Tuesday, November 02, 2004

WISN

Got an internship at WISN in Milwaukee the summer after my sophomore year in college. I would have left after that, but this girl I really liked was about to start an internship there, so when the EP asked me to stay around, I did. Never got the girl, but it turned out to be a turning point.

That fall, I got my first paid job in television. I ran the assignment desk on Saturday and Sunday nights and ran teleprompter for the newscasts.The following summer I was promoted to news photographer. That meant working every Thursday and Friday nights after class and nightshifts on weekends. I learned so much from the shooters there... a wonderfully talented bunch with each with a different, nasty sense of humor. They showed me the ropes of storytelling with pictures. Also enjoyed shooting sports from high school to pro. Didn't like all the stabbings and shootings I had to cover. Of course, being low on the poll in a big city meant that's a lot of what you did.

My senior year, I was set to take one of two paths... move to Hollywood and try to become a screenwriter or look for a small market reporting job. I was in the process of applying for a writing fellowship at a station in Boston, a sister station to the place I was working at. I asked my boss for a recommendation... he asked to take a look at my tape. A couple of days later, he offers me a job reporting in my home town. I'm going to guess that this was probably the absolute best opportunity offered to a senior in college (who wanted to work in TV news) anywhere in the country that spring... with no exaggeration. There would be some transition time where I'd shoot a couple of days and report three days, but the intent was to move me to the morning show so the morning reporter could go dayside.

I accepted the job with one condition: I had applied for an Academy of Television Arts and Sciences internship. About 1000 kids apply each year and they take 25 or so. It only lasted two months so I asked that I be able to go should I get the call. That spring, I got the call, but undestandably, my boss said he couldn't let me go. So I "loaded up the truck and I moved to Beverly." Actually it was a Miata and Westwood.