Tuesday, April 21, 2009


My web stats counter tells me that my web site and this blog have seen many more visitors since my temporary run as WTSP's morning traffic anchor ended last week.

Maybe someone was watching after all. Who knew?

When I got a call last August asking me to fill in "until further notice," I had no idea that the gig would last as long as it did. Last week I told the news director, "I know you didn't mean to give me eight months of work but I appreciate it anyway."

And I do. I never had any illusions that I was going to get the job permanently. No one led me on. I showed up, did my job, and went home. They paid in U.S. dollars every two weeks. I had a great time and I think the people at the station -- both on the air and off -- appreciated me. Some of them even still like me.

I would have liked it better if they could have done the morning show later in the day but, hey, you can't have everything. Plus, I had the rest of the day free to pursue other freelance work, which I should have done more industriously.

I have to endure the inhuman early A.M. alarm clock setting for a while longer to help the new traffic anchor get up to speed. What's funny about that is that I'm not a permanent employee of traffic.com, which provides the traffic information, as well as the person who delivers it on the air, to the station.

People at the station would ask me questions about things going on at traffic.com and I'd shrug my shoulders and day, "I don't know." I've been to its Tampa operations center four times. Once for my interview, once for a mandatory meeting and two other times to drop off paperwork.

I'm just a fill-in!

Although the new hire, Danielle, got training from both the head of traffic.com's television division and someone in the Tampa ops center, much of it has been left to me. Danielle calls me her coach.

I'm just a fill-in!

But I'll do what I can.

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