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Kaye McIntyre: Hero of Studio B

KPR Presents host Kaye McIntyre spent most of her spare time in February in Studio B helping with the live assist from NPR's coverage of the impeachment, and later in the month, the primaries and caucuses on KPR2. Often during live broadcasts (such as NPR election coverage) an announcer is needed to stand by to provide station identification and cover breaks when/if they occur. Depending on the coverage, this can sometimes take hours. Kaye spent so much time in Studio B that soon the office was making jokes about her new residence. We interviewed Kaye and asked about her experience during this time.

I’ve been told you are the new tenant of Studio B. Can you share with us about the live assists you’ve been doing over the past month?

Early on, Kansas Public Radio made the decision to carry all of NPR's special coverage of the impeachment proceedings on KPR2, our news and information channel. That meant all of the House hearings, the House vote, all of the Senate trial, the Senate vote, hours and hours of speeches, and lots of analysis from NPR. It was a huge commitment in terms of airtime and staffing. Then before the impeachment even came to a vote (February 5), NPR started special coverage of the presidential primaries, beginning with the Iowa caucuses on February 3. I wish I'd kept track of how many hours it has been, but let's just suffice it to say that there was a lot of joking that I'd become "the prisoner of Studio B!"  

What made you decide to volunteer to take the bulk of the shifts covering the impeachment and the caucus?

I actually jumped at the chance to do board operations during the impeachment and the presidential primaries. I've always been interested in politics; I studied political science in college and graduate school. I previously worked as a legislative analyst for a Kansas congressman and for the Iowa legislature, and I used to teach Introduction to American Politics at a community college in Kansas City. Regardless of how it turned out, I knew that this was history in the making, and I wanted to be a small part of sharing that with our listeners. And as a public radio station, carrying this was the right thing to do. We always say that public radio brings you more than sound bites; this was an opportunity to do just that. Rather than bringing you just the zinger of the day, we brought you the whole thing so you could listen and decide for yourself what to think. 

You listened to the entire impeachment process. What did you hear that is surprising? Do you have a different perspective of the process (impeachment) after listening to it in its entirety?

A lot of my friends and co-workers would ask, "How can you listen to this all day?" But, really, the process was so interesting on so many levels. Yes, it was partisan, political, and repetitive, but within that framework, it was fascinating to hear the different approaches that members of Congress took in either defending or opposing the president. For example, one member would take a fairly legalistic approach. Another would speak with grand rhetorical flourishes. A third would focus on a historical perspective. A fourth would talk less about the specifics of the case and more about what this meant for our collective political future. One thing that did take me by surprise during the impeachment proceedings: how often both sides quoted Benjamin Franklin, "A Republic, Madam, if you can keep it."

How many different drink cups did you have outside of the room on any given day and where were they from?

Ha! Several of my co-workers say, "You can always tell when Kaye is in Studio B, because there's a glass of Diet Coke on the shelf outside." I'm not a coffee drinker, not much of a tea drinker, so on those especially long days, I often accumulated three or four glasses of Diet Coke, plus a glass of water -- I think five glasses was my record! I'm also a bit of a fast food junkie, so typically I'd have a selection of glasses from Jimmy John's, McDonalds, and my favorite, Yello Sub.

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