One gratifying thing. The studio crew was nervous when I came in for Call for Help. They knew today was the big day. Someone asked me how it went and I said, I guess I’ll stick around and a big cheer went up. That was really nice.
The CFH studio crew consists of the four camera operators (Gabe, Dave, Simon, Aaron, and sometimes Matt), the prompter operator (Javi usually, sometimes Conchita), and Greg the floor director. Everyone else is in the control room, invisible and except for occasional traffic on my ear piece, unheard. So it’s really the crew that’s the “audience” for the show. You develop a real rapport with them after a while, and I guess I really play to them. When they laugh I know it’s going over. (Can you hear them laugh on the show? Probably not most of the time.) That cheer made my day.
Uh oh. I’ve been outed. Looks like people are reading this. I guess I’ll have to watch what I say from now on. Not.
I’m packing up the whole family this AM for a trip to the snow. The one thing I miss about living in Calif is snow – I grew up in Providence – but at least we’re only a few hours from the mountains. We take the kids up each winter so that they have some little experience of what that white stuff is they read about in books. Unfortunately they’ll never know the joy of a school snow day.
I’m not a skier but Jennifer is, and the kids will get their first lessons this weekend. I’m going to go tubing then be a lodge bunny. I’m taking the computer but I don’t think I’ll have internet access, so no blog until Monday night when we get back.
Note: the post time is not a typo. I’m up late (or early I guess) writing up the notes from the negotiation to send to Greg. Next step is a deal memo, then the lawyers nitpick the contract for a few weeks. I’m sure we’ll have a deal by April 1 – that’s when the old one runs out. Even if we don’t my new duties will start then.
There will be some changes to my schedule as part of the whole channel redesign. I can’t really talk about them – they’re not public knowledge yet – but it will all happen with the launch of TechLive on April 2. I will be on the air more, not less (a lot more, 12-15 hours a week instead of 8, and I’ll be back to five days a week), and doing some different stuff, too. I’m really looking forward to it. Some of the changes are painful, as well – no more solo stuff, for instance. But that’s how change is. I’ll talk more about it once it happens. And since I don’t think anyone from TechTV reads this, I promise to be candid!
BTW the TechLive set is coming along. You’re not going to believe it. It’s amazing! It’s a whole new world.
Whew. What a relief. After a marathon 32 minute negotiation session Greg and I were able to come to a tentative agreement for a new contract. There are still some details to be worked out but it looks like you’ll be stuck with me for another two years.
Finished listening to Ken Auletta’s “World War 3.0: Microsoft and Its Enemies” on the way in this morning. Excellent (altho anti-Microsoft biased) description of the DOJ vs MS trial. It ends before the current appeals begin, but it’s a very valuable description of the legal issues involved. Besides you gotta love a book that uses the term “colateral estoppel” in a sentence. Highly recommended.
OK it’s off to the gym. Gotta work out those tensions before I head to work. My new daily Q&A at Access Magazine should be appearing today. They sent an excellent photog, Christopher Springmann to take some pix for me for the web page and they’re the best shots I’ve ever had taken. Actually makes me look half human. The picture at the top of this page is from that session, as is the one on my resume. There are dozens more which will appear on the Access web site and mine over time. Thanks, Chris!!!
Good morning! Another sleepless night. I wonder if things would be different if I had a lawyer or agent negotiating for me. Probably not – I like to be in direct control. I tried a lawyer last year and after spending nearly $5000 had nothing to show for it.
I know this sounds Pollyanna-ish but my biggest concern is protecting my viewers in the “new” TechTV. I don’t want production razzle-dazzle to overshadow the content. I feel it is already, to some degree. It’s selfish, really. I know better than to believe they watch because of my raffish wit and dashing good looks. It’s the content, stupid! Without that it’s just another cnet central. No one will watch that and I don’t want to be a part of it. Sometimes, I just wonder if managment can tell the difference.
Home again. We kinda had a train wreck on the screen savers tonight. Nothing worked right.
After the show I found Mac RAM for a lot cheaper at TransInternational. 256 MB for $119. That’s where I got the RAM for my Powerbook and it works great.
I’m ready for bed. Need to help Abby with her homework first: we have to find Polaris, the Big Dipper, and the Lil Dipper. I’m sure they’re somewhere out there!
Good news. I meet with our VP Programming, Greg Drebin, tomorrow to discuss the contract. My deal ends April 1 and I’m still waiting for an offer. Cross your fingers for me!
No Call for Help today. The entire CFH staff has been closeted in training sessions for our new TV software. Most TV stations use software for script writing that automatically puts the scripts in teleprompters, creates that text at the bottom of the screen (called chyrons or cgs), creates a timed two page summary of the show (called a rundown) and so on. Basys is the most commonly used software, but we’ve been suffering with something called NewStar for three years. Like most specialized software it’s nowhere near as usable and logical as mainstream software. And it’s just plain buggy. The entire channel is switching to iNews, a program based on Basys. It’s one of the much needed upgrades being installed for the April 2 launch of TechLive (more about that later).
Meanwhile I will be on the Call for Help set as soon as Becky and Jim get off it. They’re doing the live earthquake coverage. I have to tape a Netcam video for affiliates with Robin. I’ll keep the spycam on if the director lets me! And, of course, there will be a full Screen Savers tonight with more of the Ultimate Gaming Machine!
Lunch. Hah. I’m on a diet so it’s a cup of instant soup (McDougall Tortilla) and a bag of pretzels. Blah!
Hey this meeting is ending!!! Yay! Lunch.