Thursday, March 31, 2005

Props To Andrew

Props to former WMBD intern and Gus Macker partner Andrew Miller (now sports director at WICD in Champaign) for doing a custom look live pack for WEEK and Josh Simon.

Update: apparently the weekend guy in Champaign is also Josh. Oh well.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

If You're Going To Send Out Tapes...

Think about this...

(I stopped by the post office with a buddy on the way to lunch today. He was sending something overnight and it reminded me...)

I thought this happened in Peoria, but in thinking about it, it was post office in California.

I was once mailing tapes out for potential jobs. For readers who aren't familiar... to get a job in television in a different market, standard procedure is to send a resume and a resume tape of the best work you've done at your current station.

So I'm at the post office one day and mailing a bunch of "escape tapes" (as some call them) and the woman behind the counter strikes up a conversation. She was an avid news watcher and she points out to me that she notices that we (reporters) will come into the post office mailing a bunch of these sized envelopes at a time to addresses with call letters... and then it seems she doesn't see us anymore. Very observant.

So if you're mailing out tapes, but want to keep it quiet, have someone else do it or figure out the postage and drop it in the box.

One last thought on this... unless you are on a short list and a news director asks for you to send a tape overnight, don't send stuff overnight. I used to watch lots of tapes with news directors/managers I worked for and let me tell you... 1) overnight does not make it seem more important... tapes will sit... and 2) they're gonna watch it when they get around to watching it.

Plus, for you, there's the cost issue. Express mail (next day) for a VHS tape is $13.65, while priority mail (2-3 day avg.) costs $3.85. If you're paranoid like I am, you can get delivery confirmation for another 45 cents. But if you send out 10 tapes, you're looking at a difference of about 93 bucks.

The New Girl At 19

Met Jill Wunrow Tuesday night. She was shooting the Pekin/Notre Dame game and walking past me when I yelled "hey, when are we gonna see you on air?" I think she was taken aback a bit as someone recognized her, but I explained.

Nice girl... and I especially like her Green Bay Packers jacket.

Okay, Shannon

Just a couple of posts...

My Wife Is Losing Touch With Reality

I'm busy this week. Really freakin busy. As I'm sitting here getting ready for an important work thing... she says "you need to post something. You're boring!"

Then she proceeds to tell me that she reads my blog in the morning, and even though it is clearly stated in the disclaimer that I will not... I repeat... will not blog from work, she checks it again in the afternoon to see what's new.

Sweetheart... nothing is new. Now I must get back to work...

Monday, March 28, 2005

Will Koch Is My New Favorite Reporter

Watched the Pekin City Council meeting tonight. Props to Will for asking Mayor Howard what the deal was on why, after saying he'd respond within week, why he still still hasn't responded to the commissioner's request that he step down/his political future in general. Firm, yet not too confrontational.

Someone has to keep this guy in check.

Busy Work Week

Blogging will be light and because I won't have a good way of monitoring, the Pekin Political Mess posts have been temporarily pulled. Thanks for reading.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Local Elite Eight Coverage

Just a few random thoughts about local coverage of the Illini's run to the Final Four.

Great line from Pegs last night connecting the comeback to Easter. Nice to see the live coverage.

Didn't see it, but Shannon loved Mattson's package following the Illini back from Chicago to Champaign tonight.

Props to Lee for noticing Weber alone during the celebration, doing a look live and being forceful enough to get the second question after everyone started to pile in.

Also (and this was something I took pride in doing when I was reporting) I noticed he was holding a mic for WAND out of Decatur. I know there are some viewers who think competition between stations is rough, but for the most part, everyone tries to help each other out... especially when it isn't some kind of exclusive.

WMBD Missing HDTV

A Journal Star reader is upset about the lack of an HD signal for the NCAA tourney.

Thanks to WMBD-TV for allowing basketball fans, Illini fans and HDTV owners to watch the NCAA men's basketball tournament on its great non-HDTV signal. What a shame that CBS is broadcasting these games in perfect HDTV, but central Illinois viewers don't get that experience.
For the first station in Peoria to broadcast in color, and then in stereo, WMBD sure has fallen behind in the 21st century.
J.W. Brown
Peoria

Update: It is also being discussed on the PJStar.com message board.

Greatest Elite Eight Ever

Kentucky and Michigan State in OT after a third attempt at a three pointer by the Wildcats took several bounces to go in and a few minutes of replays to make sure the shooter's foot wasn't on the line. Three overtime games in three days. Amazing.

Update: Double Overtime. This is nuts.

Some TV Chestnuts Could Be Enjoyed Again

Steve Tarter's column has some old TV ideas he thinks could be new again, details on the Peoria mayoral debate on WEEK and awards going to WCBU (congrats, Jon).

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Fighting Illini Overcome 15-point Hole To Keep Title Hopes Alive

Just got off the phone with Josh Simon and Lee Hall. Lee got to see it, Josh was stuck in the tunnel watching the scoreboard and the hoop. But at least he was there.

Here's my analysis of the game:

The first half wasn't especially good despite the score. Illinois almost totally forgot about Augustine and any kind of post game. They launched three after three, but my problem with this is, even though you're making em, it isn't as high percentage. If you don't establish an inside presence early, you might not be able to later... and if the threes aren't falling, you're in trouble.

Fast forward to the second half.

At the 8:27 mark Deron Williams made an NBA move. He made a great spin move before launching an ill-advised jumper early in the shot clock after Illinois climbed to within 4. It was the most "un-Illinois" play of the year. I call it an NBA move cause it's the kind you make when you have seven games and can afford to do whatever late in the game. In college, it's win or go home and this was when I felt the tide really begin to shift for Arizona.

From there the Wildcats went on a 13-2 run to build what will now be the infamous 15 point lead with 4:02 on the clock. Like I said about the threes... Illinois missed four in a row.

My only real question after seeing just about every Illini game this year (including the Nevada game up close, thanks JG) was when faced with do or die, who was going to step up and hit the big shot or make the big play?

Tonight they answered the question: Brown, Head and Williams. The Illini missed three shots the rest of regulation. Williams scored 8, Head had 8 and Brown had 4. They had key steals and offensive rebounds and eventually won out in the five extra minutes.

Fittingly, the game ended with a defensive stop. It was superior defense that started this run early in the season and defense that has them two wins away from a national championship.

Update: As my wife pointed out this morning, I'm sure lots of people gave up hope when they were down 15... turned the TV off or left the arena. In fact, I heard people on the Score saying just that. But here's the thing. Nobody really knew how this team would respond in this kind of situation. We hadn't seen it before. It's biggest deficit was 9 points before this and that was early against Purdue. This was 15 in a regional final. But they showed what they were made of and will continue to dance.

Heart Of A Champion

Illinois might not win, but like I'm guessing many of you are doing, I am watching one of the most incredible NCAA comebacks.

Down 14 with 4 minutes left and 7 with a 1:25 left... the Illini have comeback to force overtime.

Simply amazing.

Update: Illini win!

Friday, March 25, 2005

Big Ten Rules

So nice to see the Big Ten take two from the ACC. Yes, the ACC is good, but there seems to be such a media bias towards them in many years.

Just FYI, I follow/root for (in order):

Marquette (my school)
Illinois (Shannon's school)
Wisconsin
UW-Milwaukee
Bradley
Illinois State
Vermont
Big Ten teams (in the tourney)

Where To Hang Out

It is a Friday night and I'm home... watching basketball, playing with kids and blogging. I used to go out, but have little desire to do that anymore.

I remember my first night out in Peoria. Aimee Nuzzo and Chris Curtis took me to Sully's and The End Zone (which is something else now, and I can't remember what). At about 2AM, I was ready to go home... which is when Aimee explained to me that the downtown Peoria bars stayed open until 4AM.

For those of you who have moved on... where were your favorite haunts? For newsies still in town, where do you like to hang out after the 10?

Update: I would be remiss in not mentioning that Mark MacGregor used to get us all to Landmark for bowling, before heading downtown... this was towards the end of my time at 31... but also where a romance with one Shannon Tebben started to bloom.

Billboard Change

I haven't driven south on University past 31 in a while, but today, I was glad to see that they've changed Maria's picture to Will's. Not sure I'm a big fan of Bart Simpson taking up his space though.

Thought I Heard

Jason Koma doing the news on WMBD radio on my way to practice yesterday. Not sure though.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Elite Eight

My seat wasn't nearly as good tonight, but the Illini win was just as satisfying.

Sorry About The Lack Of Posting

Work, soccer, kids and house planning have kept me super busy, but thanks for reading!

Monday, March 21, 2005

Just To Clarify

A point of clarification. It has been relayed to me via a post and an e-mail that it felt like I was calling out reporters at 19 in this post because Paul was anchoring on Sunday. That was not my intent, but poor wording made it sound like that. If you are among the offended, I apologize.

The actual intent, which I do stand by, was to encourage those folks to push for the opportunity. And this doesn't just apply to WHOI or reporters who want to anchor, but people in all newsrooms who want to get cross functional experience, such as producers who want to report or vice versa or news people who want to give weather or sports a shot.

By asking/pushing for the opportunity, more chances should come your way than if you don't. If you don't you're more likely to fly under the radar so to speak. My first reporting offer came because as a photographer, I let my boss know that I had the desire and I thought I had the ability to do something else.

It Is All How You Look At It

An anchor in another market shared this thought with me recently...
Yesterday (network anchor) did a piece on how people have finally
stopped buying SUVs because of gasoline prices. Earlier this week the Detroit
News said SUV sales were down and G.M. was way down because of so many gas
guzzlers in its line up.

Five minutes ago....I did a series of teases
saying, "Why are gas guzzlers STILL so popular? We'll ask an expert!" The
"expert" is the sales manager for a local auto dealership which sells
SUVs.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Watching Weekend News

I know it isn't his first night back, but welcome back to Jeff Muniz after spending a few weeks at home with his wife and the new baby.

Paul's anchoring on 19 with Laura off. As much as I'm a big fan of when Amanda will bring in the main team for a big event, this is a regular Sunday. Come on reporters... step up to the desk. Even if you have no interest in being an anchor, it is a good experience.

I thought I'd check out our newest anchor on 31 as well... instead I see a horribly cheesy shark movie. My eyes cannot roll far enough back into my head for how bad this is. Yet, I can't bring myself to switch back to 19 or 25. It's like knowing two trains are going to collide... can't... take... my eyes... off the screen.

Maybe this needs to be a strategy... put something so bad on people can't help but watch... equals great lead in. Mercifully, a commercial... but now I've missed the forecasts. Darn shark movie. Maybe I'll stay up for 31's newscast.

Update: Marc Strauss on Bruce Pearl's comment about BC/Illinois - "Sir, get out of the car, close your eyes and touch your fingers to your nose."

Genius.

Now he's on to the baseball/steroids story and I must go back to the shark movie.

Ahhhh. It's still on. And it's still horrible. The best part of the movie... the credits.

Update 2: In honor of the book I'm reading "Blink", here's my first impression of Trisha based on one intro with Jay. Poised. Good reader... no uptalk. Good voice. Was able to transition gracefully from open, to Schaivo story. Like the long hair. Seems like the agents/consultants/news managers in the world are getting the majority of news women to cut their hair and get basically one of four haircuts. This young woman has just said "no."

On blood story, good recognition of different emphasis needed in the intro. Mispronounced Liza's name, but that's okay... she's brand new.

On first impression... a good addition to the 31 news team.

Blink

I've started reading Malcom Gladwell's second book. In an earlier post I reccomended "The Tipping Point." So far, I've found it to be very interesting. Here's what "Blink" is about as described by the author:

It's a book about rapid cognition, about the kind of thinking that happens
in a blink of an eye. When you meet someone for the first time, or walk into a
house you are thinking of buying, or read the first few sentences of a book,
your mind takes about two seconds to jump to a series of conclusions. Well,
"Blink" is a book about those two seconds, because I think those instant
conclusions that we reach are really powerful and really important and,
occasionally, really good.

You could also say that it's a book about intuition, except that I don't like that word. In fact it never appears in "Blink." Intuition strikes me as a concept we use to describe emotional reactions, gut feelings--thoughts and impressions that don't' seem entirely rational. But I think that what goes on in that first two seconds is perfectly rational. It's thinking--its just thinking that moves a little faster and
operates a little more mysteriously than the kind of deliberate, conscious
decision-making that we usually associate with "thinking."

In "Blink" I'm trying to understand those two seconds. What is going on in inside our heads when we engage in rapid cognition? When are snap judgments good and when are they not? What kinds of things can we do to make our powers of rapid cognition
better?

Who Is Bruce Pearl And Why Do Some Illinois Fans Hate Him?

For those of you not familiar with the situation that will be talked about a lot this week, the linked page on this blog called jotsheet recaps the history of Bruce Pearl and the U of I.

One Shining Moment

The moment that I will take away isn't a great pass or dunk or steal... rather the scene at the end of the game off the court. One the left side of the tunnel a young Illinois fan would lower his hand, looking for a little skin from some of his heros. And the players that did see him, Augustine, Head, Williams and others obliged. Exhausted both physically and emotionally, these guys made a moment that kid will remember for the rest of his life.

Shop Talk

Re-connected with current/former Market 117ers I hadn't seen in person in a while.

Brent Lonteen had great seats at midcourt and had his son, Dylan with him. I can't believe how big he is. It seems like he was born just yesterday.

Andrew Miller is the sports director at WICD. He was an intern at WMBD when I was there. Glad to see he's doing so well.

Explained to Jim Mattson that we were both at the same "Wiggles" concert.

Also, heard a really funny story from a "credible source" about an anchor auditioning at at a Chicago station and asking something to the effect of "do I look too young/do I make you look old" to the others on set. It was in jest, I'm sure, but it turns out this did not go over well with the female taking part.

Personally, I think it's great that this anchor got a shot like that and hope it works out.

Up Close And Personal

I've watched pretty much every Illini game on television this year, so it was a real treat to see them up close. The guards struggled with their shots early and Dee Brown was sick/had cramps. But unlike teams that will insist on taking their best shot with their best players, the Illini looked for another answer. And they found it with James Augustine. He scored on several dunks and the highly touted trio of Brown, Williams and Head found him for open jumpers too.

Jack Ingram also had a career high off the bench. All year, all you'd hear about nationally is the backcourt... yet in the biggest game of the year, that backcourt was smart enough to realize the way to win was to defer.

Every game is a test. Each posession, each decision, each play is a question and how you answer will determine whether you pass or in this case go home. Illinois is moving on to a game with Wisconsin-Milwaukee... a game with some good subplots.

1. Bruce Pearl, coach of UWM was (along with former player Deon Thomas) at the center of the controversy that put Illinois on probation in the early 90's

2. Bruce Weber grew up in Milwaukee and is a UWM grad (he was also at one time an assistant coach at my high school).

3. For Market 117 hoops fans, UWM is led by Joah Tucker who transfered from Bradley to be closer to home.

For me it is an intriguing game because I grew up just blocks from the UWM campus and have seen the program grow from nothing to a Sweet 16 team. My dad follows the team and will never let Shannon hear the end of it if they win.

Ashley Judd, Basketball Fan


Ashley Judd, basketball fan. Posted by Hello

Overwhelmingly Orange

I stood outside the tunnel at the RCA dome as the Fighting Illini huddled up before it's second round game against Nevada. It was a treat to see this up close... to see the focus in the players' eyes as they prepared to accept their next challenge. And I got chills seconds later as the crowd erupted, signaling their arrival on court. What a great moment... and I was lucky enough to be just a few feet away.

This game was not at a neutral court. I'd say the crowd was at least 75-80% for Illinois, with the next big group being Kentucky which played the second game. Unfortunately there were no Ashley Judd sightings.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

New Weekend Anchor

According to an anonymous poster from 31...

Trisha Skidmore is the new weekend co-anchor with Jay. She is the 4th Ohio University grad to work at WMBD in recent years. Liza, Amy and Shelli Dankoff are the others.Trisha spent 2 years at WHIZ in Zanesville, Ohio as the morning/noon anchor/producer.

New Sports Reporter

Welcome to Jill Wunrow, the new sports reporter at WHOI. She comes to us from WFRV in Green Bay where she was a news photographer.

Filling In

Liza Danver is filling in for Bob on today's 5:30. She does a great job on the anchor desk, especially for someone who doesn't anchor regularly. I'd still like to see her with Jay on the weekends.

I really liked in the mid 90's when I was there when there was a separate team on the 5:00 from the 6 and 10. Brent and Kristyn were a great team. I actually think Liza and Will Koch on the 5 would work, with Bob and Amy continuing to do the 6 and 10. It would give you some flexibility too if you had Liza reporting dayside, finishing with the 5... and Will reporting in the afternoon and after the 5 while still anchoring at 9.

By the way, this is just an opinion... not a necessarily a suggestion. I don't know if Chris (WMBD news director) reads the blog, but I do recognize doing something like this would mean shifting lots of schedules. I don't want people to think I think it's as easy as snapping your fingers.

Off For March Madness

I'm taking a couple days off, primarily for college and high school hoops, but also to get more home building stuff and early season soccer stuff in order.

Great win by UW-Milwaukee. I grew up on the east side of Milwaukee and can only imagine how nuts it'll be there tonight between the big win and St. Paddy's celebrations.

Okay... off to soccer practice.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Ball Rolling Machine


The only thing worse than my bowling form is my golf form. Posted by Hello

Meant to post this on Saturday. I love bowling, but I'm just bad.

I don't know why, but for some reason, I think conceptually everyone should be good at bowling. I know that's not the case and respect people who do it well. But no one's guarding you, the area of play is universal and some people play better after a beer.

Bowling at Landmark and hanging out with the 31 crew back in the day, is how Shannon and I started testing the waters so to speak. I tease her cause she even used to dress up for me. We've come a long way :)

NewsBlues Looker


Miranda Posted by Hello

Congrats to Miranda Kahn on being named a NewsBlues looker. Miranda by the way is significant other to former WHOI producer Darrin Willhite, who by the way, if you know him... doesn't he look like a cross between ISU coach Porter Moser and U of I forward Jack Ingram? See the linked story for his picture.

Thanks Laura

Thanks to Laura Trendle Polus for checking in on the WMBD "Where Are They Now" post. For TV 10ers reading this blog, pay attention... you can learn a lot from her.

What's Your Plan "B?"

In the wake of what happened to Jake Miller, it begs the question: what's your plan "B?" You just never know what's going to happen in whatever industry you're working in. If I remember correctly, Jolie from WHOI just got her job here before her station in St. Louis shutdown news and that is a top 25 market.

It's not a bad idea to stay in touch with people at places you want to go, even if you don't intend on going there right now. It's also not a bad idea to make connections in other industries where your skills could transfer.

A friend of mine will from time to time encourage me to send him a tape with the hope of getting freelance work or at least getting on his bosses' radar. An excellent idea. Not that I plan on leaving where I am anytime soon or expect layoffs etc. Now if I just had the time to get a tape together...

I tell people all the time my paranoia keeps me from being suprised.

I'm Goin Dancin

Thank you to the powers that be.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Donna Checks In

Former WHOI weekend anchor Donna Pitman stopped by the blog to say "hello." She is the weekend morning anchor at KMBC, the powerhouse number one station in Kansas City.

Switching Stations

Denise Molina is moving across town from WMBD-AM to WCBU.

Steve Tarter has that annoucement, more on WCBU and and talks about The Weather Channel in his "On the Air" column.

A Busy Saturday

Spent the morning bowling in a tournament through work. I'm not a bowler, but I got a group together. I've never done 9 pin tap before (this is where 9 on your first roll counts as a strike) but it was pretty cool. A guy were were bowling with got a 300. Good bonding with work friends.

Then it was off to Bill and Gina's and a birthday party for her daughter. I look at their kids and ours and just can't believe how fast they grow up. Caught up with Matt and Sandy Jones for a while. Both seem like naturals with kids.

I was supposed to play poker at Glenn's (WEEK's webmaster) but with soccer this week and running around all day, I was exahusted and slept basically from 4:30-8ish. We all did... which is why I'm up now. Of course, my co-workers were trying to teach me to play while we bowled.

On my way to get dinner, Rebecca Somach called to catch up. She and Josh finally sold their house in Peoria after 18 months or so. I'm very happy for them as it has been a major pain for them.

Friday, March 11, 2005

March Madness

Flipping back and forth between the Eureka game and the Iowa/Michigan State game. I love march. Eureka was down 11 and very quickly cut it to 4. Hoping our local team pulls it off after the great win by the Richwoods girls last weekend.

Update: Eureka ties it up after being down double figures going into the quarter.

Update 2: Eureka player misses tying free throw, Liberty wins. Tough break for the Hornets.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Sampling The Ten

Flipped between 25 and 31 tonight.

As stated in previous posts, I do support reporters getting as much live experience as possible and while I'm not a huge fan of the late live shot at an empty building, at least that building is usually related to the story.

Lisa did a good job with the Lefkow story. Hit all the points that I've been reading about today. Solid delivery too. But just curious as to why she was out in the 31 parking lot.

Glad to see Jill get a chance to fill in on the 6 and 10 shows. Same with Robert doing sports at 31.

TV on DVD

Brad Burke writes about buying seasons of your favorite shows on DVD.

I have yet to fully dive into this TV on DVD thing. I did pick up a season of the Simpsons for Christmas, but that's because my brother didn't know what to get me... so I had him buy me something I normally wouldn't.

I will buy "Ed" if it ever comes out on DVD. Might buy the first few seasons of "24" since I've become such a big fan.

Note to those of you with new babies (Jeff) or considering having kids in the future. You'll never watch your shows live again. Not that it's a big deal or even a complaint. Just the facts. Thursday is the big TV night for us. "Survivor", "Apprentice" and "ER." But we don't watch them till the kids are in bed cause it's impossible to watch otherwise. At least we get to skip the commercials.

Talking About Fort Wayne

The Fort Wayne station shutting down is being discussed on Medialine.

Update: The topic thread has been killed.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Anchor Looks To Land On His Feet

Former WHOI reporter/anchor Jake Miller checked in with Jeff's blog. Jake lost his job when his station's news department was shut down recently. Hopefully what he has in the works comes through.

Ch Ch Ch Changes

Caitlin Weinstein, most recently of WMBD, is the new morning anchor at KCCI in Des Moines... a very nice jump considering she's moving up in markets as an anchor and to a company that will move people to it's other stations. Hearst Argyle owns stations in some small and many major markets across the country, including two stations where I used to work.

I'm also happy to report that Rebecca Somach, formerly of WHOI, is close to going full time as a reporter at KOVR in Sacramento where she's been freelancing for the past eight months or so.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

No Place Like Home

As Shannon and I do our homework on home building, we stopped to talk to our mortgage guy today. He asked if we miss television which reminded me that Shannon had to call Jim about some freelance work. So instead of calling, we decided to stop by. The baby was crying to announce our entrance. Dimmick insists that it'll be me crying at some point once we start building.

It was nice because we got to chew the fat with friends we don't see all that much anymore and they got to see the baby. Josh is especially excited about the potential move as it would mean less of a drive for Sunday Ticket viewing.

Got to chat with the boss for a few minutes. Something about what Jim does that I think news directors in other markets need to do a better job of is prepping for the future. Jim is proactive in keeping contact with potential employees in a way that makes the hiring process a much less painful process than it can be at other stations. That... and having experience KARE... one of the most well respected stations in the country... gives him great perspective.

Lack of Posting

If you've noticed a lack of posting, that's because

  1. soccer season has started with tryouts this week
  2. March Madness is in full swing and I am a college hoops junkie
  3. we're in house building mode

Sunday, March 06, 2005

When Size Doesn't Matter

Spent the weekend in Iowa City. I've been encouraging Shannon to get certified as a lactation educator and this was part one. For those of you who know us personally, Shannon is a big advocate of breastfeeding and I have joined her on the bandwagon. It is a billion times better for babies... though I'm not going to get into the details here.

Also got a chance to check out some of the news. This market is made up of Cedar Rapids, Waterloo, Iowa City and Dubuque which adds up to market 88. But market size number is deceiving. The news content/stories/issues aren't much different than what you'd see in market 117... although at least one station seemed to have their own helicopter. The talent in a few cases is better... in some cases it's worse. All in all, pretty comparable, but there is almost a 30 market difference.

Got to see a Steve Nicoles report. I'm kind of surprised he went here from WHOI. No offense to the people in that market, but I think he could have made a bigger jump. I know he's from California and could have seen him going to Fresno from here.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

ILL-INI

Enough said.

Happy Birthday, Carole... err... Julie


Julie Bowen Posted by Hello

My favorite TV actress (Julie Bowen who plays Carole Vessey on Ed) celebrates her birthday today. If my life is ever a movie, I think she should play Shannon.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Heart Check

Just caught the final part of Bob Larson's heart story. Scarry stuff... especially since he had no symptoms and Bob is a dedicated jogger. Glad he caught it in time.

What's scarrier is I don't recall Bob eating as much garbage as the rest of us do/did. TV news by it's nature is a fast food (and eat it fast) industry. Hopefully this does serve as a wake up call for viewers, colleagues and competitors alike.

Snow News Is Good News

Our meteorologists/forecasters in MARKET 117 are pretty good about not overblowing things, but I thought some of you might find this funny.

It's a satire from Paul Farhi of the Washington Post.

To: All ActionEyewitnessTVNews Personnel
From: News director
Subj: Snow coverage.

Folks: Just wanted to offer a few reminders about how our TV station covers
snowfall in the Washington area:

1. We mobilize "full team coverage" whenever snow is predicted, is falling
or has fallen. We also do it if snow might fall. Or if it happens to be
January, February or March.

2. Backdrop graphics: Before it snows, the sign on screen should read, "Snow
on the Way?" If we get 1 to 2 inches, it's "Snow Emergency!" Three to 7
inches: "Killer Storm!" Anything more, we run with "Avalanches, Cannibalism
Feared."

3. Anchors: Use dramatic verbs, even for minimal snow totals. Bad: "The
region received a dusting today." Better: "Snow
paralyzed/pummeled/blasted/buried the Washington area today." Better still:
"Armageddon."

4. Reporting locales: The overpass. The city salt hut. The big-box hardware
store. The supermarket (remember: Any market in which three shoppers are
buying milk, bread or toilet paper simultaneously constitutes "panic
buying").

5. Interview subjects: Anyone out walking or driving in snow. (Required
question: "You're walking/driving . . . in THIS weather?") Cute kids home
from school. The first guy to buy a shovel at Home Depot.

6. Best winter-weather footage, in terms of ratings: a) Car/bus failing to
climb icy hill; b) More impressive snowfall somewhere else; c) Two cars
skidding into each other (will accept video of this occurring ANYWHERE in
U.S.).

7. Advice to weather forecasters: "Snow" is a terribly overused word.
Instead, use weathery sounding words such as "precip" or "wintry mix." When
in doubt, fall back on "the white stuff."

8. As soon as the snow stops, go with new graphic: "Winter Wonderland!"

And never admit we got the forecast wrong. Bundle up!

Moving On

Caitlin Weinstein is moving on to a morning show in Des Moines. Jeff's got details of her on air goodbye.

Thanks For Reading

We've just passed 5000 hits. Thanks for dropping by!!!

Rough Weather

This video has become something of an urban legend weathercast from the Ohio University student run station. As you'll be able to see, learning the ropes in television can sometimes take you on some rough roads.

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.