Our TV station is located in what used to be an old movie theater. The newsroom is on the ground floor but there are at least two floors. There could be more, but I’ve only ever heard people talk of the elusive “upstairs” in such a way that leads me to believe there are only two stories. I have no idea how to get “upstairs.” I’ve heard a rumor that we have a stairwell, though I have yet to locate it. I think I’ve seen an elevator. But maybe it was a bathroom. I’m not sure.
The inviting lobby, windows abounding, comes complete with a large fish tank, framed pictures of all of our news anchors and meteorologists, and a sweet southern old receptionist who can make pretty much anyone smile. And, of course, a giant HDTV broadcasting our signal at all hours of the day.
This warm and friendly room, sitting below a vaulted ceiling, rests between the news and sales departments. If you take a right at Miss Linda (said receptionist) you’ll walk unnoticed into the buzz of a bustling newsroom, with reporters and producers and editors at their desks (or nondesk) furiously typing and clicking and printing and cussing and telephoning. If you take a left you will find…
I don’t know.
The few times I’ve walked through the halls of the sales department all I’ve seen is a few offices, some posters for network programming (CSI:MIAMI!) and two or three nameless faces dressed in name brands that cost more than I make in a month. I never give the sales department and its inhabitants much thought until a) a phone call is transferred into the newsroom and someone asks for an employee I’ve never heard of, or b) there is a company meeting or luncheon, when I find myself uncomfortably immersed in a sea of unknown suits and ties, or c) I walk down the hall and pass someone (I assume works here?) and can’t for the life of me figure out what to say to them because I’ve never seen them before.
It’s bizarre to me that the news and sales people don’t interact more. The suits on the other side of Miss Linda decide which commercials air during which newscast at what time, while the starving, fresh-faced, small market journalists across the lobby make their living solely based on the spots the suits sell. I kind of feel as though I should have a say in this decision. I mean, I’m the producer. It’s my show. Perhaps I’m just being greedy, but I wish I got to choose which commercials my viewers have to sit through. But since this is not the case, I wish I could at least be able to put a name and a face to the person (persons?) in charge the eight minutes of advertising space between 5:00 and 5:30 in the afternoon.
Guess I need to take a trip across the lobby.