Sunday, January 09, 2005

MORE BROADCASTING STUFF AND MY OWN PONDERINGS

Well, I've added the website of Sharon Tay to the growing list of people on the sidebar. Sharon Tay recently quit her job anchoring the morning news on KTLA to go host an entertainment show on MSNBC, a show that will also feature Canadian Claudia Difolco. Claudia used to be at Citytv years ago. Now she's a big star in the USA.

As for my post earlier about Anne-Marie Green and whether she got an agent to land that KYW gig, weeeell--- turns out her agent is Gregg Willinger, as I found out reading Medialine. So yes she has representation, which explains why she could go to the USA. Willinger's own website is pretty impressive, he represents a ton of names in TV news and claims to specialize in representing Canadians looking for jobs in the States. He represents former Citytv anchors Monita Rajpal and Natalie Pujo. But I know of other agencies like Napoli, If Management, N.S. Bienstock, and Kenny Lindner. They have lots of Canadian clients. Sarika Sehgal has an agent, I know that for sure.

I also added a sportscasters' link called Callofthegame.com; it's heavy on moves in play-by-play sports and broadcasting stuff. It mentioned that Rob Faulds is off the Blue Jay games next season on TV. I think it has to do, partly, with the death of John Cerutti. I just don't think they want any memories of that broadcast team to seep into the broadcast: too many sad memories. They also had a story on there about how all the Pittsburgh Penguins' broadcasters are doing and how they are spending the lockout; they aren't happy people.

As for me, broadcasting is where my heart is, and I love doing sports broadcasting, but I think I need to get out of sports. Among other things, it's a complete ghetto and I'm tired of trying to make it in sports TV. I know Eric Smith (of the FAN) was stuck behind the scenes for several years, cutting tape etc, before he finally made it on the air doing the NBA, and I know lots of people at the Score and TSN who had to do their time, spending years in low-paying dead-end production gigs logging tapes and feeds, trying to get on the air. Elliotte Friedman had to work for no pay for a while at the FAN before he got hired. The guy who now does the Hamilton Bulldogs games on radio basically starved for years trying to make it as a play-by-play man in southern Ontario. I know I've had to pay tons of dues, logging tapes and feeds, running tapes to and from the Skydome on game days, doing internships, and commuting back and forth to Mississauga to get live TV anchoring experience. I got to the point of being totally fed up a long time ago.

I probably should have done something else other than sports broadcasting, but sports was the only way I could get in the door in broadcasting and the only way I could get any kind of a foothold anchoring on live television. The reason I need to get out is pretty obvious, eh? Sports in Canada is geared to total coverage of the National Hockey League, and the NHL is destroying itself. When it finally comes back in January of 2006 (!) (?) it will be a shell of its former self.

I'm in a quandary, I am not sure what I should do with my broadcasting career or experience. My gut tells me to do news; that's where my experience would be of the most benefit, and there are more jobs there. But there are problems. Deep ones. I've never done very well at news. I've felt like a glorified factory worker. I find it very hard to work up any enthusiasm for the relentless onslaught of depressing crime stories. Right now it's all weeping relatives of tsunami victims. Who wants to do that? I don't like intruding on people's lives and tragedies. But I guess I'd need to put up with doing tear-jerk journalism until I find something better which I might be better at, like hosting talk shows. Something which would be impossible to get fired from- firings happen a lot in TV news.

The other deep problem with news is my news demo tape, and it's all my fault because I'm lousy at news. It's a montage of standups of me being blown around outside covering strikes and the like. I don't even have a decent anchor read on it. I'll need to go to a consultant to do a news anchor read so I can put it on my freaking tape, then I'll need to put it on Medialine just to have a shot at offers. Finding the consultant to do the trick would not be a problem: there's one in the D.C. area I can go to. It costs a lot, though.

( UPDATE: Some people say I'm being too negative about myself here, re: my news experience. Okay, then, I'm a terrific news reporter and better than half the people on the air, and yes I do have experience covering Teamsters strikes, it's all on tape. So there! Seriously, I really need to give my news tape an Extreme Makeover, my sports demo puts my news demo to shame. But on the positive side, it shouldn't be too hard. All I'd need to do is record a good anchor read and revise a few things, and I'd be able to send a tape out and feel I have a hope. The only thing missing would be me covering a hurricane a la Anderson Cooper.)

At least I know the switch to TV news has been done: I know at least five people I worked with at the Score who ended up leaving for the CBC and one of them became a big TV news anchor. So it's been done. But my conservative friends are going to freak out if they hear me on the CBC doing my stories, assuming they allow me on the air. They hate that place.

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