Sunday, December 12, 2004

Holding Your Tongue

From Steve Tarter's column in the PJ Star

Amy Paul, news anchor on WMBD-TV, Channel 31, has a suggestion for viewers with programming complaints: Call during the day. "There are about four of us there trying to work on the 10 p.m. news, and people are complaining about 'why is Billy Graham on,' and they accuse us of changing programs because of a political agenda," she said. "There is no one in authority to complain about programming, commercials or network cut-ins after 5 p.m. I think people would be interested to know that there is only a handful of people working at each TV (and radio) station after 6 p.m. If they want results, they should wait until normal business hours to call," Paul said.

Amy got to vent frustration that just about everyone in working in TV news has had to deal with at one time or another. The problem is some people just don't care. They don't. These are probably the same people who complain that you're interrupting their "show" with information about a tornado coming through the area. They're basically saying, "I don't care if I bite it, I want to see who got voted off!"

I especially used to love when people would call and scream at me about something they saw... on another channel. I always handled these calls politely, (unless they started using foul language) but when someone called to complain about another station, I always wanted to say "I'm sorry, if McDonald's screws up your hamburger, do you take it out on Burger King?"

After my wife announced she was pregnant with our first, she filled in on the anchor desk one night wearing khaki pants. One woman e-mailed and called complaining about how she didn't want to see Shannon's belly and how horribly unprofessional my wife was. What that woman needed was glasses and to count to ten. Some people just yell to hear themselves... but if you work in television it comes with the territory.

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