Welcome to the PIT List!

I'm a network field producer who also worked in local tv as a line producer and field producer. Over the years, I have had the great fortune to work with super people. Now I'd like to pass along what I know and rant a tad.

"Dear Maggie..." pitlist@gmail.com
I check it sporadically, but I love answering emails, so if you have an issue or difficult person you need help with, don't hesitate to shoot it my way.

Maggie L

Maggie L
One of the rare times I'm in the office

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Producers: Grow your Own!

Writers are the great neglected workhorses of the newsroom. They work like dogs, have their stuff changed by producers, then EPs, then anchors-- and for what? Usually less than what they could make waiting tables. But among your writers could be the next great producer! How can you help? For starters, try explaining why you blew out their script. I know, difficult to do for the average overworked producer. It's much easier to change a script than to explain to a writer what you changed or even to have them rewrite it. But here's a compromise. Once a week, print out their original script. Then print out your final. Save both and talk to them at the end of the day or the first five or ten minutes of the next. Take time to show them what you changed and why. Also point out what they do great.

Do you even know what your writer wants to be? Sure, lots want to be reporters, but there might even be a budding producer in there. A former boss of mine said something like, it's easier to promote you if you can find your own replacement. Grow your replacement. If you have a writer who wants to produce, and you have confidence in them, give them more responsibility and talk them up to the powers that be. If you're training them to take your show, have them shadow you one day, then let them do it themselves the next, with you there waiting in the wings, just in case.

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