The Unexpected Ways Life Can Change

Months ago, I posted about how I’d returned to a career in television after taking an eleven-year hiatus from the broadcasting industry. Some of you may have read that post. If not, you can find it here: https://meltdownmessiah.com/2021/04/06/embracing-change/

Since then, I have been promoted into a position I’d have never imagined finding myself. I am now the News Producer for Good Morning KOTA Territory, a morning newscast that runs from 5:30 AM until 7 AM, Monday through Friday. At no point, during the ten years I spent working in television, between 2000 and 2010, had I considered the possibility that I might someday be working in the newsroom. But, here I am.

After only a week of training alongside another producer, I began my solo journey this morning, producing the first hour and a half newscast without someone there to check my work or bail me out if I hit a wall. There were some minor hiccups, but nothing that wouldn’t have happened even if there’d been someone else working alongside me. That’s the nature of live television. The important thing is to learn from those errors and to do better moving forward. It’s also important to keep in mind that there will always be mistakes that slip through, no matter how attentive or careful we are. I’m actively proud of myself for what I’m accomplishing and how I’ve managed to excel in an industry I’d stepped away from in January of 2010.

On Friday, November 12th, I was credited with writing my first story. We received breaking news in the middle of the night, that a fire had ignited in Custer State Park. One of my fellow producers sent me some details and video provided by emergency responders on the scene, and I compiled it into a story for our newscasts. The other producer tweaked things a bit when he arrived at the station a few hours later, and he posted the story online. I never expected to be credited in a byline, but it seems like life is full of unexpected things for me these days. The story is linked below:

https://www.kotatv.com/2021/11/12/firefighters-battle-15-acre-blaze-east-legion-lake/?fbclid=IwAR38UZimsaoCCqUVKgzOISwZl9lIAtsQxRu5BpOKxKrnBkrxlPyX4rzqGAQ

I’m content remaining behind the scenes. I have no interest in becoming a reporter or an anchor. I’m not comfortable in front of the camera, as you can see from the interview I did during the final week of October.

Miranda O’Bryan, the producer and anchor for KOTA Territory News @ Noon was aware that I happened to be a horror author, and she wanted to do more Halloween-themed interviews and stories leading up to the holiday. It took a little bit of coercing, and she asked really nicely, but I agreed to sit down for an interview. I almost choked at the start, visibly unable to respond to the question. Also, I have a face for radio…so I don’t anticipate we’ll be seeing me in the field or sitting at a desk anywhere down the line.

This is where I find myself now. It’s not where I’d have expected myself to be, but I feel like it’s where I should be, at least for the time being. Looking ahead, I hope–and believe–this will open new doors for me. I feel strangely optimistic about where my life is headed at present, and I feel a similarly strange sense of pride at what I’ve managed to do. I enjoy what I’m doing, I like the people I’m working with, and I feel like I’m doing something that has at least some small amount of value to it.

And…yes…this new position did come with a raise. I’m not back to the $40k a year I’d been making prior to leaving my position with GE Appliances, but I’m certainly closer than I was in my previous role within Gray Television. I’d call that a win. Sometimes we have to take a few steps back before we can find our way forward.

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