I don’t know why lately I’m drawn to thrillers set in the radio and TV business but I do, and here’s another one. A series, actually.
The series is The Broadcast Murder Series by Bill Evans, a Thriller, Mystery.
Live on TV3: Palm Springs ~ The Broadcast Murder Series Book 2
California’s Palm Springs was a hotbed for movie stars, big money and high crime, making it a great town to be a TV news reporter and police detective in the ’80s and ’90s. There, we see the explosive Sonny Bono rise to mayor before he becomes a US Congressman, we meet Frank Sinatra and his wife at exclusive dinner parties, and journey with a hard-nosed cast of police and newsroom personalities mingling among the stars while trying to solve a pyramid scheme and murders. Evans provides a candid insider’s view of newsroom operations and scheming TV personalities who will do anything to get ahead.
TOM PRESTON HEARD Jennie Neeley introduce him from the news anchor desk.
Three . . . two . . . one . . .
“Tom Preston is on assignment outside the Hyatt Hotel in downtown Palm Springs. TV3 has uncovered a major Ponzi scheme involving some very high-profile business people and educational leaders from our desert communities.”
“Jennie, that’s right. I’ve been working on this story for the past three weeks—”
The television monitor suddenly went blank.
Jennie and the TV viewers couldn’t see the pandemonium and chaos erupting on Palm Canyon, the street in front of the Hyatt Hotel. The TV3 live truck had exploded, spewing metal, shrapnel, and bodies everywhere.
“Shit, what happened to our live shot? Our truck is dead.” The TV3 production control room scrambled to figure out what went wrong. “Get Tom on the phone.”
“Somebody find out what’s going on out there!” Johnny Johnson shouted.
JJ, as he was called, was the news producer and commanded the troops. He reported to the news director, the head person in the newsroom. He was like a sergeant in a foxhole, taking orders from his lieutenant and keeping his control room calm as everyone scrambled around trying to find out what had happened. JJ cued Neeley and told her to get them into a commercial break.
Losing a live shot was not all that uncommon for a small-market television station in 1987. However, TV3 had fixed most of their technical problems over the years, and people in the know thought they were a technically sound station.
Their problem tonight was beyond any technical issues they could have imagined.
Outside the Hyatt, the scene looked like something from a Third World country. First responders—police, fire, ambulances—poured onto the scene. TV3’s main anchor, Tom Preston, had been doing a rare standup, anchoring his investigative story on location. He was found on the ground unconscious, his shirt splattered with blood and cuts on his head. There was a second body facedown about a hundred feet away. It was Terry Lynch, the photographer responsible for running the live truck and camera for Tom Preston’s story.
Glen Barnes was the first detective on the scene from the Palm Springs Police Department. Sandi DiSanto, his partner, arrived moments later. The police were quick to cordon off a half-block radius for their crime team. Tom drifted out of his unconscious state just in time to watch the EMTs perform CPR on his photographer. Tom tried to get on his feet and over to where Lynch was dying.
He wasn’t able to stand, collapsing only to have his fall stopped by one of the attending EMTs. Tom slipped back into unconsciousness.
Neeley sat on the anchor desk inside the studio trying not to be pissed. She took it personally whenever something like this happened. The main anchor was the face of the station. It was easy to be mad at her engineers and the loss of the live shot. The station had been promoting the story for two days, and it was disappointing to everyone involved in tonight’s newscast. The live shot was the whole story.
Jack Router, TV3’s news director, rushed into the news production control room. “What happened to our live shot?” he screamed.
Jack was a serious newsman; he pushed his newsroom kids to take their game to a considerably higher level than what a television station in market 163 should be performing at.
He called to an assistant. “I’m going out to the Hyatt. Keep Jennie in the anchor chair. Roll the other live truck and let’s get some more reporters down there. We need to figure this out on the run until we know what’s going on. Call everyone in and see if we have someone close to the scene.”
Jack ran out of the control room, out the station door and to his station vehicle in the parking lot.
Palm Springs is the prequel to Evan’s first novel, Murder at Broadcast Park. Learn how Stewart, Lisa, and the ever unsuspecting Dugan built a broadcasting empire.
About the Author
Bill Evans is a 45 year broadcast veteran who has turned writer. His first novel, Murder at Broadcast Park, was released in October, 2017 by Koehler Books. His second book in the Broadcast Murder series will be released in the summer of 2018. Both books are being considered for TV Movies. Bill writes with a lot of dialogue and in the words of his publisher, “doesn’t use a lot of word calories.”
With his experience and insight of what goes on behind the scenes in the broadcast world, Bill’s novel is able to paint a vivid picture of what really happens when the cameras are off. Leaving you on the edge of your seat, you will not want to put “Murder at Broadcast Park” down. The story is fiction with so much non-fiction thrown in you might not know the difference by the time you finish.
Currently Bill resides on California’s beautiful Central Coast. He continues to have a passion in the broadcast world and working in local media. Bill has developed a love of writing and is excited about the launching of his writing career.
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$20 Amazon, Six print copies of first book in the Broadcast Murder Series: Murder at Broadcast Park
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