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Vince Vitrano: Not For Broadcast



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Meredith is so humble and unassuming I didn't even know she was out there until I turned around and saw her.

Susan and I were led to the set, and told again by one of the Today Show producers how it was going to work. Our microphones would be on the whole time. Matt and Meredith would come out. We'd shake hands and act like old pals. Then the interview... then the promos... then the pictures. Okay? Fine.

The various handlers were powdering our faces, and showing us where we'd sit, and I didn't even notice, but Meredith had come out on the set. It's kind of odd seeing someone in person whom you've seen countless times before on TV. Anyone who's ever met someone famous knows what I'm talking about. You're looking at someone you've never met before, yet you feel you know so well.

Well that's what I felt like when I turned around and was eye to eye with Meredith Vieira. You can tell a lot about a person in those initial few moments, and I was immediately impressed by her warmth. She made me feel completely at ease. As we exchanged pleasantries, I gathered she really was kind of glad to see us. You know, it's her job and all, but I got the feeling she really was enjoying meeting all these local anchors and trying to make connections with them.

Meredith quickly revealed that she had interviewed for a job here in Milwaukee in the 1970's. It was with Channel 6, which as many of us remember was CBS at the time. She ended up going elsewhere, but she says she really enjoyed the city, and it was a tough call not taking the job.

Actually, that discussion led to a big laugh that really loosened things up. Susan told Meredith that Channel 6 was a FOX station now. "You know those guys are FOX now," Susan said.

"They're what?" Meredith asked... kind of whispering.

"They're a FOX station," Susan reiterated.

"Oh. FOX," Meredith exclaimed, with emphasis on "AH" pronunciation. "I thought you said something else," she guiltily admitted.

As we laughed, Susan assured her she was not calling our friends across the street a dirty name. How funny.

As we talked, you could tell she was listening. Even as an interviewer, I'm often guilty of working on the next question instead of listening to the answer. She wasn't doing that as we chatted. It just felt like a very comfortable conversation.

I have to admit, I didn't know a lot about Meredith before we met. Susan was a fan and looking quite forward to it. Often times in those cases, finally meeting that person can be a let down. Susan would tell you too, it was anything but that.

Susan asked both Matt and Meredith about developing a strong chemistry. Meredith admitted it's a lot easier to appear you get a long with someone when you actually get along with someone. In other words, she and Matt both seem to really like each other. Of course they'd say that anyway, but it sure looks to be true.

Tomorrow... how Susan broke the rules during the interview... much to my horror! Don't worry. It all worked out okay.

Please send your questions if you have them.



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