Getting settled at work

Following up on yesterday’s post, my computer is not hooked up. I thought it would be, but the movers kept bringing in more and more boxes, so it may be a little while. No big deal. It’s good to be using the laptop on a desk, rather than the floor or a box. The movers are done, and it’s up to Garry and me to unpack.WCYB & wcyb.com logos

Work has been incredible! It feels so good to be sitting down, looking at rundowns, scripts, and wire copy. Eight years away was too long. Some of you have compared going back to news like riding a bike, or a fish going back to water. Those are good analogies.

My first few days were not very productive. I had to start gathering usernames and passwords (or my predecessor’s) for more than a dozen programming websites. That took a lot of time and is still not complete. I’m going to spend awhile learning how to use them and it’ll be a long time before I can use them without looking at notes. Working without them was like working with my hands tied behind my back. I couldn’t do much. So I spent a lot of time with a checklist, trying to sign on. My only noticeable work, at least as far as the public was concerned, was posting a few things on Facebook to get people to look at the real news page on wcyb.com.

Bonten's Tri-Cities stations, from the signature below my work email
Bonten’s Tri-Cities stations, from the signature below my work email

Finally, on Wednesday, I got lessons on how to post stories on the website, and also to the station’s Facebook and Twitter pages (and the Fox station‘s) at the same time. (I hope you “like” and “follow” them all! The boss and I want to see results: more page hits, likes, shares, etc.) I still have to get into Google+ and CW on Facebook.2015-03-14 lt gov

I also had to start up a new Facebook page to administer the station’s. I’m shocked at how many people, especially locals I don’t know, have found it. And somehow, in the midst of all this, Tennessee‘s lieutenant governor Ron Ramsey found me on Twitter and is now a follower! (Thank you, Your Honor.)

I’m also getting used to spending time at work. I don’t like getting up in the morning, especially when it’s cold (for me, still adjusting). I didn’t have an alarm waking me up for so long. Also, no more watching Days of our Lives or General Hospital, but I’m over them. Really. When I’m at work, I work.

at my desk on my 1st day
at my desk on my 1st day

And an interesting thing about the newsroom: there are no TV sets at our desks! Just a few silent ones around the assignment desk, which is in back of me. They don’t even show the ABC affiliate because they just started news back up a few years ago and their ratings must be so lousy. They do provide everyone two large monitors for the computers. I listen to the live streaming during newscasts.

This station is smaller than what I’ve been used to, and that’s a good thing. Not as many people to meet and have trouble remembering. I’m not good at that. In the beginning of the school year, it took more than a week to learn my students. Then, they changed clothes or the weekend came, and I forgot.

bonten station group
the Bonten station group

As digital manager, I have to be on weekly conference calls with my four Bonten Media counterparts. Turns out, I’m supposed to “host” this Tuesday’s by writing up the agenda. Teaching folks know I was an expert on that but in that field, I already knew what I was doing! Anyway, turns out, the corporate senior VP of digital media was laid off on Friday. That’s a shame. I interviewed with her on the phone from New York. She seemed nice, the others liked her, and I think she was supposed to be in town next month to meet in person. Instead, we’ll have the corporate news person doing Tuesday’s call and news directors will also take part, so I’m off the hook as host, at least for five weeks. (Take that, Willy in Montana!)

The program that puts stories on the website, Internet Broadcasting, keeps logging me off. Posting video is much, much worse. Seems everyone at the station has trouble. I actually succeeded in posting my first video clip before leaving on Friday. The boss likes WordPress better. He used it at his old station. Maybe we can switch. I learned WordPress for this blog and talks with four other stations that use it, mostly Tribune and Media General.

I know a lot of the basics, but getting video will be tough. First, there are no tapes. That was starting to change when I left the business. Now, it’s a matter of going to any edit bay and finding it on a computer system I know nothing about. It seems everybody knows how to edit and use those special computers in the edit bays. I guess the older folks learned on the job, and I will have to also. I can’t imagine the younger people learning to use the equipment in college. Back when I was in school, we used equipment that was obsolete by the time we graduated. At least my friendly colleagues help. They can instantly put still pics and video clips in a file which I can get on my desk computer. Doing that on my own is going to take some time but apparently, video (and the ads that go before) is where it’s at.
2015-03-10 lenny ann curry dateline
selfies with two personalities…
2015-03-10 lenny brian williams nightly news
…no longer on our air (for the moment)

I got a company email address and a cell phone for work calls and texts, but am still waiting for a desk phone. I’ll also be able to work at home (with emailed pictures and video clips) once my real computer is hooked up.

And soon, a little more excitement would help. I don’t remember a breaking story or even one that has been developing locally all week. But I have to get my act together first. Then kick butt.

Starting to write about the local market is bringing today’s post to a close. More on my early experiences in Bristol and the Tri-Cities tomorrow.

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