Managing double-ender TV Interviews

Despite being in Jordan, Colin Powell was booked for two double-ender interviews this weekend: the first with Tim Russert, and the second with Fox TV. When the Russert/NBC interview went long, one of Powell's aides ended the interview by ordering the camera to shift view to some nearby trees.

"You're off," State Department press aide Emily Miller was heard saying. "I am not off," Powell insisted. "No, they can't use it, they're editing it," Miller said. "He's still asking the questions," Powell said.

Miller, a onetime NBC staffer who recently worked for House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, also told Powell: "He was going to go for another five minutes."(Kurtz in the WPost)

Eventually, Powell had aide move the camera back into focus and finished his interview. Russert ran the entire interview, including the interruption.

A useful lesson for public relations folk: while you may have negotiated the terms of the interview, you always have to be flexible - especially when your spokesperson is actually on camera.

What's a double-ender, or satellite, interview? Here's one resource from WPNT Chicago.