Friday, July 08, 2005

It's Raining Tigers at KPTM

We are informed by an alert reader that KPTM has hired another May grad from the University of Missouri. No word, however on when Cliff Judy (pictured) is scheduled to start. Is 42 looking specificallly for people with funky names? And another question: Is this guy even old enough to vote?

Thursday's story regarding the hiring of Judy's fellow grad, Calvert Collins, has spurred interesting discussion regarding Omaha's recent metamorphosis into an "entry-level" market; that is, a market where a TV journalist can get his or her first job out of college.

In days past, one had to begin in a smaller market like Hastings or Sioux City before moving up to a job in Omaha. But hires like those mentioned above suggest that times have changed. And before anyone blames KPTM for this trend, let's remember that KETV hired Brandi Petersen right out of college a year or two ago.

For many in the business, there seems to be a sense that one should have to pay one's dues before being rewarded (if that's the right word) with a gig in a market this size. A rookie, veterans will argue, needs time at a lower-profile outlet to develop a wider repetoire of skills and to stumble a few times in a lower-stakes environment.

For viewers, it probably would be better to have local stations relying less on unproven talent; there's a lot to be said for experience when it comes to being able to tell a story in an interesting way. If producers and photographers are spending their time teaching inexperienced reporters the basics of the business, that's less time they can devote to putting on a quality newscast.

On the other hand, Omaha has seen more than a few "experienced" reporters who've been brought here, only to prove that seemingly no amount of time in the trenches will ever get some people ready to work at this level.

11 comments:

Zach said...

I haven't ever seen Cliff Judy or Calvert Collins' reporting skills, but I have seen Brandi's, and hiring her was by no means a mistake for KETV. Just because you don't have nine months' experiences reporting on bake sales in Scottsbluff, doesn't mean you can't handle reporting in Omaha right out of college. If you've got what it takes, why should your time be wasted in a teeny market?

blog-watcher said...

In brandi's case she has the instant talent.
However, not everyone has that...it has to be learned. When a producer has to spend a half hour reading a reporters script it takes time away from other things they could be working on. And when it comes to live shots...some are natural and some are not. From what I've seen so far these newbies have a lot to learn...especially on live shots...it's just not natural looking.
I agree that there are many experienced reporters without the talent...and will never have it.
But working in news I really think starting in a small market helps you get the experience to move up and you can move up quickly. And reporting on bake sales may be fluffy news...but it would help them learn how to write before getting to the tough stuff...and looking dumb on air.

pia said...

Brandi has definately proven herself as a credible journalist, not sure about these other "newbies". Not everyone is ready for the big 'O' right out of college but there are a few that are worth the gamble.
You just hope the people making these decisions make them based on talent not budget.

King Vernon said...

This reminds me of the current trends in NASCAR. Hiring the young guns and putting the veterns out to pasture. Not many of the rookies has done great. It still takes 2-3 yrs of NEXTEL Cup experience to win the championship.

whatsaBevacqua said...

Brandi does indeed have instant talent, but she was hired after a substantial stint as an eager, strong performing intern. This is a not the same as getting a job right out of college.

newsguy05 said...

I think Omaha is still far from being considered an "entry-level" market. We should recall that the station who's hiring these newbies isn't exactly known for quality, thorough storytelling (that's quite evident if youve ever mistakenly tuned your tv to channel 42 between 9 and 10pm) so I wouldn't jump the gun based on what they do. I'm a college student and in the business myself, and I have held a job in a small market. I can tell you the experience there is worth soo much. And I would probably be the first to say that if I worked my way up to a nice job in Omaha or an even bigger market, I'd be a little pissed to see someone who just graduated. I do know, however, that some people (few people) are able to report at that level out of college from intenrships theyve held in the past or small part-time jobs.

Midtown said...

Mid level market? Fark it!
And I am not talking about DMA or population trends... The only real thing that used to separate small markets from Mid level was equipment. Cameras, ENG and SNG. Now you can go to a 125 market and find the same quality equipment you find here. Talent is talent no matter how old or where you work. I have seen interns become very good 6pm anchors in minutes and I have seen 15 year reports burn up in breaking news situations. I don't now how good Calvert is or will become but the days of starting in North Platt because it's the right way to do it are over and more power to those who can get it done like Brandi.
The one issue I do take is when the nubbies come and can't take constructive criticism. I don't know what they think we are trying to but the tips and ideas are based on been there done that.

blog-watcher said...

Fox 42 has no money...bottom line. And this is what they get for the money they spend.

theguesswho said...

Midtown, I agree that going to North Platte or Scottsbluff is not always necessary and that there are talented young reporters ready for Omaha and beyond. But they are the exception. There is NO substitute for experience. For example, in professional baseball, it is the rare player that starts at a high level in the minors, much less the major leagues. Even the most talented players often start out in a so called "rookie league".In the same way, even the most talented reporter/anchor will benefit from small market experience. I remember applying for my first job at mid market stations and being so disappointed when I did not get a sniff. In hindsight it was the best thing that ever happened because I know I was not ready to handle it. Starting small-market is generally still the best route to go for longterm success in television.

JJSOmaha said...

Yes...and Brandi is "hot"

JJSOmaha said...
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