Another interesting article that touches on some of the challenges facing those who work in local news. I can relate to a degree.
I miss being on the morning show terribly sometimes, but my job certainly changed when my CBS station entered into a “cooperative work agreement” with the ABC station in the market. A duopoly before duopolies were cool! This was the late 1990s. Here is what my typical day looked like after the “merger.”
I would get in about 3:30 to work on weather graphics and go through scripts. At around 5:15 I would record weather cut-ins. At 5:30 I anchored the local CBS show until 6am. Then I would walk across the newsroom, dump those scripts and pick up scripts for the local ABC show that I anchored from 6-7am (while my recorded weather cut-ins aired on CBS). After the ABC show it was back into the CBS studio where I anchored 1/2 and 1/2 with the network including local interviews and what not from 7-8am. From 8-9am I did the local weather cut-ins live during the CBS Morning News. That all finished at 9am at which time I would rewrite some of my scripts and record three radio newscasts for our radio partners and ftp those to them. 9:30ish am it was time for lunch. When I got back from lunch; about twice a week I would go with a photog or shoot my own feature story that would air in the evening news. Sometimes I would fill in as anchor or weatherguy on the Noon. Additionally I was the web site manager, so I would also be posting stories to our web site. I also managed one other person who worked the evening shift updating the web and I trained reporters and producers on posting their scripts.
It was very hectic and of course no extra money for any of us for the extra work. I tell you though, the experience was amazing! Lots of reps doing lots of things equals a lot of experience in a short amount of time. All of this was before the social media explosion. I actually would have LOVED interacting with viewers on the morning show. We were a fun loving bunch in the AM
I do know that reporters and anchors these days are required to be on social media constantly while they are increasingly shooting their own stories and producing their own shows (respectively). News shows are cheap to produce and launching a 4pm news (for example) adds local avails without having to hire more staff. Just have the anchors anchor another show and have the reporters do a different version of their story. Very attractive to GMs; meanwhile news staffs get stretched even thinner.
So, for the few of you still reading here is Allyson’s story who left the newspaper biz. She was getting burnt out while staying broke. What do y’all think? Is part of the local news story the inability to pay and keep good people like Allyson?