Tales of my TV News Journey: Part 3 of 3

Hitting the Big Time!

I loved working at a ski resort!   Free skiing!  And!  As I was physically working in the cold all day, I could eat massive amounts of food, while my extra pounds just melted off.  I also saw Tony Danza skiing once.  I know your jealous.

Still, I kept applying for broadcasting jobs.  Then it happened!   I got a position as a morning and noon news anchor!!!  It was in small-time Idaho Falls, but I wasn’t going to be picky.

My new boss told me, “See this large box.  It’s filled with resume tapes of people who want this job.  (It was.) There are many more experienced people applying for this job.  You are not qualified for this position, but, I had a good feeling about you.” No pressure.

Still, for someone who used to be terrified!!! of public speaking this was truly scary.  I did do some anchoring in college (also scary), but that was…college.  Now, this was REAL.

I was given a makeover.  They cut my hair and gave me a lovely football helmet look.  Then, they had the nerve to pluck my enormous eyebrows.   Since my salary was so meager (less than the ski resort) they also gave me an itty-bitty clothing allowance, which I never used.

The coloring in this photo didn’t transfer well, but here I am, sporting a lovely news anchor vampire look.

Surprisingly, on camera I wasn’t nervous.  It seemed like I was only talking to a camera and a few people in the studio, rather than the ten people who were actually watching.

I had always thought it would be so fun to get recognized and it began, almost as soon as I started.  I would be at the bank, the store, walking down the street, and people would come up to me, sometimes even saying nice things.  Exciting right?  Only it wasn’t.   I felt awkward.

At the news station I was in my comfort zone.  I befriended all of the people I was working with.  My co-anchor was like a big teasing brother.

And, I thought I was doing a decent job.  I also often ended up helping to produce the show, as my producer, who I adored, had a bit of a drug problem.  Our minuscule ratings were even up!

One night,  there was a highly unusual weather situation in Idaho Falls.  A bad storm hit and caused some damage, maybe from a micro-burst.  I can’t remember.  It was a big story for the local news!  My power went out and I had no idea about any damage.  I went to bed early so I could still get up at my normal 2 am hour.

When I went into work, my producer hadn’t made it to work again.  I would be producing and anchoring for the day.

The news director came in later and started just yelling at me.  “Why didn’t you come in!  No one came in!  Didn’t you know we needed help covering stories last night!”  I should have said, “My power was out.  I didn’t know what happened.  You should have called me.”

BUT, I wasn’t so skilled at confrontations back then.  I took the berating and didn’t say a word.  I would like to shake my old self.  “Stand up for yourself!”  But I digress.

Except for that day, I really had a blast in my news job, but it wasn’t to last.  After about six months, I was blindsided!

New management took over our parent company and I was called in to meet with them.  They were changing things up, getting rid of people–including me!  There was a six month out in my contract, so I didn’t technically get fired, but really, I did.

My co-anchor would be leaving too.  His contract was up in just a couple of months and they weren’t renewing.   My occasionally high producer kept her job.

Their supposed reasoning behind the decision was very lengthy and confusing.  It had to do with a competing station. They, of course, topped it off by mentioning the time I didn’t come in during the storm.  Again, I said nothing!

I admit, I did flub my words daily a bit, and there was also that day where I accidentally burst out laughing on-air…and couldn’t stop, but they didn’t bring it up.

I was later informally asked if I would like to move to weekend anchor or producer.  I preferred to leave.

I was most upset because there weren’t other job options for me near Idaho Falls.  I knew I would have to move, away from the guy I was dating.

We were not a good match, but I was so attached.  I couldn’t break it off while I lived there.  Thankfully, he wasn’t ready to propose.

I moved back, to a different area of Salt Lake, and met my wonderfully sweet, handsome, and cheesycharming husband at a church activity just a couple days later.

Sure, he completely snubbed me at our first meeting and dated my best friend before me, but, that’s a story for another day.

I’m so grateful I lost my anchor job.

Thus ended my TV news journey.  I went on to sell and write radio commercials, became a college recruiter, and now I have a most challenging, but rewarding career as a stay-at-home mom.

Some days I think my kids would like to fire me, but they are forever stuck.  Haha!

I know people don’t get jobs and are fired from jobs and there isn’t a seemingly good reason.  Life doesn’t always take a turn out for the better, but I still can’t discount the experiences I’ve had.   I am grateful for them.

Grateful Mom Goal:  Try to see the big picture.  

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