Here’s a little something for the weekend. I don’t know that I’ll be blogging much (I’m sure some of you are glad to hear that).
But watching “Beauty and the Geek” (I’m a big fan) the other night made me think of a former co-anchor.
It was years ago in another market. The anchor, let’s call her Teri, was hired just before the February book. I remember the promos the station did in trying to build up interest. One had me, the other male anchor, the weather anchor and the sports anchor (all guys) sitting around talking about the new female anchor. It was cheesy. One of us would say “I hear Teri went to Duke”, the other would say “I hear she was on the swim team”, and the other would say “I heard she even made the Olympic swim team in college”.
Viewers were eager to see her debut the first night of the book. I can only imagine what they thought.
I don’t know that she ever got through a news block without stumbling all over a story. She was attractive, but that’s about as much as she brought to the newsroom.
She was late every day. Not 15 minutes, but 2 hours. Every day. The other male anchor sat on the desk at 6 and reported in the morning. I reported in the afternoon and sat on the desk at 10. Her job was to do 2 live promos during the afternoon. She was never in the newsroom when it was time.
She walked in at around 4:30 and disappeared into the makeup room. She walked out just in time to head for the set at 6. I never knew her to write one story or even read a script before she hit the air. After a week of stumbling through newscasts she complained that she wasn’t used to sitting on the left side of the desk. The news director (hoping to salvage his hire) switched the seating arrangements on the desk. That wasn’t popular with the director and chyron operator.
Once, and this is no exaggeration, she walked to the desk to find her scripts turned upside down. “THEY’RE BLANK! MY SCRIPTS ARE BLANK! SOMEBODY HELP! THERE’S NOTHING ON MY SCRIPTS!!!!! I reached over and turned them over for her, saving the day.
One night, we had a story about Joe Clark, the tough educator who wrote the book on school discipline called “Lean On Me”. Clark was in town and we had a vo/sot on his visit. “Teri” read the intro but ad-libbed the name of the popular book and movie to say “Lean In Me.” She said it at least twice. During the sot I thought I’d help and said “the script is correct, it’s Lean On Me”. She said “I thought it had to be a typo, I’ve never heard the phrase Lean On Me”.
After the 6 she disappeared again until around 8:30. When she walked back in the door after dinner she retired to an office in the sales department to talk on the phone (long distance) with her boyfriend.
There were other stories. Once she was sent to cover the arrest of a woman who had hit her son’s school principal. The sheriff agreed to let the stations get video of her provided they did not ask her any questions. A reporter from another station handed the suspect a business card with a note to call him when she was released. Our anchor handed her a note asking to call her from jail. She left the station number *19 for cingular wireless customers.
The day the book ended, so did her career with the station. We came in the following day to find her desk cleared out. “She no longer works here” was the only thing ever said to anyone.
For years I could not find out what happened to this anchor. No one I knew ever heard where she went or what happened. Recently though I was curious and I guess you could say I ‘googled her’. I found her working in a top 25 market in the east. She’s reporting and filling in on the anchor desk.
She seems to be doing well.
I hope they put her scripts face up.