Friday, May 22, 2009

Odds and Ends on a Friday

I've got so many responsibilities in the newsroom these days, that I never get to write for the blog these days .. so I'll try to catch up before the Cavs tip off.

Had a nice sit-down this week with Frank LaRose Jr., who has declared his candidacy for the 27th Senate Seat being vacated by Kevin Coughlin (term limits). LaRose is a Green Beret with Iraq and Kosovo experience, so we had lots to chat about when the camera was off. Dick Russ will be airing a story on LaRose soon, but here's some more about him. First impressions are that LaRose is pretty sharp .. and he's polished on the talking points of making our economy and education better .. and he's got time to research and learn how to make those ideas a reality. He's declared a bit early since the election is in the fall of 2010, but then again, what do I know???

I got a call from an older couple in Coventry that received their Social Security stimulus money this week via direct deposit. A whopping $2. Two bucks. "What am I supposed to stimulate with that?" the man told me. I reminded him to make sure his wife got her dollar too before he spent all of it. He didn't sound amused.

I'm looking forward to Monday when I'll be honored as the Grand Marshall of Copley's Memorial Day parade. The parade steps off at 10 a.m. at the Middle School. Come out and say hello if you can.

I broke new ground at work on Tuesday by reporting, shooting, and editing my story for the evening news. Our business is quickly shifting from two-man teams (1 reporter, 1 videographer) to a single MMJ (Multi-Media Journalist) who does it all. I was a guinea pig of sorts to try this for WKYC. My assignment -- the latest on Akron's Mayoral Recall. The good news was that I tracked down both Mayor Plusquellic and Warner Mendenhall for interviews.

Both were pretty surprised that I showed up in my own car with a tripod and camera instead of a Channel 3 car with a photographer. The bad news was that I wasn't nearly as focused on my questions because I was so worried about the focus and audio of the camera and making sure that it was recording properly. Later, I had a mega-problems with editing as my laptop editor didn't cooperate with the additional videotapes that I needed for the story. So in the final moments, I re-wrote my story to match the few video shots (city hall, two web sites) that I had and the story got on the air.

Not my best work by a long shot, but it made air. After my editing nightmare in the Akron office, I drove north to Cleveland and arrived about 20 minutes before the 7 p.m. broadcast. I was frazzled on the anchor desk to say the least.

After talking it over with the computer folks .. and my managers .. the decision's been made that future MMJ shoots that are for that same night's broadcast will be edited on "newscutter" computers in the newsroom rather than laptops. The Newscutters are connected to the entire video system and will allow faster editing that can be uploaded into the actual broadcast.

Personally .. I just can't have another day like that and expect to relaxed on the air. Everyone in TV News is doing more these days than they used to do, but we've got to find ways to work smarter to make it all work.

OK .. Cavs just tipped off in Game 2 .. more later!


Anonymous said...

Relax Eric. Take a deep breath and it will all be fine. You'll do well.

Chris Brown said...


Wow. That is lot of juggling! Track down, write questions, interview, record, look good, get the story, upload, edit, fix, drive, & be on camera. I'm sure I missed a couple of steps.

You have to a be a Jack of all Trades... and any weak link in the chain messes up the broadcast. Kudos to you for trying it.

It sounds like big shoes to fill.


Anonymous said...

Eric. Is this considered your own form of Freelancing? The reason I ask is there are no ads around your site and are you contractually limited to just so much local reporting.
Just wondering, I think you could go pretty far with it since you have a base established. But then again I myself have been wrong before.

Eric Mansfield said...

No limits .. it's my blog .. and I can write what I want, when I want.

I don't get to it as often as I once did, but it's all mine.

So yes, I could offer advertising should a company or organization approach me ..