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Monday, May 23, 2016

Unfinished Monday


Regular readers know I keep a close eye on the radio industry.  Something in a broadcasting newsletter caught my eye.  There is a cluster of six stations in Binghamton, NY that has just ten full time employees, and only one is "on air."

I often repeat something a former news director taught me a long time ago.  The stations that survive and prosper are the ones that do the best job of reflecting their community.  How much of that can you do when you have ten people running six stations, and only one local air personality?

I know there are economic realities, but I'm disappointed the industry, for the most part, has given up on live and local.

I finally got around to watching the Morley Safer retirement show on "60 Minutes."  I was blown away.  Safer had the career everyone in this business wants to have.  It was the perfect mix of skills, and a place where they could best be put to use-- a TV news magazine.  And, you can't forget his reporting from Vietnam.

We in TV get so caught up in the pictures.  Yes, it's important.  But elegant writing brings the whole story together.  Elegant doesn't mean wordy and flowery.  Elegant can be simple, clean and basic-- but with a little flair.  Morley Safer had the gift, and he will be missed.

CBS This Morning pulled out some old clips of Charlie Rose, on PBS, interviewing Safer.  Morley said he has no regrets, and he loved what he did.  It was refreshing, to say the least.  I'm so tired of people in the business externally complaining about the hours and the work.  Yeah, there are some grumbles from time to time.  It's natural.  The bottom line is this can be a cool way to make a living.

It's no secret that I write many of these blog entries in advance, and I was just finishing this one when the news broke across Twitter early Thursday afternoon that Morley Safer had died.  84.  Pneumonia.  There were few pictures of the guy without a cigarette in his hand.  Please, don't smoke.