Some of the websites devoted to television news have been burning up the last day or so with comments about a reporter hired right out of college to work in Houston. This person is not one of my clients, I have never spoken to her, and unless she's one of the dozens of people who send anonymous questions to the Grapevine, I haven't corresponded.
But she proved that it pays to send a tape anywhere.
Many comments touched on the fact that dues were not paid and experience was not earned. While people traditionally work in smaller markets and move up the ladder, some people are just naturals at this business. I have no idea why the ND in Houston hired this woman. Maybe she fits what he or she was looking for. Maybe she had tremendous potential. Maybe she has "IT" in capital letters. Maybe she's just flat out smart. Some people are just really good right out of the gate. I've seen tapes from college with packages that are better than the ones I see from twenty year veterans. Some people just have a natural gift that defies all tradition. So why did she get the job?
Doesn't matter. She had the guts to apply for the job and got it.
Are the people complaining jealous, or just mad at themselves for not sending a tape to Houston?
I have a few clients who have so much talent I would bet the mortgage that they will end up in major markets or at a network. Yet I still have to twist arms to get them to go to the post office. (And you guys know who you are!)
If this Houston hire doesn't serve as a wake up call to all of you, it should.
And please, don't hate this poor woman. Would you, in the same position, tell the ND, "Oh, you shouldn't hire me. I need to go off and pay my dues."
Maybe she'll be a star, maybe she'll be out of the business in a few years. The point is, you all need to follow her lead and send tapes to any opening you see.