The Producer Page: October 1998

IN THIS ISSUE...

(Note: The Producers On Contract article isn't ready yet. I've decided to blame it on the Cubs. Thanks to everyone who answered the survey. I got quite a few responses. Look for the article in the next issue. -Alice)

  • I Can't Believe He/She Said That On The Air!
  • Major Oops
  • Producers on the Move
  • Letters to the Editor
  • New Producing Website
  • Job Openings
  • Hire Me

  • I CAN'T BELIEVE HE/SHE SAID THAT ON THE AIR

    Anonymous Contributor:

    Our morning meteorologist was waxing eloquent about our beautiful weather and how it was going to be another wonderful day. Our female morning anchor adlibbed out of him to a story about cancer with this smooth-as-silk transition: "Every day is a good day when you have cancer."

    Another Anonymous Producer

    About two years ago we got a brand new anchor team on the weekends. We had a recap of the top story at the end of the newscast, and one Sunday night our male anchor came back after the re-open and proudly announced, "Re-crapping our lead story tonight..."

    Still Another Anonymous Producer

    At my first job producing a 2 hour morning show in a small market, we sent the weatherman out for a live shot...the weather was over 50 degrees and raining, but it was February in the midwest, so it felt rather warm. When the weatherman tossed back to the achors, he smiled and said, "these high temperatures make the weather seem like a dream," to which the male anchor promptly replied, "but with all the rain, it's more like a wet dream."


    MAJOR OOPS

    Anonymous Contributor

    Was anyone watching CNN's coverage around midnight MT (2am-ish ET). They were taking CBC's live coverage of the crash. CNN had a bug up saying "Breaking News: SwissAir Crash".

    No big deal... except in the middle of a witness SOT, CBC went to a promo for a show. The promo starts with the words on screen "If she hadn't turned up" then it cuts to a dead body floating in the water and a person off camera saying we have a floater. (IT'S NOT A BODY FROM SWISS AIR CRASH, it's a promo!!!) But over this dead body floating in the water, you see the CNN words "Breaking News Swiss Air Crash"

    Finally CNN cuts away and apologizes.


    PRODUCERS ON THE MOVE

    JOHN M. HAYDEN moves from WATE in Knoxville, to WZZM in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he'll produce the 11 p.m. newscast.

    SETH FELDMAN is the WMC-TV's new Executive Producer. Seth is a New York native and Northwestern graduate. Using his experience as a producer at WINK and WBBH in Fort Meyers, FL, WSVN and WAMI in Miami and WTNH in Hartford, Seth has proven that he knows how to make a newscast sing. Seth will start his new job on October 1.

    JODI GRALNICK is now the Executive Producer at WTLV, the NBC affiliate in Jacksonville, Florida, after leaving her producing job at WFTS in Tampa.

    AARON WISCHE moves to producer at KRIV-TV, the Fox O&O in Houston from producer at KOTV in Tulsa. Aaron was born and raised in Houston, so this will be a homecoming. Aaron graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Syracuse University in 1997.

    There have been quite a few promotions and producer changes at KNBC in Los Angeles. In the past month, the morning show producer CAROL MORTON was named an Executive Producer. STEVE GARCIA has taken her place on the number-one rated "Today in L.A." newscast. CHRIS LICHT has been named 11pm producer. ROB FELDMAN has become the 5pm producer, and KEIKO JOHNSON has been named to the 6pm newscast.


    LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

    Alice, I'd really like to know how many newsrooms with networks let their staff log onto the network from home. I've been fighting for this because I'm your typical news nun who loves to work -- but would prefer to do research, answer e-mail, and write scripts late at night in her p.j.'s, rather than burn the midnight oil here in the newsroom. But our management just doesn't get the concept of a network at all -- they live in fear that I'll be kidnapped by the competition and forced to reveal my password and log-in number at pencil point -- giving away all our news secrets to the enemy. I've explained that my home computer will be equiped with a virus scan, my own personal password, that only my computer will be recognized by the network, and that my husband and none of my friends & relatives work for the competition -- but they're still scared. One of their arguements is that if they give it to me, the news director and the assistant news director should get it too!!! Of course they should -- I think all managers, reporters & producers should be able to file scripts from the field and chase leads at every opportunity -- but they still don't get it. HELP!!! If they think every other newsroom does it than they might be more inclined to break down and step into the 90's.

    Name Withheld

    To: Name Withheld

    I've been able to log on from home at two different stations. You can't produce a newscast from home, but for managers and special projects producers, it can come in handy. I've approved scripts from home when I had emergencies with child care or when there was a tricky script coming in for the late news or a weekend newscast. I don't think it's a very expensive thing to do, either. Let's open this one up to the readers: Write in to me at AJMain@aol.com with "LOG ON FROM HOME" in the subject line, and tell us what you do.

    -Alice


    HIRE ME

    Medical/Science Producer and Internet Producer with nine years experience in the news business seeks new challenge - and a chance to move up the ladder into management. Traditional TV experience includes line-producing, field producing, script writing, and managing a busy assignment desk at stations in Richmond, VA and Washington, D.C. Speciality experience includes 5 years as TV Producer and Online Managing Editor for a national science TV news service. Responsibilities range from story development and field production to hiring and supervising production staff and administering the production budget. This producer has a knack for turning technical, boring science, medical and technology research into entertaining, interesting TV reports - without ever missing a deadline. Contact Kelli Miller, (301) 209-3088, kmiller@aip.org or see my web bio at www.aip.org/inside_science/kambio.html


    NEW PRODUCING WEBSITE

    Dear Alice,

    My name is Chris Gegg. I am a producer at WFLA-TV in Tampa, Florida. I've created a WebSite for small market producers. Titled "A Producer's Rundown," the site offers guidance to producers just beginning their careers. I invite all producers (first-year to veterans) to check it out, and submit their own ideas and producing techniques.

    www.geocities.com/TelevisionCity/Stage/3754

    Thank you. Chris


    ABOUT THE PRODUCER NEWSLETTER

    The Producer Newsletter is a free publication for TV news producers worldwide, edited by Alice Main, executive producer at WLS-TV in Chicago. All opinions expressed by me in the newsletter are mine alone, and aren't meant to represent the views of ABC or Disney. The newsletter has been around since 1995, and now back issues have been compiled into book form on the internet (http://www.scripps.ohiou.edu/producer/thebook) thanks to Professor Robert Stewart of Ohio University's EW Scripps School of Journalism. Subscription information is also available online. All submissions should be sent to AJMain@aol.com.