Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Thank Your Local Broadcaster

Posted to OGR on 01/31/2010

Recently, I attended a surprise party for Dave Rogers, an old friend
and fellow broadcaster who was celebrating his 81st birthday. When we
worked together back in the 70s at WIS Radio and TV in Columbia, SC, he
already had nearly 30 years experience in both radio and television and
I was just getting started in my second broadcasting job. Although he
retired quite some time ago, the party was well attended by radio and
television people and I had a chance to remind myself that local
broadcasters are a special breed. These men and women work tirelessly
to bring you news and entertainment, giving up weekends and holidays
and working schedules that go around the clock. Because broadcasting is
considered a glamorous line of work, their pay is not on par with many
other professions. I left the business for that reason but broadcasting
is still close to my heart!

This weekend, there was the threat of snow and ice in my corner of the
world. That reminded me that broadcasters, both on air and behind the
scenes go out in conditions where most of us stay snug and warm in our
homes to bring you reports of conditions and to let the rest of us know
when it is safe to go back out. Yesterday another broadcaster friend in
Charlotte fell on a patch of ice. Luckily his worst injury was to get
the wind knocked out of him. When asked why he was out in all the mess,
his answer was so he could go to work to tell everyone else to stay
indoors. The guys and gals in front of the cameras in television get
recognition from the public becasue everyone knows their faces. But no
one recognizes the army of dedicated workers behind the scenes in
television or the folks on both sides of the microphone in radio for
the extra effort they perform daily in the “public service”.

Life as a broadcaster has become more difficult in this recession.
Corporate consolidation, less advertising and technical advances has
resulted in fewer and fewer of these dedicated professionals still
being gainfully employed! Layoffs are common these days and many have
left the business. If you know one of these dedicated folks, thank them
for their service; they will appreciate it.

Rick Wrigley

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