About a month ago, the Executive Producer pulled me and the other evening producers aside to run an idea by us. She suggested that maybe once a month we would all switch shows to get a feel for how to produce every show. We were all pretty excited about that prospect because each evening show is different. The each have different anchors, different graphic elements, different layouts, different demographics, and are designed to run different stories. (The 5:00 runs education and health stories, the 5:30 runs business and economic stories, and the 6:00 runs crime.) This idea seemed pretty cool because it would challenge all of us and ultimately make us better producers. After the three of us affirmed, the EP said she’s run it by the News Director to get his opinion.
The thing about our ND is that he needs to be in control. (I don’t understand that personality trait because I’m not a boss and never will be.) If anyone suggests a good idea to him, he either A) sends out an email telling everyone that said idea was HIS idea all along or B) takes the good idea pitched to him and twists it into a less-good (though tolerable) idea that everyone MUST succumb to because, well, he said so.
Well. He went for option B this time.
Later that afternoon we all got an email from him declaring that producers will rotate shows (oh cool, he talked to the EP and went for it!) THREE DAYS A WEEK EVERY WEEK INDEFINTELY (WAIT, SAY WHAT??!!)
So as of now, the schedule looks like this:
MONDAY & FRIDAY:
– Producers are in charge of their own shows.
– 5:30 and 6:00 producers swap.
– 5:00 and 5:30 producers swap.
– 5:00 and 6:00 producers swap.
Are you confused yet? Because everyone in the newsroom is.
– Directors/anchors/reporters are in a constant state of questioning. They’ll either come to the assignment desk and talk to the wrong producer or call the wrong producer’s extension and end up frustrated because they don’t know who the hell is producing which show.
– Producers get attached to their shows and their anchors. They build a sense of ownership; take me, for instance. The 5:00 show is my baby. I love it. I really feel like I’ve grasped what stories to pick in what order and what graphics to use to captivate my target audience. I really like that feeling. Producers tend to identify with their shows.
– All of the producers will become better. No question about that.
– Um. Let me get back to you.