And in breaking news situations that occur just minutes before one of our West Coast broadcasts takes air... or even after we are on the air... there are correspondents here in the Burbank bureau who can be at the newsroom's camera ready to go live on a moment's notice with details.
NBC Nightly News may originate in the Eastern time zone, but it is just as fresh every night when the sun heads out over the Pacific as it was the minute Brian first said, "good evening" from Rockefeller Center's Studio 3A.