Thursday, June 25, 2009

This Was Once Me

And it could be you! Back in 2006, I answered an ad similar to this one on craigslist* and later became the fill-in traffic reporter at WTSP-TV. The station gets its traffic information, as well as the person who delivers it on the air, from NAVTEQ Traffic subject to the approval of the station's news director.
Reply to:
Date: 2009-06-25, 1:13PM EDT

Job Opening: On-Air TV Traffic Reporter – Part-Time
Location: Tampa

NAVTEQ Traffic is the leading provider of personalized real-time traffic information for drivers across the U.S. Currently we are seeking ambitious, intelligent TV professionals who want to join our winning team. The TV Traffic Reporters serve as an information provider and personality for local News Programming in top markets across the country.

Traffic or Weather experience is preferred, but a great personality and previous on-air experience can go a long way.


•On-Camera Reporting
•Preparation of traffic reports
•Assistance with traffic info gathering
•Develop understanding of local highways and traffic patterns
•Other related duties as required

DESIRED QUALIFICATIONS: Candidates should be comfortable in front of a camera, have good communication skills, experience with computers, ability to multitask, ability to learn quickly, and work in a deadline driven environment.

Interested candidates should respond with a traffic demo and resume ASAP.

EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY: NAVTEQ/ is an Equal Opportunity Employer. M/F/D/V.

WFLA-TV also gets its traffic from the same company. I don't know for which station the lucky contestant would ply his or her trade. Right now, both WTSP and WFLA use voice-over only talent as fill-ins when their on-camera traffic reporters are absent.

WTVT (Fox 13) does the same thing and that's what WFTS did before it hired me to back-up Meredyth Censullo. I filled in for a second time today, again without calamity, and I have a few days scheduled in July.

It's difficult getting into any rhythm when I'm on so rarely but what I lack in practice I make up with focus. When you're on every day and multiple times each one you can get sloppy. It's not intentional; you just don't pay as close attention to everything as you should. When it could be weeks, months, or — in one case at WTSP — nearly a full year before your next appearance, you tend to value the opportunity more.

Plus, you don't want to go a year replaying a blooper-reel moment in your head.

*I buried the lead. An apparently legitimate ad appearing on craigslist!

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