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

Monday, March 16, 2009


A local station where I used to worked laid off a lot of good people last week. Layoffs are happening all over. If you're fortunate enough to have a job, it might make some sense to plan for the worst, just in case. I don't mean to be gloomy, but I think we'd all be in a better position to take a layoff if we take a couple precautions. Even in a great economy, good people get laid off or fired in newsrooms for no other reason than a new management team came in and wants to change things up.

My advice?

1. Always have a resume ready.
Keep an updated one in an online email account or somewhere where you can get to it easily.

2. Always have a tape or two handy.
As a producer, you might want to consider recording your shows nightly and then recycle them weekly. My friends last week were escorted from the building the day the were laid off. If you have a stack of recent tapes handy, you don't have to scramble about what to send out. Also, you should be recording show tapes regularly anyway for self-critique.

3. Have a cushion.
Nobody has extra cash, but now, more than ever, pay yourself first. Financial experts say have three months saved. That may seem unreasonable, but even a month helps. Take 5-10% off the top of your check and have it direct deposited somewhere (ING Direct has good rates and it's all online). If the worst does happen, you'll have a little cushion.

4. Network now.
Join Linked In if you haven't already and other social network sites like Facebook. Any way you can stay connected to former coworkers and friends is good. If you hear of openings, send them to people you know. Hopefully they will send them your way as well. Go to seminars like those sponsored by RTNDF, IRE and Poynter when you can to meet people and keep your skills sharp.

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