TOLEDO -- As we inch closer to the opening arguments in the trial of Father Gerald Robinson, many media outlets from the across the country are arriving in Toledo. The city planned for the media attention by blocking off the area around the court house. All along Michigan Street, trucks are already in place, including one from KDN Videoworks, Inc.
KDN -- which operates out of Madison Heights, Michigan, just outside Detroit -- works for Court TV. Inside their truck is a TV studio, complete with lights, cameras, and audio equipment.
Marvin Strait is in charge of the audio inside the courtroom. He says there are 13 microphones following the action wherever it goes "from one corner to the other."
The KDN crew travels across the country covering trials, mostly in the midwest. They just returned from Wisconsin where they spent three weeks. Marvin says they were in Vermont and Montana before that. "So we're traveling all over," he said.
Chief engineer David Newman says, "It's very busy right now for us."
He also says KDN will be here for the duration of the Robinson trial -- and that the mobile studio will keep the operation running smoothly. "Today is a beautiful day," he told News 11. "But on days when it's raining or windy, the correspondents like to be in [shelter], and the crew likes to be in shelter ... you don't have to worry about a tent where the wind is blowing in all the time."
The crew has covered big-name events like the Super Bowl, Timothy McVeigh's execution, and the BTK case. Marvin says the BTK case was difficult to listen to with the family members and friends of the victims sitting next to him.
He may not find the Robinson trial any less difficult to cover. "It's kind of bone chilling as well that people have that frame of mind to maybe do something like that," he said. "I can't say, obviously, if he's guilty or innocent -- but from what I've heard of the trial so far, it's going to be interesting to see how it plays out."
It will also be interesting to see how other media outlets cover the trial. The crew at KDN says they've been contacted by numerous outlets, including CNN, MSNBC, and Dateline.