I woke up this morning to find out I’ve been nominated for two National Entertainment Journalism Awards (From the LA Press Club).
The first nod is for a story that I worked on with Legendary NBC4 Los Angeles anchor Chuck Henry- a story we called “Forgotten Footprints”. Chuck literally stumbled up the original footprints of Grauman’s Chinese Theater which had been hidden away in an airport hangar for more than two decades. We found out that the folks at Grauman’s didn’t even know they existed.
I’m also a finalist for “National Entertainment Journalist of the Year”-- the big award! The nomination is for my body of work in 2010-2011 (both TV and internet). Yes, people- I’m a serious journalist in my other (real) life.
Hugh Hefner is the lifetime achievement honoree this year. And my colleague Robert Kovacik is also up for an award for a profile he did on Hugh saving the Hollywood Sign. Congrats Robert!
I’ve worked in the news business for (cough) nearly 18 years now. I’m a what you call a veteran, even though (at times) I still think of myself as the punk 24 year old who just got out of college. My first TV gig paid a whopping $7.00 an hour. And I earned every penny of that salary.
I’ve covered presidential elections, presidential recalls, tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, major and minor plane crashes, Hollyweird, high profile and low profile murder trials. I’ve even survived (and then reported on) a gunman trying to blast her way into our newsroom (that story will be told in its own blog post).
I like to think I”m good at what I do. But when it comes to negotiating, or being my own advocate I suck balls. I mean I really suck balls. And today my friends, I’m going to share a story of what NOT to do, a tough lesson learned in the newsroom.
It took place years ago at a TV station that I won’t name. I was sitting at my desk producing the 5pm news and I was in a bad mood. The day before my boss, the news director, had refused to let me out of my contract early to accept a producing job in my hometown of Seattle. It wasn’t a better job, but it would have brought me closer to my family who all live in the Northwest. Adding fuel to the fire- a reporter who I really didn’t care for and who ALWAYS dressed inappropriately - walked up to the producer pod.
Reporter: Hey Guys, Guess what?
My Coproducer: What?
Reporter: I got a new job! I just gave my two weeks notice
Me: (not caring but being polite) Congrats.
Reporter: Yes! It’s great. I’ll be anchoring the 5pm news in ______. That’s where I’m from!
Me: (starting to pay attention) Aren’t you under contract?
Reporter: Yes! (squealing) It was such a great opportunity, that they (news director) let me out of my contract early!
Me: (pissed) SERIOUSLY?
Reporter: Yes! I have two weeks left here before I start in _______.
Me (standing up, very angry and yells across the newsroom) WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO DO AROUND HERE TO GET OUT OF YOUR CONTRACT?? SHOW YOUR TITS?
The Take Away: I wouldn’t recommend yelling that in a work place setting, especially if your boss is only 10 feet away. It was a tough lesson to learn and it was amazing I didn’t lose my job. So, my take away: think before you speak and yes, children, sometimes it doesn’t hurt to show a little T+A.
— CoWorker to Me
— A rejected contestant at “The Voice Auditions in LA, via my friend Bridget
- The Scene: Another producer walks up to me at my desk as I'm starting to assemble my show.
- Producer: Hey, Tara! (hands me a piece of wire copy) Check this out... best story of the day!
- Me: (reading the wire story) Is it in your show?
- Producer: (pause) No.
- The Take Away: It's not the best story of the day