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Airplane wheels askew meant a big story

I'm executive producer of afternoon news shows so I oversee everything that goes on. I come in at 8:30 a.m. for a managers' meeting. By 10, we're assigning who's going where and who's doing what.

We adjust as better stories come along. The show we have in the works at 10 is rarely the show that goes on the four or six o'clock news.

We were on the air at 4 when I got a call from the assignment desk that the Air 7 helicopter was in route to a plane with possible faulty landing gear.

We were on commercial break when the helicopter got to the scene. We were on air at 4:20. As soon as we saw the pictures of the wheels turned sideways, we knew it was a big story. We treat emergency landings pretty seriously.

The newsroom is always abuzz with activity but at this point we went into breaking news mode. People who are pulling files start answering phones. People who are proofing scripts may go work in the control room.

My job becomes deciding the next step. I have to stay ahead of the story. I'm thinking, "Who do we need to get on the phone?" I'm throwing out ideas. People are listening and getting their own ideas.

There was some talk about the plane landing at Edwards Air Force Base because they have longer runways. We had a guy in Lancaster so we called him and sent him to Edwards just in case.

People had phones to each ear, calling Jet Blue asking, "What are you hearing?" We pass all of that information on to the chopper pilots and eventually on to the viewers.

We called USC. Los Angeles has great schools. They have professors who are experts and can talk about just about any topic, from financial issues to terror. If we need anything, someone from the station is on the phone calling. Our contact lists are longer than you could ever imagine.

I oversee everything from phone calls to making sure our graphics look good to making sure we have a phone number for viewers to call and inquire about the passengers on the flight.

I decide how long we are gong to stay with the story. If it continued to fly until 8 p.m., we would have carried it until then. We had plans in place to see it through until the plane was on the ground.

When the plane landed, the newsroom erupted in applause. We were off the air by 6:20. Before I left, I made sure that our 11 o'clock news was all set for the follow up coverage. I was out by 7. That's a great time, about normal for me. Selfishly, I wanted to get home in time for "Lost."

We had guests in town, so the events of the day were the topic of conversation. My mother-in-law was visiting and she was all excited about it. I watched the 11 o'clock news on Channel 7 and went to bed.

Edd Adamko Executive Producer/Day KABC (Channel 7)

Hometown: West Palm Beach, Fla.

College Job: Host at Walt Disney World ("How many in your party? Watch your step. Have a great day.")

Preferred Reading: The Los Angeles Times and trades at home; other papers at work

Favorite Place: Home

Biggest Story: Executive producer of the morning news the morning of 9/11

Favorite Team: Lakers

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