Wednesday, June 29, 2011

News Passion And Personal Promises

10.. 9..

The videos have been checked. The anchors, reporters can all hear me in their ear pieces.

8.. 7..

Triple check everything. The live shots look good. Teleprompter is on the correct script. Weatherman is in place.

6.. 5..

You sit back but can't help and make sure everything and everyone is in its place... Again.

4.. 3..

A reporter forgot to put in their name supers, quickly add them in. Double check the spelling.

2.. 1..


For the next half hour you're monitoring screen after screen. Putting out fires. Making decisions based on instinct and reaction. Live shot is :30 away, tell the reporter. :10 away and it's gone. You don't know how, you don't know why. You don't know if it will be back. All you know is you now have :07 to tell everyone what you are going to do about it. The Plan: move on to weather, your weatherman is ready because he's good and your good. You told him to be ready. The :30 he's talking is enough time to get your live shot back. Quick tell the anchors, tell the director, tell the reporter, ready go. Live shot is up. Then it's gone again. Still don't know what happened but you roll the tape. You have exactly 1:23 to figure out what to do before the live shot is up. Easy. You have the anchors handle it. Get the information from the reporter, pass it on to the anchors. 1:23 later the anchors are ad-libing like they were the ones to put together the stories. You're all professionals, what's more, you're journalists.

Move through the rest of the stories. 7:38 later and you hit your first commercial break. You breathe, probably for the first time since you lost the live shot. You have 2:30 to go until you're back on air.

I Love What I do

My son asked me what I do at work. SO I told him I make television. That's the easy way to describe it. The better way? I run the 6PM News, it is my brainchild, my baby, my evil mad scientist creation. I organize chaos, lead a team of people who are very good at what they do and together create something every day. Not just anything, we create news that informs and brings people into what's happening in the world around them. I love what I do.

They Said It Wouldn't Be Possible, But I'm Stubborn

In college I had a couple of professors who said that it wouldn't be possible to not work on Sunday. It's just part of being a journalist. You have to work on Sundays. Thing is I have never worked on a Sunday in my life. I made a personal promise not to.

But, I was scheduled to work this past Sunday, June 26th. I asked everyone I could think of to cover for me. No one would. One person even went as far as saying they would cover for me but then changing their mind when they heard why.

What could I do? The decision was easy. I wasn't going to work on Sunday. I talked with my boss, told her how I'd tried to get someone to cover, said I was willing to work whatever other crazy hours. At one point she asked me, "So you would rather work 18 hours straight than work on Sunday?" "Yes". I said that part of the reason I took this job over other jobs that offered more money is because I had other obligations on Sunday, I couldn't work on Sunday.

I went home one night, the day before my "deadline" to get my shift covered thinking I'd tried everything I could. Maybe I'd lose my job over this.

"We Have A Bit Of A Compromise"

My boss called me into her office, showed me a schedule. Said if I was willing to work it, I could have Sunday off. Without hesitation I said yes and emphatically thanked her.

The Schedule

Weds: 9-1:30, back at 11:30pm
Thurs: Off at 7:30am, back at 11:30pm
Fri: Off at 7:30am, back at 11:30pm
Sat: 12pm-11PM, no break
Mon:12AM-7:30AM, back at 11:30pm
Tues: off at 7:30
Regular Weds/Thurs: 9am - 6:45pm
Fri: Off
Sat: 12pm - 11pm

I'm almost through it. One more Saturday to go.

I'm so grateful for that crazy schedule because one day isn't on it. Sunday. Some decisions you worry about right now but when you lift your view, they become much easier to make.

So Grateful

Thank you Carrie for supporting me in that choice and for helping to raise my vision. You inspire me.

I love my job and appreciate the people that I work with. I'm grateful for my boss but especially for the one producer who had no problem switching with me.

There's A Lesson In All This

A long time ago I promised Heavenly Father that I wouldn't work on Sunday and would always pay my tithing. I've been infinitely blessed because of it.

"And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said unto my father: I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them." (1 Nephi 3:7)

I'm far from perfect. I'm just someone who has made a promise and loves his job (almost as much as my family).

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