It happens at the end of every sweeps month. Pink slips fly as the ratings come out. Or contracts end and are not renewed. Yes, when the calendar turns, there will be people without jobs.
And there will be people who give their two week notice. But often the two weeks becomes one minute.
Some stations have a "get the hell out" policy. You're not working here anymore? Out the door. Right. Now.
I've seen people escorted out of stations like criminals. I have one friend who was shown the door and not even allowed to clean out his desk. The contents were dumped in boxes and delivered to his apartment. Management can get pretty heartless sometimes. (Some of you are asking, "Sometimes?")
And when this happens, lots of people are left out in the cold without resume tape material. You're not allowed in the building anymore, but that's where all your best work is.
Hence, the "escape tape."
People who are shut out end up having to call friends still working at the station in an attempt to get copies of their work. Management knows this, and often keeps a threatening eye out for it. Your friends may take the risk, or not.
Bottom line, don't let this happen to you.
Get in the habit of making copies of your work and taking them out of the building. Do it once a week. If you knock out an absolutely killer package or anchor a great newscast, make a copy that day. You can always find someplace to edit everything later. But the key is to get your copies home where you have access to them should you find the station door locked.