Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Mailbag: Those network letters

Hey Grape,

What is the deal with an O&O station? I sort of understand the concept but how does it relate to job hunting?

Ah, good question. For those who don't know, O&O stands for "owned and operated" by a network. Each major network owns and operates several local stations. For instance, WNBC in New York is owned by the NBC network.

If you get a job offer from an O&O consider yourself lucky. First, you've got network resources at your disposal, but more important, the bigwigs at the network will know who you are. And, if they like you, you could find yourself racing up the ladder to a network gig.

Dear Grape,

I work for a scanner chasing station and I cringe every time we cover a disaster because the following day we run a promo about our coverage. Is this common?

Unfortunately, yes. "When people died a grisly death, we were there! Bringing you the most blood and gore! We had the first shots of bodies being pulled out of the wreckage!"

Call it tasteless, tacky, insensitive, whatever. It's totally unprofessional and turns off any educated viewers. Or course, some stations aren't targeting educated people anyway.

There's a professional, tasteful way to cover a disaster. Put yourself in the shoes of the victims. And never promote it.


Does Charlie Sheen belong in our newscast?

Not really, but the train wreck is damned entertaining.


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