When News Breaks, Here’s What an NBC Producer Brings

When news breaks, NBC News coordinating producer Olivia Santini often gets the first call. Santini, who is based in the Los Angeles bureau, packs a “bag of tricks” for quick deployments. She makes sure she and her colleagues have the supplies to cover breaking news and handle any scenario.  

“You’re in a situation, you don’t have time to run to a store, to the gas station to grab drinks or food,” Santini said. “By thinking ahead and packing all of these different components, you’re prepared for whatever comes your way.” 

Sign up for our newsletter! Right Arrow

Watch the video above or read about Santini’s must-have items below.  

Communication gear

  • Two smartphones on two different coverage networks.  
  • Satellite phone, in case cell service is impacted by intense weather or other outages. 
  • Laptop and iPad. Santini says the iPad can show a live feed of the TV show they’re producing or serve as a teleprompter in a pinch.


  • Airpods and other wireless headphones.  
  • Wired headphones, as backup. 

Analog supplies

  • Pens, paper and notebooks. Santini prefers regular notebooks over spiral-bound notepads because the latter can bend and break easily.  
  • Plastic folders and clipboards. Santini keeps notes and scripts, and finds these are more water-resistant and weatherproof than manila or paper folders.  
  • A large, laminated NBC News sticker. If Santini is driving a rental car, she puts the sticker on the dashboard to show she is part of the press and to avoid being ticketed or towed.

Be organized

Santini jokes that she’s “a bit of a packrat” who carries a lot of gear, but she recommends bringing bags within bags to help stay organized. Her larger “go bag” to cover breaking news contains smaller separate bags for cords and electronics, first aid, hygiene and on-camera makeup.  

“Plan ahead of time,” Santini said. “Not waiting until you’re getting the phone call to run out to a breaking news situation goes a long way.” 

Watch our video on what you need to bring when reporting on hurricanes, with NBC News coordinating producer Erika Angulo.

Gallery: NBC Field Producer Olivia Santini on the Job