These posts are my thoughts on this world of ours, whatever I think about at a particular moment, from near and far. We may agree or disagree, or change each others’ minds. Your best chance at that is a comment in the box on the bottom of every post, and your best chance not to miss anything is to subscribe and get an email every time I post (on the bottom of every page).
I retagged this blog, “These are the times to remember” (Billy Joel lyrics pluralized), realizing that most of what I write is an important memory on my mind, and maybe yours, that shouldn’t be forgotten. Here, we have a place and your two cents in the comments can go a long way. Posts on Facebook, Twittter, LinkedIn, Google+ and a few more social media sites that post automatically are just ways to let non-subscribers know there’s something new.
I’ve been an award-winning TV/Web news producer up and down the east coast, and also an elementary school teacher. Now, I’m ready to take the next exciting new step in my long track record of researching, writing detailed facts and informing others about important issues.
I spent more than ten years successfully selling TV newscasts and web articles to the public, and eight more selling lessons to their kids.
As a producer at KYW-Philadelphia, WCAU-Philadelphia, WFSB-Connecticut and WSVN-Miami, I put together newscasts covering the most important stories of the day. I led teams collaborating on all the necessary jobs, and eventually discussing last-minute changes based on video, live shot, writing and other production needs.
I’ve covered the O.J. Simpson trial, the Miami ValuJet crash, Elian Gonzalez, President Clinton’s impeachment, JFK Jr.’s deadly crash, 9/11, a lot of elections, and many infamous hurricanes.
Family brought me back to Florida. I bought a condo on South Beach, and learned to produce websites for CBS’ WFOR-Miami and its then-sister stations, WBFS-Miami and WTVX-West Palm Beach.
That was precisely before brushes and some hits from storms like Charley, Frances, Ivan and Jeanne (2004), and Dennis, Emily, Katrina, Ophelia, Rita and Wilma (2005, the most active Atlantic hurricane season in recorded history). That season actually ended in January 2006 and the final six storms had the names of Greek letters — Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, Epsilon and Zeta — because the original list of names ran out! Our website broke records as people around the world watched our newscasts’ (actually, our around the clock, 24/7 coverage) live stream.
I was lucky, enjoying hard work at all hours (even one Yom Kippur afternoon, without eating, with the possibility my information could potentially save a life) and suffering no more damage than a cracked windshield from a tree branch at the station.
Then, I reinvented myself and used news producing skills to teach 1st, 2nd and 3rd grade elementary school classes, and perform extracurricular responsibilities like the school’s website for eight years. I’m proud of that but won’t do it again.
I missed the news writing and took a Digital Media Manager opportunity at WCYB in a foreign culture — the Tri-Cities of Tennessee and Virginia, “not the Bible Belt but the buckle” — where the experience and mountain scenes were great but everything else seemed so small and spread out.
I worked on the web with Lakana and WordPress CMSs, publishing articles and video, and publicizing them on social media sites including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. In fact, I decided to start this blog using WordPress.
That was when I realized how much newsgathering technology had changed since my last TV job. Also, the people coming out of college to be producers, reporters, photographers and editors (not to mention multimedia journalists, or MMJs, who drive out and do the last three, all by themselves!) were trained in everything in school AND were young enough to be my kids! Luckily, experience counts for something, so we were able to complement each other.
It was probably the best job — being a department of one within the newsroom, and meeting with the other department heads including general manager daily — but Philadelphia called and I thought long, hard and returned.
I produced the website and Facebook pages at Fox’s WTXF for 15 months and eight days (May 2, 2016 through Aug. 10, 2017, but who’s counting?).
Despite that statement, I was a major part of the team that brought WTXF-Fox 29 closer to beating the highest rated station in the country (WPVI-6ABC) on social media. That was until my departure, halfway through the 3rd quarter of 2017. This is the evidence. Articles show performance in the top 5 markets. Just scroll down to Philadelphia, market #4. Then, I share commentary in the links after the 1st quarter of 2018.
- Better overall 2017-18 station share rankings vs. powerhouse WPVI while I worked at WTXF (source: ShareRocket):
1st quarter, 2017: WPVI 49.08, WTXF 33.48;
2nd quarter: WPVI 45.89, WTXF 38.57;
3rd quarter: WPVI 43.5, WTXF 39.09 (I worked half);
4th quarter: WPVI 44.01, WTXF 33.48 (noticeable decline without me);
1st quarter, 2018: WPVI 46.86, WTXF 30.77 (Fox 29 underperformed and its market share dropped).
- Better overall 2017-18 station engagement numbers vs. powerhouse WPVI while I worked at WTXF (source: ShareRocket):
1st quarter, 2017: WPVI 9.918 mil., WTXF 6.716 mil.;
2nd quarter: WPVI 7.703 mil., WTXF 6.534 mil.;
3rd quarter: WPVI 7.735 mil., WTXF 7.046 mil. (I worked half);
4th quarter: WPVI 7.848 mil., WTXF 5.957 mil. (noticeable decline without me);
1st quarter, 2018: WPVI 11.333 mil., WTXF 7.321 mil. (Fox 29 underperformed and its market share dropped).
Three other successes: I met several nice people, worked with some I’d worked with before, and learned a lot about the industry but also what large corporations had become, since I hadn’t worked for one in many years.
Unfortunately, I had to write too many over-the-top articles on shootings, crashes and fires on a daily basis — but I’m happy the job got me back to the place I consider home.
Recently, I’ve been writing a lot for this blog and spending a lot of time studying finance.
There has to be a way to help middle-class people who have no idea how hard retirement will be — or whether it’ll be possible — because they haven’t saved, and aren’t protected from medical bills or the loss of a relative. I want to help people here make the most of their accounts, protect their assets and replace Philadelphia as the poorest big city in the U.S. It’s not the sexy, 20-second, or even two-minute story you’ll watch on the news.
Here, on cohenconnect.com, see some of my most recent work — what I choose to read and write about, uncensored — and relive experiences from over the past few decades.
Please, if you like what you read, subscribe to this blog and get an email whenever I publish.
You can also read what I’ve been thinking about on my Twitter feed, @feedbaylenny. Click the link or see it on the side or below blog posts, depending on whether you’re using a desktop, tablet or phone.
Saving the best for last: Besides work, I’m uncle to Preston, Logan, Betzalel, Noam and Tali; and dad to cats Casey and Frisky.
Enjoy, and feel free to comment on relevant topics. There are opportunities below each post.