When I got into broadcast journalism more than 20 years ago, I was told-- and pretty much already knew-- that I would have to pay some dues to get where I really wanted to be in my career. I would graduate from college, likely secure my first newsroom job at a small market television station and build from there. The notion that I would walk across the stage at Southern University, receive my diploma, then walk right on to the anchor desk or the executive producer chair, or even the news director's office was a pipe dream.
Well, that was 1988. Clearly, things have changed in 2009. We have managers running news operations with no news backgrounds; we have news executive producers who have never been news producers; and, we have egomaniac "millennials," as they're called, coming out of colleges, not only thinking they should immediately get a big job, paying big money, they expect to get a big job and big money right away. The sad thing is-- they're getting them. It has become quite obvious that paying dues is a dead concept and viewers are the big losers. The journalism is not of the caliber it should be and people tune out, not in.
Jenna Bush-Hager and Steve Harvey have no backgrounds in journalism. They got their news jobs based on celebrity. Knowing several colleagues who have lost jobs at networks and television stations across the country, I don't have to think very long or very hard about how many qualified, experienced broadcast journalists are available who would love to have the NBC "Today" and ABC "Good Morning America" opportunities. All I can say is, if things continue down this horse path, it's going to be tough to avoid all the manure piles.
Oh, Good Evening!