Daily Archives: July 26, 2009

Burying the lede

That sound you hear in the distance is a blogger crying “uncle!”

The blogger, having spent twenty-five months eking out mortgage payments as an entrepreneur, is taking a job with the Man.  The job will return the blogger to a line of work for which he has a great deal of affection, in an industry that has never been sketchier.

I become a regularly-scheduled part-time WXIA reporter on August 10.

Where the magic happens:  LAF World HQ, Decatur GA

Where the magic happens: LAF World HQ, Decatur GA

Why return?  Because TV news is the one trade in which I have any measure of real expertise.  Although I’d dallied in the printed word since my departure from WAGA in June 2007, printed words are making money for very few writers.   TV news is hurting economically, but it appears to be the only mainstream media source still liked by the public and still employing journalists somewhat reliably.

Why return?  Because WXIA very kindly asked me to do so, with the mutual goal of telling cool TV stories.  WXIA’s roster of reporters consists of top-notch storytellers.  It’s humbling to to be in their midst.

WXIA asked me to do so while knowing quite well, as you probably do, my mixed feelings toward local TV news.  In many settings, that would make me damaged goods.  WXIA hired me in spite of my recent history as a crabby media blogger.  As you know, the woman hiring me has famously said “TV news stinks.”  Ellen Crooke and I agree about a lot of things, and I’m a fan of hers.  I’m sure we’ll also disagree a time or two.

Will I cover an apartment fire, ever?  Quite probably.  I’m OK with it.  I hope you’re watching when it happens.  If not, I’ll find a link and put on on this blog.

So here’s the buried lede:  This blog is gonna have to change.

As a staff reporter at WXIA, I will no longer be able to write about my competitors the way I’ve been able to do as a somewhat dispassionate outsider / former insider.  I can’t bust their chops; it would be unseemly for WXIA to have on its payroll a guy who blogs about stuff that WXIA’s competitors have botched.  Wendy Saltzman got my last kid-gloved swipe, God love her (though I’ve still got a couple of posts squirreled away that I’ll publish prior to the start of my employment at WXIA).

Likewise, it would be equally unsettling for my new co-workers at WXIA to walk the hallways wondering if that snarky blogger is gonna publicly talk sh#t about stuff that happened in the workplace.  They’re entitled to know that won’t happen.  It won’t happen.

I intend to continue to blog about my experiences at WXIA.  My hope is that it will remain an honest examination of life as a (resurrected) TV newsman.  I intend that LAF will remain a somewhat enlightening site.

Likewise, LAF will hopefully continue to deliver media critiques from writers like CB Hackworth.  Anybody else want in?  Contact me.  (Got a story idea for WXIA?  Contact me.)

My video production company is still in business, btw.  It’s a happy side-effect to the part-time nature of my new employment.  TomorrowVision Media is paying LAF readers decent referral fees for video projects.  We’re serious.  We love paying referral fees.  Come get yours.

Meantime, I’m looking forward to seeing my old friends on the street.  I’m also looking forward to encountering folks whose work may have met an unfavorable review or two on this site.  If Adam Murphy makes bunny-ears behind my head during a live shot, I wouldn’t blame him.

Speaking of burying the lede:  I’m gonna be a “multi-media journalist.”  Read:  Backpack journalist.  Yep.