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“The Cut” is a weekly reporters notebook-type essay by an Ideastream Public Media content creator, reflecting on the news and on life in Northeast Ohio. What exactly does “The Cut” mean? It's a throwback to the old days of using a razor blade to cut analog tape. In radio lingo, we refer to sound bites as “cuts.” So think of these behind-the-scene essays as “cuts” from Ideastream's producers.

Gaming out Ideastream's plan for election night, the Super Bowl of news

People walk into the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections on Oct. 27, 2022.
Ryan Loew
Ideastream Public Media
People walk into the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections on Oct. 27, 2022.

Every time I look at the calendar, I shake my head in disbelief. Didn’t October just start? Now Halloween is a distant memory and we’re staring down the first weekend in November.

The midterm elections are five (!) days away. The good news: Political ads, at least until the spring, are coming to an end. Trust me, journalists and political wonks are looking forward to that, too.

But as a sports fan, I can tell you that we are living the phrase “this is our Super Bowl.” For those who cover the news, an election really is like a Super Bowl, even in a midterm election year.

We have our two sides and their fans. We have records and strategies, offense and defense, trick plays and plenty of hard hits.

And in the booth, telling you how it is, is the Ideastream Public Media news team.

Here's our game plan: We'll be on the air for at least four hours of special election night coverage on Tuesday. NPR will handle the vital national races from 8 p.m. to midnight, touching on national trends and projections for who will control the U.S. House and Senate. And we will handle local and statewide races and issues, coming in three times per hour for five minutes at a time to deliver updates, analysis, context and interviews.

Our usual midday host Jeff St. Clair, a veteran of election night coverage on WKSU, will be your guide as we welcome guests such as Tom Sutton, a political science professor and Director of the Community Research Institute at Baldwin Wallace University. Calling in will be fellow academics Karen Beckwith from Case Western Reserve University, Brianna Mack from Ohio Wesleyan University and former Cuyahoga County GOP Chairman Rob Frost.

Our coverage area is expansive. We'll be on the close race in the newly redrawn 13th Congressional District, the race for Cuyahoga County executive, Akron’s charter amendment to establish a citizen police oversight board, school levies throughout Northeast Ohio and much more.

Our Statehouse News Bureau is covering a race with national attention, the Senate battle between Tim Ryan and J.D. Vance. The now-partisan Ohio Supreme Court races have taken on extra importance with gerrymandering. And the bureau will keep tabs on statewide office races such as governor. Expect to hear from Karen Kasler, Andy Chow and Jo Ingles at least once an hour on election night.

Simultaneously, our digital team will have a running live blog on wksu.org, while reporters contribute updates, videos and photos to our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages.

It does not end on election night. This is a Super Bowl with no clock. Amy Eddings and "Morning Edition" get to show off all our hard work beginning at 5 a.m. Wednesday and the "Sound of Ideas," hosted next week by Executive Editor Mike McIntyre, will offer analysis and an interview with the county executive-elect.

It’s a labor of love. There’s nothing quite like election night for an electric “big game” feel. We hope you’ll experience it with us on 89.7 WKSU, on our social media channels and on wksu.org.

"The Cut" is featured in Ideastream Public Media's weekly newsletter, The Frequency Week in Review. To get The Frequency Week in Review, The Daily Frequency or any of our newsletters, sign up on Ideastream's newsletter subscription page.

Glenn Forbes is supervising producer of newscasts at Ideastream Public Media.