Monday, June 22, 2009

This Makes Four

I survived my first day of fill-in work at WFTS-TV without producing any material for the station's blooper reel. That, as always, is the primary goal. The job was substituting for traffic anchor Meredyth Censullo on the station's morning show. Long-time blog readers will think, "Hey! Didn't you fill in for her when she was on WTSP's morning news show?"

Yes, I did. And when it became official that I was going to follow her from there to WFTS, I asked her not to get a job in another city because I don't want to move.

I awoke at 3:12 this morning — twelve minutes before the time I set on the alarm and three hours after I had finally drifted off to sleep. I wasn't worried about fatigue. Adrenaline and fear, I knew, would power me through the morning.

It's always strange working with a new set of people in a different studio. Adding to the oddity is that WFTS's building resembles the one in which I worked in Cincinnati. Scripps-Howard owns both stations. That eeriness will hang over me for a while, I suspect, especially since this gig will be only a once-in-a-while job.

You always face the wondering by your new, if only occasional, colleagues. "Where did this guy come from and what are we in for?" The station had tried a weather person already on staff as a traffic fill-in. That lasted exactly one apparently disastrous day.

While I wasn't brilliant, it had to become clear to people at the station that they wouldn't have to hold their breath hoping that any traffic mishaps would happen only on the roads and not in the studio. The computer mostly behaved and I mostly knew how to operate it properly.

If you're keeping count, WFTS is the fourth station in Tampa Bay on which I've appeared (WFLA 1997-99, WTTA 2004-05, WTSP 2006-09 and now WFTS) reporting or anchoring either news, sports or traffic. It's my fourth station even if you're not keeping count. I've also done field producing and writing for WEDU-TV, Tampa's PBS affiliate and some fill-in sports talk radio hosting at WDAE-AM.

This list obviously stands as testament to my versatile skill set, immense talent and apparent inability to hold a job.

I'm scheduled to work again Thursday and then several days in July. I probably won't detail a lot of my experiences so that they don't cause me trouble like discussions of my work at WTSP did. I'm trying to work on the "inability to hold a job" bit.

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