Thursday, June 10, 2010

Mailbag: Blind ads

Grape,

Every once in awhile I see one of those blind ads which give very little information. Is there any way to decipher these to find out what station you're applying to? And what is the reason for a blind ad anyway?


Ah, those clandestine tactics by News Directors. Lurking in the shadows are jobs, only they're top secret and available only to the CIA. They might ask you to send a tape to a broadcasting employment service or email your resume to an untraceable email address.

Why would a station not wish to reveal itself? Well, several reasons. First and foremost, it has to do with our old job listing standby, the "no phone calls" directive. You can't call if you don't know who to call, right? So this is a way for a ND to eliminate that problem.

Another reason is that the station may not be located in a desirable place. If I'm a ND in a small market that's a horrible place to live, I might not get a lot of tapes. But if I remain a mystery, I might be able to "sell" any prospective job hunters on the station rather than the area.

Is there any way you can decipher these ads? Well, sometimes you can narrow it down. If the ad reads, "Main anchor position in sunbelt 60's market" you can look at the market list and see which ones match geographically. Then do some homework and try to figure out who has lost a main anchor recently.

Bottom line, if it sounds interesting, take a shot. You have nothing to lose, and you can always say you're not interested.

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