Saturday, December 24, 2005

TV News For Dummies - Phone Calls

With all the jobs open here and this being a pretty good time of year to look (between sweeps... good not great cause of vacations) I thought I'd post this thought.

So you want to get an on-air job. You've put together a tape and sent a resume and cover letter. And now you wait. The ad says "no calls." But you wonder does "no calls" mean "NO CALLS?"

There are two schools of thought here...

The one that I think a lot of people want to believe in is you should call... the logic being if a news director is looking for a reporter... they're looking for someone who is aggressive and in your mind calling = being aggressive... even if it's just calling to "make sure your tape arrived."

Is this right? Yes and no.

I know there are news directors who will take the time to talk, they may or may not have watched your tape. Maybe they see it in the pile when you call and can tell you that... or maybe they keep a log of tapes that have come in. Maybe they're like Jim Garrott at 25 who is always keeping his eyes and ears open for talent.

I also know there are NDs who just don't want to deal. They're going to look at tapes and call the people they like... just that simple. Early on in my career, I called, but eventually I embraced that notion. News directors are busy... they're dealing with the newsroom and dealing with their bosses. I'm going to guess most don't feel like they have time to take a call from every single person who sent a tape. Some may even ask you if you can follow directions because it says "no calls."

Yes, there are slight differences between how you approach producing positions and on-air... but I really think if they like you, if they really like you, they'll call... and no amount of calling on your part is going to change their mind if they don't. Yes, I know someone can pull out the extreme example of someone getting a job through persistence, but bottom line is if your tape stinks, the great majority of NDs aren't going to hire you.

No comments: