Friday, October 8, 2010

You be the News Director

Thought I'd give you a taste of what it's like on the other side. There are no right or wrong answers to these questions. But these are typical of some things your ND has to deal with on a regular basis. Maybe you'll have a different view of your boss after thinking about these:

1. You have a weekend anchor opening and two of your reporters want the job. Both are better than the resume tapes you've seen. One is a local reporter who will never move, but the other is more talented. The more talented one will likely leave at the end of the contract.

Who gets the anchor slot?

2. Upper management tells you that you must do a sweeps piece on an advertiser. The story has no news value.

Do you do the story or make the argument that it doesn't belong in the newscast, and in doing so, put your job in jeopardy?

3. One of your very popular anchors is arrested for drunk driving. The story is picked up by the other media outlets.

Do you fire the anchor, suspend the anchor, or do nothing?

4. There is a "he said, she said" story about a woman accusing a politician of sexual harassment. It is one week before election day. The other stations are running the story tonight, but you have no proof of anything and little in the way of facts.

Do you run the story with what you've got, or wait until your reporters can investigate the matter further?

5. The local strawberry festival starts today and the event planners have sent a ton of berries to your newsroom.

Do you let the staff enjoy the fruit or tell the people you can't accept gifts?

6. Corporate calls and tells you that you have to lay off one person in your newsroom who is at an entry level salary. You have three possibilities: one person who is a dependable hard worker but has limited talent, one who has a ton of talent but is lazy, and one who does a solid job but is hated by the rest of the staff.

Who gets the pink slip?

7. You wander in on a Saturday and find your star reporter making resume tapes. You had no idea the person wanted to leave.

Do you put out a memo banning the making of resume tapes on station property, confront the reporter or pretend you didn't see anything?

8. You attend a wedding and see one of your off-duty photogs shooting video with station equipment. You learn he was paid to produce a wedding video.

Do you fire the photog, tell the photog he can't use station equipment for personal business, or work out a deal in which he gives the station a percentage of any money he makes while off duty?

9. Your star anchor gets ticked off and throws a book across the room. It hits a framed print on the wall, sends broken glass everywhere and destroys the print. (No kidding, this actually happened.)

Do you suspend the anchor, make the anchor pay to replace the print, or chalk it up to your anchor being a prima donna?

10. One of your best reporters tells you that one of his parents is terminal. He lives thousands of miles from home and has just signed a new contract. It is clear he wants to go home.

Do you let him break the contract and help him find a job closer to home, or simply tell him he'll have to fly home on his days off?


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great questions. Numbers 7 and 10 are cinch and can be answered without much thought. But the others make you think.