Wow. Sucks for them.
I’M a news producer at NBC-owned WMAQ-Ch.5!
So I guess I’m out of a job, at least until I can prove my worth enough to be rehired.
We all knew this was coming. The overhaul was first dropped on our corporate brothers at WNBC in New York, making everyone very, very sad. Think about it. If someone tells you your job no longer exists and you have to apply for a new job that might play to your strengths or might make you obsolete, with no guarantee of maintaining your salary, you might be slightly upset, too.
I did not attend the meeting where this was announced. The e-mail we received didn’t suggest that this meeting was mandatory or even strongly recommended. I figured it would be a casual “Hey, so we have some changes coming and we’ll let you know more later” meeting. Instead it was THE meeting – the one where we all find out we’re out of a job.
I am not panicking.
First, I have no idea what the different jobs available will be. (So far as I know, no one does.) Second, I am freaking awesome. With all humility, I believe I’m the best writer in this newsroom. If I need to edit, I have more than a year and a half of daily editing experience to fall back on, not to mention all the video projects I crank out at home. I am young and I love technology. I have uncanny news sense and I am incredibly handsome. Who wouldn’t want to hire me?
Not only do I continue to rock faces off every morning with my newscast, I also draw 5,000 hits a month to this blog. My on-air stunts are major YouTube hits – 20,000+ for my weather rant. 10,000+ for Snowmageddon in just over a week. What’s more, Snowmageddon has been featured on the G4 cable network and as I learned yesterday, it’s linked somewhere on npr.org. NPR! Show me anything else this station has produced that has been deemed worthy of notice by National Public Radio.
Hell, I even shot 90% of the video for our ghost hunt and used my camcorder to capture breaking news video of a high rise fire across the street from my apartment.
I am a one-man television wrecking crew. If anything, I should be carried around on a throne made from melted -down Emmys.
But until I am rehired by the good people at NBC Chicago, I guess I’m a free agent. And I’m willing to field offers. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
What will this mean for the blog? It may vanish. I don’t know if the new job will allow me time to crank out something this awesome during my newly-crammed work day. Something tells me the push will be for multiple stories spread across the vast, barely navigable wasteland of NBCChicago.com. But if you’re anything like me, you want all your awesomeness in one easy location. More thean 300 daily readers agree.
There’s really only one way to be sure we can save the blog. Leave a comment below so I can print them out and hand them to our hiring overlords. Faced with The Will of The People, I’m guessing they’ll carve out a special Blog Czar position for me.
Or maybe they’ll just laugh at me, tell me to shut up and lock me in an editing suite where I’ll be forced to cut video of snowplows and write things like, “The Chicago area saw a blast of snow overnight. Driving is sure to be treacherous this morningzzzzZZZZZZZZZ…”
I also recognize that even if I survive the Peacock Holocaust, this is all part of a rapidly changing economy. NBC cannot program its primetime lineup to save its life. How many hours does Howie Mandel deserve on national television? A remake of Knight Rider? This network is in a tailspin. If primetime were more profitable, we may not be seeing these changes. But our parent company is also a mess. GE is on the verge of losing its AAA credit rating, whatever the hell that means. This network, this company and this profession needs to scramble to find new money… and fast.
But as my coworkers and I stare into the abyss of unemployment, we recognize we are not alone. This economy is laying waste to the American dream. There’s the 93-year-old man who froze to death in my home state because a penny-pinching utility company cut his power. People everywhere are looking for a little mental stability as the ground shifts beneath them. And when all hope is lost, an entire family may choose a gun over endurance.
For God’s sake, the Post Office is talking about eliminating a delivery day. Even those of us who save our money and invest in the country’s businesses are feeling the heat, crushed by a war we didn’t want, mortgages other people couldn’t afford and get-rich-quick schemes shady investors couldn’t pass up.
The bill has come due on a decade of excess, and we all have to pay.
While I trust that my employer will see the value of retaining me, I know there’s a chance I could be let go. And I worry about my coworkers. In the Tribune article referenced at the top, our leader asks rhetorically if some of us will be Hemingways. Considering how Hemingway met his end, I sincerely hope not.
* (Deep breath.)
* If there’s any hope for this country to turn around, it must come from President Obama. What’s he up to now? Oh, just trying to walk through a window. He’s already able to walk on water, so it’s kinda surprising he had trouble with that.
* A ray of sunshine for my coworkers who aren’t rehired: nearly half of all Americans want to live somewhere else. Considering we’ve had a week of temperatures in the teens, I can’t imagine why. (Shakes fist at Chicago sky.)
* Speaking of Obama and our cold weather, the new President scoffs at Washington, D.C. for canceling school after a little snow. Gee, Mr. President. You sound a lot like a certain former news producer from Chicago talking about how weak it is to get in a tizzy over a little snowfall…
* Our economic troubles mean fewer Thin Mints in every box. How can anyone even afford to let their kid be in Girl Scouts these days? Shouldn’t they be out corn detasseling to raise money for the family?
* Boys with unpopular names are more likely to break the law. So those idiot parents who named their son Adolf Hitler? Yeah, that kid’s gonna grow up to murder somebody.
* Normally, I hate PETA’s ridiculous bids for attention. But occasionally they use sex to try and sell us on vegetarianism. They did with this Super Bowl ad and NBC shot it down. I have watched this ad and enjoyed the scantily-clad women. But so they don’t feel like they’ve won, I’m going to go to Texas de Brazil tonight to eat at least 16 different mammals.
* Props to Chicagoist for alerting me to the fact that Chicago has a lingerie football team. (Insert “tight end” joke here.)
* Today, our Lego-haired Dictator will get one last hurrah before the Senate throws him out on his butt. It’s a real shame he didn’t participate in the actual trial, because I suspect there was a chance he would have acted like this guy and smeared feces on his lawyer before throwing it at the jury.