Saturday, October 3, 2009

In case you hadn't noticed....

There's a google bar at the top of this page. So if you make us your home page, you can take care of all your "googling" needs.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Got a phone interview coming up? Suggest Skype

I remember how much I hated phone interviews, both as a job applicant and as a manager. There's just something about looking at people face to face that cannot be duplicated.

If you have one of these coming up, you might ask the person interviewing you to do so via Skype. It's free, simple to set up, and can add so much to a simple conversation.

News Directors might like the idea as well, as you can always read a lot more from a person's face.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Mailbag: Interview mistakes


I have an interview coming up. I know what to do that's right, but I'm curious about things that might turn off a prospective employer.

Ah, good question. There are plenty of red flags out there, but the number one banner is the answer to the question, "Why did you want to be a reporter?" If the answer is, "I've always wanted to be on TV," well, you might as well have a 21-gun salute as the flag goes up the pole.

Other stuff: not knowing anything about current events or history, trying to blow smoke about the station ("I know you have a long history of quality..."), dressing cheap (not inexpensive clothes, but stuff you'd see on a streetwalker), having zero personality, visible tattoos and body piercings.

A few classics from my past: The woman who looked me in the eye and said, "Look, I know I'm pretty, and I'll make a good anchor," and the guy who made suggestive comments to a female manager who was part of the interview process with me.


Just curious about your field producing activities. What sort of equipment do you guys have to do your job?

Well, just a cell phone and a notepad for me. Some field producers have things like blackberrys, but I don't know how to text (also, I have big hands and fingers, so I doubt I could do it anyway) and I find calling and talking to someone a heck of a lot faster. When you have breaking news, you can't expect someone to be checking their email or cell old fashioned phone calls are better as they are immediate.

The photogs have every imaginable piece of equipment, from different format cameras to umbrella lighting.

Sat trucks are equipped with a GPS and a portable tent for bad weather, but otherwise they're basically the same as any sat truck. And since these guys are on the road so much, they all have refrigerators.

Oh yeah, all the equipment actually works.


Did you happen to catch that ABC show "Defying Gravity" where they had a one-man-band reporter in space? She held out her camera at arms length. Is this the future of TV?

I did see the show and cringed when I saw that. Obviously the NASA of the future employs television consultants.

But if you think out of the box, can you image the fabulous shots photogs could get if they were weightless?

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

News Director's playbook: Where managers find job openings

I thought I'd share something with you that most people outside of management are not aware of. It's a weekly newsletter that talks about News Director openings, along with more arrivals and departures than LaGuardia Airport.

Why do you need this? Well, if a new ND is headed to a market you're targeting, that kind of info can give you a little time advantage. Or if a ND who liked your tape but didn't have any openings moves on to another station, said ND might have openings at the new station.

One thing to keep in mind: a new ND always wants to make changes and bring in some new people. So when you see a new person, shoot a tape their way.

Check it out. It changes weekly.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Age is a state of mind, and in the current state, nobody minds

I see a lot of comments on various boards ripping the industry for hiring young people to work in major markets. Most of this is of course based on jealousy, and the people posting fail to realize how much the business has changed.

Time that those of you looking for jobs realized it as well.

Back in the day you'd need ten years experience to get a network or major market job. Now? Fuhgeddaboudit. Here's what you need in 2009:

-Lots of potential
-A good head on your shoulders
-Willingness to work cheap

And while that last one is a big factor, you're not going to get a great job without the other three.

I've had many clients under 25 crack big markets. Each had the four qualities I mentioned. And don't be jealous, they all had a ton of talent and were exceptionally mature for their ages. (At one station we used to joke that the 19 year old intern was more mature than some of the anchors.)

So don't be surprised when you get interest from big markets even though you've only been in the business for awhile. If you're good, you're good. And don't be afraid to apply to big markets either.

If you see someone your age with a terrific job and wonder, "Why not me?" well, the answer might be that the person sent a tape and you didn't.

Trust me, there are no rules anymore. You don't have to pay a ton of dues anymore.

Your dream job is closer than you think.