Tuesday, September 19, 2006

YET ANOTHER "GUYS M.I.A. FROM TV NEWS" STORY

Here's a story from the Star-Tribune in Minneapolis about how few guys are doing TV news anchoring. (UPDATE: The link doesn't work, so try here.) I know I know, yet another one. Everyone at all these newspapers has suddenly caught on to this big story.

What I found interesting was the blurb about this news guy who was bragging about how he got eight or nine job offers, all because he was one of the few guys willing to be a TV news anchor. And this was a guy who only had something like one year of experience. He now works at KELO in Sioux Falls, S.D., a smaller-market station which would be a good place to go early in your career. Tom Brokaw got his start in South Dakota. And there are only two guys in that whole newsroom, the rest of them are all women!! From the sounds of it he looks to be in a position to rise the ranks quickly and get to bigger markets. Apparently the situation is so dire down there that they have been coaxing guys who want to retire into sticking around a few months longer, because they can't find a replacement! THEY CAN'T FIND GUYS WHO WANT TO WORK IN TV NEWS, NOBODY WANTS TO BE RON BURGUNDY!!!

The odd thing is that I saw Lynn Sherr on TV the other day promoting her new book on the news business, and she was saying that when she started out she couldn't get into news because she was a "girl" as these managers called her. It was a guys' business back then and women were hardly anywhere to be found. Now, the tables are flipped. Women can't get into TV news because too many women want to be in TV news! So the few guys who are still in the business are getting all these job offers. Meanwhile the women are all fighting off hundreds of applicants for the few anchor positions available. These TV newswomen just cannot win.

The other thing they have been doing is they have been trying to convince guys to move out of their dead-end sportscasting jobs and get them to do news anchoring, and they're finding willing takers. Let's face it, sports is a dead-end. I read yet another article about how sports segments are being cut and how sportscasters are being fired. Heck, it's happening in Canada now. Look what happened at Global to Jim Tatti!

But the guys who do sports are usually very talented. It takes skill to do the highlights on TV, you have to match your delivery to the action on the screen! I know, because I've had to do it myself. It's tricky stuff that these news anchors don't have to worry about. So I think most of these sports guys are very good as anchors and would probably do well over in news if they are reasonably interested in current events and that sort of thing. I notice that a couple of ex-sports guys are doing news now for Global and CH.

All I gotta say is sign me up to leave dead-end sports reporting right now. But even though I have a lot of on-air experience I have never anchored the news. I'm rapidly running out of excuses to not take that pricey TV anchor training that would help my news demo reel considerably. I'd probably need to go to the USA for a job but I wouldn't mind, I like warm weather.

This article is the motivation I need to get myself back in gear in trying to go the news route; there have to be TV news jobs out there for guys like myself. Actually, I go back and forth on this, there are actually other things out there I'd be interested in doing. I don't know if I like the news business. If they only want to give multiple offers to the Matt Lauer types, the glamour boys and so on, well then forget it!! It's never been a case of me hating doing news; it's just the news hates me.

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