Rarely wrong

In the TV news biz, the words “beloved” and “manager” rarely appear adjacent to each other. The exception is Bud Veazey, the WAGA assistant news director who is retiring today. Veazey was the old-school journalistic guidestone, against which the stiff winds of audience pandering often blew. At his best, he could cool the scalding-hot sensibilities of his frenzied fellow managers. He lost many arguments, but was rarely wrong. It’s a wonder he lasted as long as he did, some twenty years at WAGA.

Once, I failed to double-check a fact and got it wrong on-air. In his office, Veazey quietly dressed me down for a “rookie mistake.” It was the calmest and yet the worst ass-chewing I’d ever gotten, because it came from a guy who had earned, rather than demanded, my respect.

Veazey’s memos were always the best. It’s amazing how many news pros are confounded by the English language. Veazey wrote the “please stop using ‘literally,’ especially when you don’t mean it” memo. Veazey despised “at this hour,” a phrase I reluctantly eliminated (I thought it sounded Murrowesque and gave a fuzzy-headed local news guy gravitas) after reading his memo. To the end, reporters ignored his repeated railings against “for now,” as in “for now, I’m Jane Jones in Butts County…” Watch TV and see how many reporters say “for now,” and know that an old retired news manager is cringing.

The folks behind the scenes– as well as the folks who tune into local news each night– deserve a lot of blame for the dumbing-down of TV news. Bud Veazey’s career represented a Quixotic quest to be part of the solution rather than part of the problem. WAGA was fortunate to have him.

WAGA’s Dale Russell’s blog about Veazey is worthwhile reading.

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Uncategorized on by .

About live apt fire

Doug Richards is a reporter at WXIA-TV. This is his personal blog. WXIA-TV has nothing whatsoever to do with this blog, under any circumstances, in any form. For anything written herein, Doug accepts sole credit and full blame. Follow him on Twitter: @richardsdoug. All rights reserved. Thanks for visiting.

4 thoughts on “Rarely wrong

  1. Pingback: Suspects « live apartment fire

  2. Pingback: The new workplace « live apartment fire

  3. Pingback: Subject: Physical appeal « live apartment fire

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s