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

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Spoiling Your Appetite

Remember when your mom told to not to fill up on a drink or snack before dinner so that you wouldn't spoil your appetite? Similar fine line with intros. We want enough interesting detail to keep people watching but you don't to end up putting everything in the intro and leaving your reporter nothing to report. On the other hand, your intro sets up the story. I remember having an argument with a reporter about him wanting to "save" a key detail for his pkg. But in my opinion, that detail needed to be in intro.

There's no "right" way to do things. I generally used to have pretty quick intros so we could get to the reporters (for pacing) and save big set-up intros for major stories-- or leads. But maybe there's an abundance of good stuff and you want to juice up your intro. I'd let the story drive it. And be sure to be clear with your reporter (early) about what you're doing. Have an open discussion and hear your reporter out. They might have something great that they couldn't use in their piece that you can toss in intro or even a headline or tease.

Show Me the Money

I just received a question from someone looking to make a move to a bigger market. The bigger market wanted her to move for less money than she was expecting-- and also take a writer position (that might turn into producer position). My advice to her-- and my advice to you when you're looking at any new position-- is hold out for what you want. Even better-- ask for what you want. Lots of times we assume that when a prospective employer says "Here's what I got for you" that's really all they got. In reality, when a company or manager wants you, they have flexibility to find extra cash and/or can shuffle things around in your favor. The number they mention can be just the first offer in a neogitiation. Remember, the only negotiating power you really have is when you're coming in to a new shop. An example from my own experience-- I moved up markets and thought I had made a good deal for myself. Then I met and became friends with the gal who did the exact same show across the street at the competition. She was making $10,000 more than me and that was before overtime (did I mention I wasn't getting overtime?). I felt like an idiot and stewed about it. But who's fault is it if you're not getting paid what you're worth?

To that end, I just read a decent TV related money book-- from the co-anchor on "Morning Joe." It's "Knowing Your Value" by Mika Brzezinski. In it, she details her job related money mistakes and offers tips from experts. An even better book is "Women Don't Ask." It's targeted to women, but it can be helpful to anyone. Basically the premise is that women, more than men, don't like to negotiation and that this cuts them out of big bucks. For a sampling of just how much you'll lose if you don't negoitate well, check out the scary sampling of stats on their website.
Here's a teaser:
"By not negotiating a first salary, an individual stands to lose more than $500,000 by age 60—and men are more than four times as likely as women to negotiate a first salary."