Tuesday, March 01, 2005

What's On Your Tape?

It is about that time when people in markets across the country will look to leave for greener pastures. The holiday season (major vacation time) has passed and February sweeps is just about over. That means its time to make a move.

So what's on your tape? Reporters looking to make a big jump as a reporter should have hard news and live shots to start. Need to show lots of confidence.

Photogs need to show solid storytelling, well composed shots, sequences and good use of nat sound.

Producers... do you have a show that takes advantage of lots of reporters, live shots, on set pieces? How did you break up a big story into smaller parts? How about blocking and transitions?

For those of you embarking on the job hunt, keep in mind a few things:

With some exceptions...

Reporters can make the biggest jumps if they go after non-anchoring jobs.

Reporters looking to anchor are best going after weekend jobs in a similar sized market or maybe a little bigger depending on the quality of tape.

Anchors will generally not move to the same level of anchoring if they move up in market size... so a 6 and 10 anchor here might be looking at a 5PM show/night reporter job.

Producers can make big jumps as a rule, but even bigger jumps if they are open to working overnights. Photogs too. Keep in mind producers will have an easier time moving up in that situation than the photog.

Sports jobs are the toughest to find.

Finally, don't be afraid to ask for more money (unless you're desperate to leave and figure that could cost you the job). Many stations will shoot low hoping that you'll just be thrilled to be offered a job. Others may have no budget.

For example, when I was looking to leave the first time, my first offer was at a station in Rockford. It was for a weekend anchor/producer job. The first offer was $17,500. I told him I was already making almost 23. He offered 18,5... clearly he wasn't going to be able to match.

The job in Monterey paid 30K. I wanted more money and vacation. Got an extra week, but the ND didn't want to give me more money too. But it didn't hurt to ask.

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