The Morning Man

Brad Hennessy takes you behind the scenes at “Good Morning America.”

I came to Monmouth because I was interested in the soccer program, but an ankle injury prevented me from playing. Lucky for me, I got a career out of the experience thanks to Monmouth’s wonderful communications program.

Internships played a key role in steering me toward my career. Working first at and then at MTV’s Total Request Live, I gained a ton of experience and learned what it’s like working for bigtime TV in New York City. After graduation, those experiences led me to positions at Philadelphia Park Racetrack—it was really low-paying, but I got to do everything from shooting camera to audio and graphics—and later to shows at VH1, Comcast Sports Net, ESPN Classic, NBC Sports, and the Oprah Winfrey Network.

I’ve been at Good Morning America since 2014, where I’m one of four stage managers who work on GMA and GMA Day. My workday starts a little before 4:30 a.m. when I arrive at the studio for a meeting where our director walks us through rundowns of both shows. Then I do everything from wrangling guests, to directing anchors to cameras, and counting them in and out of packages. GMA is fast-paced, and I love that. My fellow stage managers and I always have to stay one step ahead of the show as it’s going along. It’s live TV, so things often don’t go as planned, but that’s OK. You just have to be flexible.

The show’s schedule can always change because of breaking news, and I love having the chance to be on the cusp of events as they’re happening. Obviously, some of the things that happen in today’s world are horrible, so it can sometimes be tough. For instance, when the Pulse nightclub shooting occurred in 2016, producers scrapped the entire show we had planned and stayed with the Pulse story as it developed. Regardless of what’s happening on any particular morning, I think our team does a good job of presenting it in the best way possible. We have the best anchor team. They like what they do, and it shows.

One of my favorite parts of the  job is working on our concert series in Central Park. Being off to the side of the stage and hearing people chant an artist’s name or sing along to their songs sends chills down my spine. I’m a big music fan, so I love having that kind of access and experiencing it up close.

I really love my job. It’s great to be part of a team like this, especially since I didn’t know if I’d ever make it. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from my experience, it’s this: You just have to believe and keep on trucking.