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The Last Word on TV News
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Here's a link to CTN's Video of our show with Duby McDowell and Janet Peckinpaugh about "Aging Out of TV News." It's another reminder to me about why I'm not in TV news...By the way, some more comments coming through on the show - they suggest that we've missed the real issue here - a salary dispute:  

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on July 17, 2009 - 4:58am.

This is a contract salary dispute masquerading as a human rights issue. Had FOX61 offered Shelly Sindland the money she requested..all of this would have never surfaced. If this was such a hostile work environment for Shelly, why didn't she ring the alarms in the previous 14 years? Is it a coincidence that her complaint was filed days after her first pay cut was became apparent? If Shelly was the ONLY reporter being asked to reduce her salary, then I am on her side. All local journalists are seeing shrinking salaries...wake up Shelly...male.female,old and young..the money ain't what is used to be and that's not discrimination...that's across the board economic truth.  Don't be duped. She is the highest paid reporter at the station and her ego wouldn't allow her to take a pay cut. She was a offered a nice salary to stay employed. She loves to cry about how hard it is to be a single mom. She was offered 60k. I know a lot of single moms that would love to earn that.

Here's another: 

Whats is being lost in this discussion of Shelly Sindland's case is that she WASN'T fired or asked to leave. She was offered a contract at a pay cut that is the standard now for media companies struggling to stay alive. Should she be singled out as the only one who shouldn't have to take a pay cut because of her gender and age?..That smacks of the reverse discrimination that New Haven firefighters fought against and won in the U.S. Supreme Court.  Local TV news is hanging on by a thread and all genders and ages are seeing their salaries slashed.

By the way, my snarky response to an earlier comment included a jab at Fox 61's online feature "Rachel's Outfit of the Day."  

I don't mean to be mean to traffic reporter Rachel Lutzker, who's just doing her job.  She's an entertaining part of what is quite often an "entertainment" show.  I was just pointing out that TV news does tend to be a bit superficial.  That periodically, it's important for stations like Fox to place appearances first.  That sometimes, looks really do matter.  Not that there's anything wrong with that.  I'm not saying these folks don't care about covering news, it's just that there are other things TV folks have to worry about.  Like how your tie looks.  Right, Logan Byrnes? (right)    

As I said above - there's about a thousand reasons I'm not on TV.  I can't ad-lib on camera.  I hate having people talk in my ear while I'm trying to talk.  I can't read off a teleprompter.  And, I have a "face for radio."   In fact, I've been told this by some very astute observers of media, like the great Colin McEnroe, who considers me downright scary.  And my deal absolutely doesn't work in HD.

So I consider it a pretty substantial skill to go on TV every day - looking great, sounding coherent, being charming.  I just wish that business was different.  The anecdotes Shelly Sindland shares in her complaint against Fox management point to so many management and ethical problems it's hard to count.  These problems serve to make their outfit look much more than just a bit "superficial."   

By the way, this isn't really "The Last Word" I'll have on TV news.  On Monday, our buddy Andrew Pergam at NBC Connecticut invited us over to see their brand new HQ.  We hope to have pictures!