Thursday, April 21, 2005

Two And Out

In football, you hear the term "three and out." For small market TV news talent, it is "two and out." It refers to people who are here two years (or less) and gone forever. The "two" is where traditionally, a station invests a year in "showing you the ropes", you invest a second year to "pay them back." Over this period of time, you'll see these people hits peaks and valleys in terms of their storytelling, delivery and their skills as a journalist... but in the end you should see them improve quite a bit (with anchors it's more likely three years due to contracts and station's wanting a longer commitment from a frontline face). Yes, I know it doesn't always work this way, but it does in theory.

People who are "two and out" have just the right combination of ability and marketability. Keep in mind that some people will have more of one or the other... not an even split. Where they end up will also depend on what kind of job they're aiming for (anchor, reporter/anchor, reporter), the size of the market they want and their level of patience.

I was having some of this conversation the other day with a friend who doesn't work in news, but grew up here and does watch. I came up with a list of people I think are of "two and out" caliber (in no particular order).

1. Will Koch 2. Donnie Tillman 3. Liza Danver 4. Jeff Muniz 5. Trisha Skidmore 6. Kimberly Laburda 7. Paul Ferrante 8. Jill Henriksen

So what's the other side of this? There are people who are/were good enough to leave after two years, but decided to stay based on the quality of life in Central Illinois (having lived in a few other places, I can tell you if you want to own a home and live in a relatively safe area... this is pretty darn good). There are people who are looking to leave, haven't received the right offer yet and don't want to leave here just for the sake of leaving here. And there are also others who because they lack the right combination... either get no offers, or get no offers they're interested in.