You’re the proud owner / general manager of a TV station. You want to buy stuff emblazoned with your logo. Two words from a guy who’s been collecting that crapola for decades: Coffee cups.
TV stations like to produce t-shirts, polo shirts, sweat shirts, raincoats, wristbands, mousepads, lapel pins, pens, jump drives and motor vehicles emblazoned with their logos. On those rare occasions when I’ve acquired a solid piece of swag, I’ve relished the addition, then mostly stuck it in a drawer or closet and forgot about it.
Most of the stuff in my house comes from WAGA, which employed me the longest. Most of the items are shirts. The best were t-shirts, made of heavy cotton with embroidered logos. They were perfect for hurricane coverage, when a polo shirt is arguably too dressy. There are also long-sleeved t-shirts, polo shirts and a couple of stray Fox5 News jackets.
I still wear the t-shirts sometimes, but only before dawn, under cover of darkness, while running for exercise. I don’t need to exacerbate ongoing “what station you at?” confusion among the populace.
WAGA also issued a noteworthy limited-edition beige-on-beige “Fox5 News” long sleeved polo that I liked for its subtlety, a rare thing in logo gear. They gave the shirts to Eddie Cortes and me prior to our coverage of the invasion of Iraq. Though it’s a lovely shirt, I can probably count on one hand the number of times I’ve worn it.
Aside from its 11Alive News red polos and jackets, WXIA has issued Wizometer t-shirt and wristbands. But the station distributed them sparingly, mostly to viewers and clients. I spotted a Wizometer shirt in the building and sweet-talked a coworker out of it. Given the audacity of the “Wizometer” (a curiously-named gauge by which our meteorologists in the Weather Information Zone, or WIZ, render judgment on the upcoming forecast on a one-to-eleven scale), I cherish the items and actually use the wristbands while playing baseball or running. 11Alive needs to issue some subtle, high-quality t-shirts.
I have other stray items of logo swag, including
- cheaper-than-cheap pens and disposable flashlights from WGCL, given out during a meeting with bloggers;
- a too-large jacket from KMTV, the Omaha station that employed me 1982-85;
- a custom-made 11Alive running shirt which I only wear for the Peachtree Road Race. Red, of course;
- a handmade wood “Closer Look” somesuch given to me by a fan of my late 90s feature franchise at WAGA;
- mic flags from the 90s and 00s;
- a lovely “wheelchair” logo WAGA-TV motorcycle helmet painted by my ex-wife, a thoughtful, handmade and humorous gift given to me following a challenging newsgathering incident in 1992 in which a crash helmet might have been useful. If WAGA had a museum space, I’d donate it.
WXIA’s most recent coffee cups are bright red and oversized. It’s a go-to in my house, as has been the faded WAGA /5 Atlanta / TV cup with the “wheelchair” logo produced in the early 90s. Not a drop of coffee has ever leaked from either one.
So, yes. Coffee cups are the way to go. Or better still: A Wizometer pint glass, though I won’t hold my breath.
But it’d be a keeper.