Thursday, January 5, 2012

The 2012 interview wardrobe

I thought I'd help you get the jump on job hunting since you all probably made New Years resolutions to get the hell out of Dodge.

Anyway, this just in: the outfits people are wearing for job interviews this year:

-polo shirts
-khaki pants
-white tee shirts visible under the polo shirts

I've come up with this list because just a few days into the new year, this is what I'm seeing on various local news stations. Oh, yes, wrinkled clothes are encouraged as well, so throw away your steam iron and ironing board.

You know that old saying about being in sweeps every day? Well, you guys are on a job interview every day. Today might be the day you knock out a great resume tape piece, or have your best live shot... and there you are, on camera, dressed like you're gonna mow the lawn.

Most of the problem lies with the men. While we are notorious for hating clothes shopping, there's no excuse for not wearing a decent shirt and tie. If, back in the day, I'd dressed like some reporters I saw this week, my News Director would have sent me home to change.

Just as you're in sweeps every day, you're on a job interview every day. You never know who's watching, what stories will end up on the feed, what pieces will go on your resume tape or when you might end up doing something for the network.

You wouldn't wear a tee shirt and jeans to a real job interview, so why do it on camera?


Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Re-voicing other packages

Every station does it. They have their local anchors re-voice a network or syndicated package in an attempt to make the viewer think it was their own.

Back in the day we had a service that sent us regular medical packages to voice. Slight problem...they produced all the packages in New York City. We were in the South and inevitably there'd be a sound bite from a doctor that sounded like this:

"Ya need ta tawk to ya doctah when ya hava problem."

No viewer would possibly believe the story was produced locally.

On the occasion they'd send a piece without a physician who didn't talk in Brooklynese, we'd get calls from viewers wanting an appointment with the guy... and then we had to confess he was in New York.

You can get around this problem easily by taking a little time to include someone local in your package. You can still use the same b-roll from the original piece, but don't send up a red flag to viewers that the story is not your own.


Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Mailbag: Raucus caucus


I'm so sick of talking about the Iowa primary, and I know none of our viewers (I'm not in Iowa) has any idea of what a caucus is. Any ideas on how to make this story more interesting?

Yeah. You kinda answered your own question. Why not do a package on how the caucus process works? Then your viewers will know what a caucus is. The rest of you dayside people might do that today as well.

Dear Grapevine,

Hope you had a good holiday. My ND mentioned that awards season is coming up and for us to start thinking about what we wanted to enter. I'm a rookie and have no idea what would stand a good chance of winning. Thoughts?

Well, first you must realize that in many cases these awards are judged without a whole lot of effort. That's why you often see stations promoting someone as "Best reporter in Podunk as voted by whoever!" when everyone in the market knows that reporter isn't very good.

I've entered stuff I thought was a stone cold lock to win and didn't get an honorable mention, and I've entered packages I just slammed together that won awards. On the times I've judged awards I liked stuff that was different and stood out from the crowd. Stories that make a difference can often jump the line to the top spot.

Hi Grape,

Predictions for 2012?

Sure, here you go:

-Stations will be flush with cash thanks to political advertising. Politicians spent four billion in 2010 and with the Presidential race this year, that number will be even higher. We may despise politicians, but they keep our business afloat.

-Talented young people will limited experience continue to make huge market jumps as my generation continues to bail on the business.

-Job applicants will still call News Directors even though the ad reads "no phone calls."

-The Mets will be awful.