March 9, 2009
Posted: 1907 GMT

For the past several weeks, our studio ringleader, Zach, has been giving you some insight into the behind-the-scenes decisions and flavor at the I-Desk.

Now, a different perspective... from the producer.

If you've read Zach's blogs, you probably have seen my name, Javier.  Yes, I was sick a few weeks ago.  Luckily, that's now gone.  And, despite Zach's request in his last blog, you will rarely, if ever, hear my voice on the air.  But, I am actively in Hala's ear, making sure we're all on the same page during I-Desk.

Now, to the insight... For those of you, who don't live in the U.S., you probably didn't notice.  But, for our loyal American viewers, there was a BIG change today (and for the next 3 weeks).  Over the weekend, the United States "sprang forward" one hour, into Daylight Savings Time.  But, the rest of the world stayed put.  As a result, the I-Desk is now airing at 1pmEDT... which allows us to stay in the same time slot around the world.  Then, 3 weeks from now, we'll go back to 12pmEDT, because most of the globe changes its clocks.

As for what goes into putting I-Desk together, I have to use a sport cliché:  It's a team effort!  There's no doubt about it.  About 6 hours before the show airs, our team is already in the newsroom.  We read over the day's top stories, find out which correspondents are covering those stories, then the show starts coming together.  I build what's called a "rundown," or "running order," which includes all of the stories we'll be highlighting, in the order which they'll be appearing.  Once that's done, our Wall Producer, Terri, starts putting together all of those great elements that you see in our Wall.  But, she's not alone.  In fact, Terri sits in a small room, behind our control room, with the Wall Director, Mike.  They are a nearly flawless tandem, who work like a well-oiled machine, to bring you the best and latest images on the Wall.

Along with Terri and Mike, there are a number of other characters, who help make I-Desk a success every day.  You've already heard of Steve, who is the show's main director.   Plus, Jeff the audio master, who makes sure everything you hear on I-Desk sounds perfectly.  And, Zach has also introduced you to the camera duo, Matt & Marc.  They're the ones who bring I-Desk to life, with their amazing in-studio camera work. 

Steve, the director, and Matt, who operates the steadicam.

Steve, the director, and Matt, who operates the steadicam.

Now, the rest of the cast:  There is Marty the Technical Director.  He sits infront of a spaceship-like table, pushes buttons, and puts everything on the air.  Pete the graphics king.  He's the one who makes sure all of our on-air graphics are correct.  Richman the Robo guy.  He sits right behind Jeff, and moves our studio cameras around.  Meaning, all of the cameras, which Matt & Marc don't control, fall under Richman's domain.   Then, there is Chris, who is arguably the hardest working person on the team.  He helps make my vision a reality, by coordinating all of those live reporters.  Sometimes we have as many as 10 or 12 "liveshots" during a show.  And, it is Chris' job to make sure they're ready to go, before Hala talks to them live on the air.  Believe me, that is NOT easy.

Last, but not least, the boss... Candace.  She is the Supervising Producer, who helps make the key editorial decisions.  She also keeps me cool, calm, and collected, when things are NOT going as planned.

So, there you have it... the ultimate rundown of the I-Desk Team, one of the most professional and hardest working people at CNN. 

In the coming weeks and months, I'll be chiming in with other blog postings, to help you understand the method behind the I-Desk madness. 

See you then, and thanks for watching!!

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Filed under: Behind the scenes •I

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Harit Fanish   March 13th, 2009 2:59 pm ET

i am a regular i-desk viewer, and i love when the show kicks off and if i am not mistaken Matt runs around with his super cool camera.. really fascinating... i love the show, comes at perfect time at 6pm in germany, exactly when i reach home.

Gruss und schönes Wochenende

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International Desk brings viewers into the heart of the largest news gathering operation in the world. Viewers don't come here to watch the news; they come here to be immersed in it. To feel the rush of being the first to know what's happening as stories break, and to leave knowing they've gotten the best and latest information available. The show airs Mon-Fri at 1900 CET.

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