Monday, August 17, 2009

Dog days of August: Good time to send tapes

Logic would seem to dictate that the minute May sweeps are over, News Directors would be rushing to start the hiring process.

But television news is not a logical business.

One would think that you'd want to get your team in place and up to speed for the next sweeps period in November.

But when there are bean counters involved, common sense goes out the window.

So News Directors take the long hot summer as a chance to work with a shorthanded staff and save a few bucks on salaries. Why hire someone for November in June when you can save three months salary and hire the same person in September? (It wasn't any coincidence that of my first three jobs, two started on October first.)

So if you're wondering why those job openings posted in June still aren't filled, now you know. Just because you haven't heard anything doesn't mean you're out of the running. NDs might be stockpiling the tapes and getting ready to hire.

Right now.

September is always a good hiring month, since, if you hire someone right after Labor Day it's going to take a good month for that person to start working for you. There's the two-week notice, the move, getting a new place to live, learning the newsroom system. But if you get your staff full by October first, you'll feel comfortable about November.

That's why this is a very good time to send tapes. Once Labor Day hits, the hiring for November sweeps will begin in earnest.

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