This week marks my one-year anniversary away from the television news business. Since the first of June 2004 I have been self-employed, operating a video production business, Rain Dog Pictures and a video ministry, The ACTS Network.
I had often dreamed of going out on my own but couldn’t muster the courage to leave teh newsroom and a steady paycheck. My last employer helped me with that. To clarify, I was offered a new 3-year contract but did not sign it. Five months later, they told me they were pulling their offer and for me to get my things.
So…here’s what I’ve learned in the last 365 days about myself, being a small business owner and local tv news:
1) The TV News industry is hurting. Viewers have left and aren’t coming back.
2) Not being “on tv” isn’t bad.
3) It takes a long time for people to notice you’re gone from tv. Every day someone asks me how I got off work today and when I tell them I no longer work for the tv station they’re surprised.
4) Health insurance for my family (my biggest concern about not working for the man) can be a better deal than the high premiums corporate America charges.
5) Technology is changing the way people get their information and news. Local and network newscasts are so 1990. Sadly, tv stations won’t accept this.
6) Having a television on in your office can decrease your productivity.
7) But it’s nice during baseball season and during the Masters golf tournament.
8) And the NCAA tournament
9) and during NASCAR qualifying.
10) and when there’s bonifide breaking news that the networks are covering
11) When there’s bad weather it’s a lot more comfortable staying inside than standing on a road telling people to stay at home.
12) Local television news during sweeps months stinks.