Meet the Network Anchor: ‘Tina’ Pollen
Kurtina Pollen, a 15-year Gulfstream employee, serves as the anchor for The Gulfstream Journal’s weekly broadcast on The Gulfstream Network, the company’s own Internet TV enterprise focused on product support. The network debuted at Gulfstream’s 2012 Operators & Suppliers Conference, and as the show’s host, Pollen offers customers timely news, information and updates through interviews and stories.
NS: What is The Gulfstream Network?
KP: The Gulfstream Network provides customers with videos, discussion and tutorials on the operation, safety and maintenance of Gulfstream aircraft as part of our commitment to ensure safety and dispatch reliability of the Gulfstream fleet.
NS: Network programs are filmed in Studio G. Where is the studio and how was the location chosen?
KP: Studio G is strategically located at our Product Support headquarters in Savannah, Georgia. The 800-square-foot/74-square-meter studio is adjacent to Technical Operations and our In-Flight Support Room, which houses flight simulators. This proximity enables us to film in-flight support and troubleshooting to share with operators.
NS: What do you like best about being involved in the broadcasts?
KP: I like the connection with customers. When we meet them, they tell us about how much they learned from one of our broadcasts, and sometimes, they help drive content by suggesting topics for other segments.
NS: Do you have a background in broadcasting?
KP: No, my background was in IT. When I joined Gulfstream, I started out on the help desk, then I became an IT business partner for the Product Support side of the business. Later, I became customer communications manager. I’d never thought about being a broadcaster, but a friend saw the job posting and said, ‘You should apply for it.’ I sent in my resume, and they called me for an interview. I was shocked.
NS: So, did this fulfill a childhood dream to be on TV some day?
KP: No, when I was younger, I wanted to be a pediatric nurse or a pediatrician.
NS: Does your IT background help?
KP: People tend to focus on the broadcast side, but behind the scenes, there’s so much technology involved. My background really helped. There’s a lot of IT in the studio.
NS: Have you ever encountered something unexpected during a live broadcast?
KP: I can tell you that nothing gets your adrenaline going like being live! When The Gulfstream Journal, our weekly newscast, went live at the Operators Conference, the initial interaction was well-received by the crowd—they applauded, and we didn’t expect that. I couldn’t hear Product Support President Mark Burns talking to me from the trade center over the applause, but I could see him. With a smile on my face and a bit of panic inside I thought, ‘What am I going to do?’ It seemed as though everyone could hear my heart beating. Reading Mark’s lips, I watched for him to stop talking and seamlessly began the program live from Studio G. Afterward our team was jumping up and down with excitement.
NS: How did you prepare for the job of on-air talent?
KP: I’ve gotten a lot of on-the-job training, and I’ve learned a lot from watching the news. I’d watch CBS This Morning or Headline News’ Morning Express with Robin Meade. Even now, I’ll turn the TV on mute so I can focus on how they direct shots. When we do The Gulfstream Journal, I’ll get the script ahead of time and read through it several times so I’m familiar with it by the time we’re ready to air.
NS: Now that you’ve anchored for a while, could you see yourself behind an anchor desk or sitting on the couch with the Good Morning, America crew?
KP: I never thought of it before, but yes, I could see myself doing that.
NS: If you ever had the opportunity, who would you most want to interview for a national story and what would you most want to ask?
KP: Oprah Winfrey or Julie Chen, [from the CBS show The Talk] and I would ask them what advice they would have for someone just starting out.
NS: Can you tell us about an especially interesting broadcast from Studio G?
KP: Two guest anchors come to mind. First, a local eighth-grade student anchored a safety video created specifically for students touring Gulfstream on Aviation Career Day. The young woman did a fantastic job—I think she has a future in broadcasting! Second, Mark Burns anchored the midyear edition of The Gulfstream Journal. Mark’s experience gave him a new appreciation for what goes on both in front of and behind the camera.
NS: What are your other responsibilities at Gulfstream?
KP: In addition to the network, I ensure effective communication with operators through a variety of media including Breakfast Minutes, an electronic newsletter; Gulfstream Regional Operators Forums; and Product Support websites and social media platforms. As the incoming chairperson for the Gulfstream Diversity and Inclusion Council, I have the great opportunity to influence the forward movement of an inclusive and successful workplace.
NS: Programming on The Gulfstream Network is very informational. What does your team do to keep it fun?
KP: We have plenty of ‘bloopers’ [footage of funny mistakes] and the team participates in healthy banter, which helps keep the mood light and builds camaraderie.
To access The Gulfstream Network, log on to myGulfstream.com, click on Resources near the top of the page and then click on Gulfstream Network in the drop-down menu.
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