Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Hat Trick

I've joined a select group of television journalists in the Fort Myers news market.  I started work at the local FOX station as its new assignment editor.  This means that I've worked in every television newsroom in the market.  A rare feat according to my old WINK workmate Tony Schaal.  Ironically our other assignment editor Barry Miller can make the same claim.

I wasn't sure I wanted to work in television again after my last gig.  Television is a really messed up business right now.  But when I sat down and talked with news director Eric Maze I was impressed with his calm demeanor and his respect for my experience.  I also sensed that he wasn't running a madhouse and that he had a firm grasp on the direction he wants to take the newsroom.  Plus we share a connection to Kansas City and I'm looking forward to growing our relationship beyond the professional part in the newsroom.

It's early in the game but so far my instincts have been right.  I never thought I would ever work as an assignment editor.  It is the worst, most thankless job in any newsroom.  I look at people like Roy Kennedy at News10 in Sacramento.  Roy and another great AE in Kansas City, Steve Kaut, leave me awestruck with their ability to juggle a million pressing issues and yet keep a cool head and focus.  My brain isn't wired that way.  Any time I've worked the desk I've struggled.

But I'm enjoying the challenge of flexing a new set of newsroom muscles.  I have never liked calling people and bugging them for information.  I've always liked having the information gathered for me and assembling the pieces.  This job is going to require me to get over my shyness in this regards and become a more personable, engaging human being when it comes to dealing with the public. 

Thanks to the clear agenda that Eric has the newsroom focused on, I think this is going to be a most excellent learning experience.  The anchors are amazing and helpful.  The producers are patient and appreciative.  The reporters have the tools and I believe I can help them grow in their abilities to ferret out and find good stories to tell.

I've got to work on getting more organized, getting a solid routine, becoming a first rate web contributor and turn into a solid asset that Eric and the rest of the staff can rely on.  I really, really would like this to be a long term proposition.  I've wished this for my last 2 jobs but it was not meant to be.  Hopefully FOX 4 will be in my corner as I hit the home stretch to retirement!

No comments:

Post a Comment