On Saturday, I woke up early and drove down to Cleveland to pick up my media credentials for the 2016 Republican National Convention which officially begins on Monday.

Why drive down on Saturday to pick up credentials (see a pic below with some important info covered) when I was going to be down there in just a couple days you ask? Some reasons:

  1. Initially I was told I could pick them up today (Sunday) between 2:30-3 p.m. This wasn't going to work for me since I wasn't planning on being there until Monday night. I was then told I could pick them up beginning at 9:30 a.m. on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday morning. But due to some of my commitments while working down there, this was going to be tight.
  2. There are going to be 15,000 journalists from around the world covering this event. I don't know their schedules and when they are planning to pick theirs up, but I know mine. If there was a line when I went to pick them up on Tuesday morning, and then I had to do a call in, prepare to do my show, etc., I'd be freaking out.
  3. I wanted to get a lay of the land, and boy, I'm glad I did this. Streets were already being closed with the security peremiter. Authorities were also already out in full force (BTW, 150 Michigan State Police Troopers are helping out in Cleveland). I also wanted to see where I was going to be staying. Less than 2 miles away from Quicken Loans Arena, it nonetheless took me much longer than anticipated to get there with all the street closures. I was also hoping to check out the media center and the arena, but security sweeps were being done and the weather was crappy. I had a rain jacket, but my Dad who accompanied me, didn't. On the plus side, I did find out that I will have access to the arena floor!
  4. I wanted to meet some people: Alee Lockman, the Director of Regional Media for the GOP Convention and my AirBnb host. Lockman has already been on my show a number of times and will be/has been my point person for Cleveland. She's been great and is continuing to help me as I prepare my shows there. I also introduced myself to Joanna, my AirBnb host. Super nice and a fellow journalist. Looking forward to my stay there (along with a number of other journalists who will be staying in the huge house).

It was a long day. Didn't get back until 5 p.m. after starting the trek at 7:30 a.m. but am thankful I did it. Also thankful for my Dad, who made the drive with me. We had a good time.

Looking forward to returning to Cleveland tomorrow night and beginning to work on Tuesday morning. I'll be calling in some reports in the 10 a.m. hour on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and beginning at 11 a.m., broadcast my shows live from Cleveland. I'm working on some cool guests, so you'll want to make sure to tune in. You can also follow along on our Facebook page here.

Jason Cooper, WFNT
Jason Cooper, WFNT

More From US 103.1 FM