"The one function that TV news performs very well is that when there is no news we give it to you with the same emphasis as if there were." ~David Brinkley
I miss it sometimes.
Today it just kept coming back up again and again, the "old days." The 15 years I was consumed in it... it's hard to just pretend it never existed. I am only 37. That's almost half of my life.
What am I talking about? My days in news. Television news to be exact. I dreamed of working in television for 5 years. Then I did nothing but look for the perfect opportunities and classes to take for another 5 years. Then I spent the next few actually working in television news - as a producer.
The ever thankless job that is truly the nuts and bolts of the entire broadcast. Everyday, we started with a blank slate, and had to fill 20 odd minutes (that was after commercials were accounted for) with stories that would last anywhere for :15 to 2:10.. everyday in hope of changing the way the public understood what was going on in the world. Oh yeah - and why it was important... don't forget - and to get it to you first.
I walked away from it. I chose marriage and a normal schedule. No more middle of the nights heading into work, or Christmas holidays sitting behind a control board. I wanted a normal life, with normal people and normal pay. (haha -btw - did you think TV pays? Ha! Not unless you are a top dog anchor, you might as well forget about it!)
The cool thing about local television news is that you get to see and work with just about everything and everyone you could imagine. From the prima donna anchors to the "serious" reporter, to the awkward producer to the overly eager news assistant, to the alcoholic director, and mega bitchy news director (who constantly reminds you... back in the day, we did it like this ---) You somehow pull it all together at the end of the day and just put out a great product.
Back to the reminders today... this morning I took off for something that is fairly common in my world and my position at my job, we have a taping of a PSA at a local television station. While there, the promotions producer (a job title I have also held/post news days) was discussing ideas with the "talent." I listened, and then piped up and shared my vision - with a tag.. (which is the end of the piece.) The promotions producer and the vj just stopped and said, "That's why we love working with Nicole. What a GREAT idea."
I just smiled and thanked them. I did not tell them that, "Hey - I used to do what you do."
I just smiled.
Then I had a quick conversation with a new hire at AHA in the communications department. He works in Jackson, Mississippi - and we were chatting about the upcoming casting call for national spokespeople. I asked whether he was getting settled in yet - and then he laughed at how it has been a slight challenge with doing graphics, but has a friend that works in tv that can help him with some things. He went on to talk about how he worked in tv before accepting this position one month ago, and he asked where I worked before here. Then we had that talk - tv talk. That knowing moment when you realize you betrayed your brothers in journalism. Yep - we sort of, kind of - sold out. But not really.. I mean, at the end of the day - We are saving lives....
Then this afternoon, I was thrilled to see one of the more popular news anchors here wants to do a story on something I pitched to her. (Pitched - means gave her an idea)
It reminded me of the days I would try to sell a reporter on a news tip I got, and in turn they do an amazing piece, and end up winning awards for.
Once I got home this evening, I was exhausted, but needed to shake off the craziness of the day. I asked the egyptian would he like to go see a movie. Guess which one he picked? Morning Glory. LOL
It's about a News Producer. Seriously.
I giggled through the whole thing. Even the character's personality matches my hyperactivity... ever actually met a news producer? Ever met me? There you go.
At the end of the day, I had constant reminders of that life in the past. But now -instead of doing one show, 5 days a week - I now have the challenge of getting those shows to do stories on exactly what I want them to do. Every time I am talking a producer into a story - and they AGREE - I almost laugh out loud. THAT would NEVER happen on my watch..
Maybe.. just maybe... the world of news lost something when I decided to jump ship. Nah... I am still steering.. ;-)
PS - Check out the movie trailor: