Mikaela's Wake Up Call

While You Were Sleeping:  A Major Story through Early A.M. Eyes

When you work this shift, things happen overnight that you don’t always expect.  Usually, we get standard local news fare.  Road closings from high water, a shooting in town, word that a missing person has been found.

Not every morning do you wake up to news that Osama bin Laden has been killed.

I first learned about it like many of you did, through social media. On our video feed from NBC Newschannel this morning, you saw fans at different games last night on their Blackberries, I-Phone’s, and Droid’s.  If you haven’t seen the video yet,  just click here.  The chants of “U-S-A!” were loud, and word spread like wildfire throughout Citizens Bank Park during the Mets-Phillies game.  The players couldn’t figure out what was happening. 

At the time that was happening, I was soundly asleep in Columbus, Ohio.  But I will admit—I AM one of those guilty of looking at my phone way too late and also way too early in the morning!  So during the week, my first glance of news is usually underneath my comforter (to shut out the LCD screen light as to not disturb Marcus’ slumber.)  It takes me about 5 minutes to get through my news apps, Facebook, Twitter, etc.  It’s a quick scan; I’m not truly committed to reading every word from every article from under the covers.  It gets too hot.  Anyway, a friend of mine on Twitter joked she found it hard to get to sleep last night due to some breaking news.  Breaking news?  I had absolutely no clue what she was talking about.

I checked my NBC4i app for I-Phone and that’s when it started to hit.  Bin Laden was dead.  We had at least four articles up about the operation overnight and the intelligence behind it.  They already buried him at sea?  It was all sinking in, as I was still propped up in my homemade fort-in-the-bed.  Ten years after 9/11 this happened at the end of a quiet weekend.  Never would have expected that.

I got out of bed, washed my face and brushed my teeth, and on the way to the station called our producer Cindi.  I said, “I’m in shock.”  I really was.  It was going to be a big morning in the news world.  We discussed what elements were going to be in the newscast—including what we call a “phoner” with a guy who worked closely with Homeland Security right after 9/11.  Matt Mayer is currently with the Buckeye Institute.  We talked about crafting the right kind of question for Facebook for our morning viewers, because this is one of those subjects that can draw a lot of opinions.  And some of the commentary can get quite heated.  We got off the phone and I continued onto 670 listening to some calming music—still soaking up the fact that this had indeed happened.

I was working in news on September 11th, 2001.  A young producer in Central Illinois, I had produced the 10:00 p.m. newscast the night before it happened.  The news crew would go out for a beverage and conversation after the newscast most weeknights, and the night before had been no different.  I was still in bed at 9 a.m. and woke up to a phone call from my dad, who said “Turn on the Today Show.”  Ever since that moment, and the responsibility Bin Laden claimed soon after, I have waited to hear that the United States captured him. 

Then weeks turned into months, months turned into years, and it seemed less and less likely that we would get him.  You’d start to forget he was out there, until a random video that he made would pop up on Al Jazeera or word leaked that he was suffering from some strange illness out in the wilderness.  So much has happened in the last 10 years since we wanted him “Dead or Alive.”  We mourned the loss of so many in NYC; we made plans to build a memorial on the World Trade Center site.  We started building that memorial, and it’s set to be complete in 2013, I believe.  I changed jobs, got married, moved to Columbus, bought a house, had a baby… and now this.  I think that’s why it’s hard to comprehend.  It’s been a decade of waiting.  And this is the last thing I would have expected on a Monday morning.

How did you find out this morning?  And are you all of a sudden considering the past 10 years and all that’s happened in your life since 9/11?

Posted by  on 05/02 at 07:32 AM



My daughter is a copy editor at the Virginian Pilot.  She jumped onto Gmail chat with my husband this morning when he got online to check email while the coffee was brewing.  That’s how we found out.

Our daughter said she got home from work at 9:45 and was preparing to put on her pajamas when she saw a tweet from someone in the news business in Pittsburgh about an impending announcement from the President.  She knew this was very rare for a Sunday night, so after seeing a few things on MSNBC and online, she jumped in her car and drove very quickly back to the newspaper (she lives about 2.5 miles away) and they were able to tear up the front page and publish this amazing story instead.

Posted by DorothyM  on  05/02  at  10:31 AM


Like you, Mikaela, I check my phone after I get up for any breaking news from NBC4.  I could not believe what I was reading!  I then checked Facebook and saw the NBC4 posts as well as posts from other folks who had been up late and had seen the news.  I honestly didn’t think we would actually get to him, I figured if we were to close he would escape alive or dead.  I am proud of our special forces, but I am concerned about what retaliation is next for the US and its citizens.

Posted by KathyH  on  05/02  at  04:45 PM


i am new to the site mikaela and couldnt find a place to say this but i watch you guys every morning i wake up at 4 so i can wake up and make sure i catch the news from the time u guys come on and i leave when u guys r on commercial break bc i cant leave when u guys r on bc im like glued to the tv ive been watchin u guys just about everyday for bout 3 or 4 years but bc i work a lot i dont get time to do much so i just wanted to let u guys know u have a loyal watcher which im sure u have many but you now now u have one more oh and i like you guys on facebook too

Posted by michael young  on  05/03  at  04:40 AM


It was all sinking in, as I was still propped up in my homemade fort-in-the-bed.  Yeast Infection Treatment | Yeast Infection Diet

Posted by jn1234  on  08/24  at  07:23 AM


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It may feel like no one reads this, but some of us do. I gave up doing my blog for that reason and now I just post on other peoples.

Posted by larrzz0jh  on  09/30  at  11:42 PM


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Great post on an interesting topic - I am very glad the figure head of Osama Bin Laden is no longer out there.

Posted by Clara  on  11/03  at  10:38 AM


I too was very surprised to turn on the news in the morning and find that Osama Bin Laden had been killed. Nobody deserved it more than him. Now if we could just get the rest of those lousy b_ _ _ _ _ _ _s.
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Posted by Ryan767  on  11/11  at  01:18 PM


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