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Hitting The Road

Updated: Feb 29

I could backlog this for a year or two with a tons of adventures, so why not start with this actual week of travel, then we’ll work backwards and forwards. How’s that for messing the process up. And I’ll make it even better, I am going to talk about what I’m gonna be doing, but then we’ll drop pictures in of what actually happened!

As I type this up, I’m headed to Los Angeles for the auto show. This is honestly my “home” show because this is where it really all started for me. Although my YouTube page has the very first car video I ever did as from the Orange County Auto Show, I spent four years with @GayleAnderson at @KTLA doing onsite reporting with her. It’s where I cut my teeth. Fast forward to today, I now provide Morning News Stations around the country with LIVE coverage from the show, we shoot an hour long TV show for FOX Sports and I love every minute of it.

So, things kick off with a flight from Nashville to LAX. Of course, it’s a packed flight so I was stuck in 21C and just before they closed the doors they read over the intercom to the whole plane. “Passenger Mike Caudill your upgrade has been approved” and away I went to the front of the bus. I’ve been spoiled up in First Class, but when you but is attached to a seat so much…it helps make the trips easier. I always tell everyone it’s not a badge of honor…it means I’m away from my family. With the particular flight, I’m on the night flight that gets me in to LAX around 9 pm and then off to the hotel I go.

Now we play fast forward to tomorrow! Wednesday is going to be a pretty easy day. It’s all about getting final work calls handled and meetings lined up as I then transition to TV. When this happens, the others businesses I’m involved in go dark, unless there is an emergency. The afternoon hours on Wednesday we’ll be talking about the FOX Sports show and how we are going to shoot it. I’ll be hooked in to writing scripts and planning for the SMT on Friday (we have to study the cars we are talking about).

Thursday is going to be a barn burner as we’ll shoot all day for FOX Sports onsite. This is a bruiser because we’ll have to run from booth exhibit to booth exhibit, capture interviews and then do actual stand-ups for TV…they are crazy days. I actually blink and it’s over. This year we only have one day to shoot the show and that makes it a time crunch and we are only doing one day of LIVE TV and that’s because Covid really changed the way automakers look at auto shows.

(Segue in to auto shows): I love auto shows. There are/were four big ones in the U.S. They are like our Super Bowl right. It’s where I get all dressed up and talk to LIVE stations around the country. I’ll be on with FOX 2 in Detroit one minute and five minutes later FOX 31 KDVR in Denver. It’s awesome. But the landscape has changed. Covid forced two years of shutdowns for consumer-driven auto shows. But automakers still sold cars and the takeaway is that auto shows are very expensive and they have to compete with media and other automakers for voice. So, they have moved to more singular events where they host media. It’s cheaper to fly them in than to build out a big show booth. With that said, I think big cities like Los Angeles, New York, Chicago will flourish and continue with auto shows. Unfortunately, I think the demise of Detroit leading in to Covid with CES and now the horrible attempt this past summer that I think they are just not what they used to be. Geographically, LA has always been the “California Cool” show, Detroit the “Big Three Jamboree” show, Chicago is truly a “Blue Collar” show and New York is the “Big Apple.” It’s where everyone hits the show, does big dinner, takes in Time Square…it’s epic. For me, it’s the biggest as I usually spend my entire week on with FOX News.

Friday will be BRUTAL. Bet ya didn’t know this, but when you see that happy face on news television in the early AM, they usually had to be there two hours before. For Los Angeles, we are dealing with East Coast media outlets, so we set our alarms for 1 AM to be onsite by around 2 AM for usually a 6 AM LIVE TV hit. We will do about 20+ LIVE TV hits and then we’re done. I’ll write a blog up on this one and intro you to my good friend Nik Miles, he’s who I do TV with.

So, you thought this blog was over right? Time to fly home. Nope, not just yet. I’m off to Reno, Nevada to see my folks before Thanksgiving. I’ll also get to see my sister as well. She’s a ROCKSTAR and will get her own blog down the road.

For now, keep it real, keep it right, keep it cool, keep it clean, and most importantly, keep on keepin.

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