The Producer Page: August 1999


  • Happenings
  • Producers on the Move
  • Hire Me
  • Letters to the Editor
  • Job Openings
  • About the Newsletter


    [Apologies from the webmaster for posting this newsletter after the deadlines for several of the "Happenings." RKS]


    If you're ready to move into management, apply for the newsroom management seminar that pays your travel, hotel and tuition expenses. It is October 7-10, 1999, in Austin, Texas, funded by the non-profit Carole Kneeland Project for Responsible Television Journalism.

    You'll practice sure-fire techniques to improve the performance of your best staffers and deal with the toughest personnel challenges, learn to improve writing throughout your newsroom, and discover a reliable approach to making good ethical decisions on deadline. And you'll create a network of colleagues around the country that will become the best professional support system you've ever had.

    Faculty include Valerie Hyman, founding director of The Poynter Institute's broadcast program, Joan Barrett, former news director now with Broadcast Image Group, and Cinny Kennard, former CBS network correspondent.

    Carole Kneeland was the visionary news director of KVUE-TV, who pioneered the Truth Test for political ads, crime coverage criteria, and a team-based newsroom culture now emulated in stations around the country. This annual seminar is created in her memory.

    JULY 15 is the application deadline. Send a resume, references, and a letter explaining why you want to move into newsroom management:

    Kneeland Project Workshop
    c/o Texas Association of Broadcasters
    502 E. 11th Street, Suite 200
    Austin, TX. 78701

    Questions? Please call Michael Schneider at (512) 322-9944.


    RTNDF invites producers to a workshop in Minneapolis on covering tough calls. Using video and audio examples, this interactive session will explore issues of fairness, accuracy, coverage of victims, the use of graphic video or audio, confidential sources, hidden cameras, competitive pressures and privacy. Friday, August 13, 6:30 p.m. -9:00 p.m., a dialogue with the public at the Radisson Hotel Metrodome, Minneapolis. $40 PER STATION for RTNDA members ($50 non-members.) Contact Kristen McNamara, RTNDF, (202) 467-5202, For agenda, application, hotel information and information about upcoming workshops, visit RTNDF's web site at


    If so, you don't want to miss the opportunity to attend RTNDF's News Management Training Seminar for Women and Minority News Professionals, October 2-4 in Charlotte, in conjunction with RTNDA99. This three-day seminar will provide the latest information, hands-on training, and counseling on management issues and techniques specifically geared towards minority and women news professionals. A $50 dollar registration fee ($40 for RTNDA members) includes two nights of housing, meals and seminar materials. Participants must provide their own transportation to the workshop. Register today, deadline is August 13! Only 30 professionals (working in radio or television news) accepted. Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis. Refer to RTNDF's web site to download a registration form at: For more information, contact Michelle T. Loesch at (202) 467-5206, or e-mail:


    This is a Call for Entries for the American Institute of Physics Science Writing Award in Physics and Astronomy for Broadcast Media.

    Entries must be scripted radio or television programming, broadcast in English, dealing primarily with physics and astronomy; Entries must have been aired between January 1, 1998 and December 31, 1998.

    The winning author will receive a prize of $3,000 a Windsor Chair and a certificate.

    A complete entry blank must be completed along with 9 radio cassette tapes or 9 1/2' VHS cassettes along with nine copies of a typed or printed script and sent to:

    American Institute of Physics
    Karin Heineman
    One Physics Ellipse
    College Park, MD 20740


    A detailed description of the award and rules and an entry blank can be found at or you can contact Karin Heineman at (301)209-3090 or, for an entry blank or more information.


    Jamie Nguyen has left Palm Springs' desert for the sunny beaches of San Diego. After producing various shows at the ABC affiliate, KESQ, and launching the 10 pm newscast for Fox, KDFX, Jamie is now a writer/ fill-in producer at KFMB in San Diego.


    Producer looking for contract: American journalist working in Canada is looking for contract as a producer, AP, researcher, writer or production manager. Fifteen years experience in news and doc. production with many networks including NHK, CTV, CBC, FOX and Discovery. Eager and willing to travel and work hard! Please contact: Pat Birch at:


    Ms. Main,

    Enjoyed "Thinking inside the box." I think I worked with that person a number of times. I haven't seem him/her lately, though. I'm afraid many like her/him have given up in frustration. Like my pal, a former EP from Detroit and San Fran who now administers KRON's computer systems. A wonderful, witty writer and solid producer who left/was pushed out for being "too traditional."

    I don't pretend to speak for a generation, but many of us baby boomers are getting tired of "rock and roll" newscasts, and appreciate good writing and solid, non-sensational teases. And someday, before I die, I would like to see a sports soundbite without some kind of little animated lead in with the "star's" name. I know we're pushing the outside of the favored demo's -- but there are a lot of us.

    A lot of us "old" guys speak somewhat harshly of the "20-20's" who produce local news these days. They are the 20 somethings who make $20 thousand per year and know everything there is to know about TV and Journalism. I guess I'll be content with "Morning Edition" and "All Things Considered" and tune in local news when there is a story I really want to see.

    After graduating from "Harvard on the Hocking" in 1969 (one of the first three ever student directors at WOUB-TV), I spent 15 years directing newscasts in Columbus, Baltimore, Milwaukee and Detroit, and then was production manager at KCNC, Denver in its glory years. Also directed live sports on the local, regional and national network level.

    During the Columbine coverage, 90 members of ABC News used our facility and studios as home base. A solid group of professional reporters, writers and producers.

    Best regards,
    Tom Edwards
    Director of Production Services
    National Digital Television Center
    Littleton, CO


    I'd like to find any producers or reporters who have used the "whois" function on the internet to track down website authors in order to do interviews or as part of an investigative report.

    I'm looking for examples for an article I'm writing.

    Thanks for your time!

    Scott McGrew
    technology reporter
    KBWB-TV San Francisco

    (Please reply directly to Scott at


    Hi, sorry if this is kind of late, but as a person who is working in the Washington DC market, my experiences may be of some help to your writer.

    Four years ago I was in DC trying to break in to the market. I had a degree, a DC network internship experience, and I was willing to do just about anything to get into a building. It didn't work, and I didn't get my first job in the business until I moved out of Washington and took an entry level job in a triple digit market. I eventually became a producer there and after one more stop I eventually made it back to DC. On the way, I learned that not all of the best political stories come out of Washington; there are a lot of people who would like to destroy you because it makes them feel good; and local news here is more about gridlock and race relations than it is about impeachment or Deep Throat. There are a whole lot of young folks here, but we're like little fishes in a big pond. You can learn a lot as a young person (or a person with only a couple of years experience) in this business in DC, but you won't get much experience at making the crucial decisons. You have to go out to BFE for that, and it seems to me that News Directors want people who know how to make The Call. Best of luck.

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    The Producer Newsletter is edited by Alice Main, executive producer at WLS-TV in Chicago. Robert Stewart, professor of journalism at the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University, has put it all onto the web, in individual newsletter form and as The Producer Book. Job openings are posted there as they are received. Everything about The Producer is free. You can see it all at Send all submissions (articles, jobs, etc) to