LIFE IN THE SMALL MARKET
Over the years one thing has become very clear to me about
getting into this business -- IT AIN'T EASY! And, on top of
that, there doesn't seem to be just one way to do it. Oh sure,
everyone will tell you that you have to go to a small market
and work your way up. That's true. But, unless your from a
smaller community, a lot of people worry about life in the
small market. For some there's a culture shock especially
if they come from a big place like New York, LA, Chicago,
San Francisco, Dallas or whatever, but that's just the beginning...there's
the new job -- the stress of proving yourself, of learning
the politics of a newsroom and beginning to fulfill that dream
of being in the biz.
With that in mind, it struck me that there's really no place
to go to read articles about what life is like in smaller
markets from those who are living that life. So, I figured,
HalEisner.com is the place for such a thing. Californians
Kathleen Mitts from KMIR in Palm Desert, Daniela Lopez &
Karen Todd from KERO in Bakersfield and Natalie Tejeda from
KYMA in Yuma, Arizona have agreed to get the ball rolling
and contribute to this regular series of articles. I'd like
to invite any of you working "on camera," behind
it or "behind the scenes" to join in. You can send
your articles and a photo (jpg) of yourself to Hal@HalEisner.com
or just send me a note to the same address if you have any
Now, I invite you to take a moment and share the thoughts
of Reporter Kathleen Mitts on LIFE
IN THE SMALL MARKET!
September 8th, 2002
This week we've prepared a special edition of this website.
As broadcasters September 11th affected us in many ways. In
this week's edition you'll find as many ways as you'll find
contributors from across the country. My thanks to those who
shared their thoughts.
THE APTRA PARTY
August 5th, 2002
APTRA PARTY NOTE FROM HAL:
I had hoped to have more for you this week on prices for APTRA's
statewide holiday party, but, I'm still working out some of
Specifically, I'm working on gathering information about lodging
Universal Theme Park tickets for those of you going to the
California party who want to make a weekend of it. So, please
I'll have an article for you on that and party pricing next
week. In the
meantime if you haven't read about the party.....please do!
HAVING TROUBLE MAKING A RESUME TAPE?
July 15th, 2002
you're not familiar with it, APTRA Academy -- a one of a kind
boot camp for aspiring broadcasters -- might be your ticket!
The Academy brings together anchors, reporters, photographers,
editors, news directors, producers, writers, graphic artists
and so on from Los Angeles and other markets. This year there
are over dozen pros who will serve as mentors for a limited
number of students -- aspiring anchors and reporters in both
radio and TV! At the camp, held at Pepperdine University's
Cottontail Ranch in Malibu, California. The pros simulate
a major news story like a wildfire or an earthquake.
It's enhanced by actors portraying victims and real Public
Information Officers from LA Area Fire and Police Departments
holding fake news conferences. By the end of the 2 day hands-on
workshop students walk away with tapes of their work. It's
totally non-profit! For $300 not only do you get to rub elbows
with the pros, but your meals and cabin lodging are also included.
it really is a one-of-a-kind event. Registration is now underway.
There are still some spaces left. Ever since it's inception,
graphic artist Nancy LeMay has graciously created new logos
for APTRA Academy. She's done it EVERY YEAR! This year is
no exception. This week -- Nancy unveils THE NEW LOOK! Thanks
Nancy! If you're interested in APTRA Academy or knows someone
who might be there's lots of information on this site and
On the homepage of
this site under EVENTS & ANNOUNCEMENTS you can link to registration
materials and a list of the over dozens of pros serving as
mentors this year. Go to the tool bar on the upper right of
the homepage, click HAL'S PROJECTS and you'll find links that
will take you to stories and pictures from past APTRA
Academy workshops. You'll even find a 20 minute documentary
from the first APTRA Academy in 2000. The dates for this year's
Academy are October 5th and 6th. If you have any questions
please feel free to drop me a note at email@example.com.
"Q" THE VIDEO:
week we're starting something new! Quyen Chung is a student
at Cal State Fullerton, interns at KTTV in Los Angeles, reports
on Cable Channel 3 in Garden Grove and now is the host of
her own new feature here on HalEisner.com called "Q" THE VIDEO.
Occasionally she'll have her own reports. For instance, she'll
have one next week from the Academy of Television Arts and
Sciences on the 54th Annual Los Angeles Area Emmy Awards.
Sometimes she'll have cool stories from pros around the country.
Most of the time, though, "Q" THE VIDEO will be a showcase
for aspiring broadcasters; college students sharing stories
they've produced for their university TV shows. Ever since
starting this site, I've thought how great it would be to
have such place for students to show their stuff. Thanks to
Quyen -- it's happening!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO US!!!!
May 13, 2002
Last Friday HalEisner.com turned one year old! For me, that's
a pretty big
Since our launch May 10th, 2001 we've had over 15,000 unique
tracker shows that besides nationwide hits from dot-coms,
nets, orgs, edus,
government and military sites, we've also gotten visits from
people in the
United Kingdom, Canada, Mexico, Germany, Australia, Italy,
Japan, Austria, Singapore, the Netherlands, Argentina, Switzerland,
Dominican Republic, South Africa, Sweden and Pakistan. It's
been a great
first year and I have lots of people to thank!
First and foremost, thanks to my webmaster Jocelyne Rohrback!
From the very
beginning, her design concepts and creativity have been a
behind this site. She's the best!
I want to thank all of those who have contributed articles
and information to
the site over the past year. It's a huge list of people so,
please forgive me
for not mentioning each one individually but, I do want to
who have contributed more than once like Rachel Ambrose, Bruce
Buttitta, Renee Groese, Nancy LeMay, Phil Shuman, Michael
Evans, Steve Parker, Veronica Villafane, Natalie Tejeda, Michael
I very much appreciate the efforts of Tom Mackel, who helped
us with our
initial webserver needs, and is still a good friend and big
Dispoto, whose still very supportive, was a big help early
on in developing
strategies. Gary Brainard, who helped with some of our photographic
has been another very supportive friend. My thanks to PRNewswire
the first microsite of it's kind on HalEisner.com providing
a terrific press
A VERY SPECIAL THANKS to Jon Beaupré, Michael Bennett,
Susan Geary, Rebecca
Coates Nee, Lance Orozco and Mat Tombers for their weekly
dedication to writing about things to help and inform all
of us in this
business and those who want to be a part of it!
From the very first edition of this website, in which KCBS-TV's
wrote about "Things
that bug me" and the LAPD's
Sgt. John Pasquariello talked
about the need for the police and press to get along, to this
-- HalEisner.com continues to be a great adventure!
THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!
WELCOME SUSAN GEARY!
I first met Susan Geary in Littleton, Colorado three years
ago this past Saturday -- April 20th, 1999 -- the day I was
sent to cover the Columbine shootings. As a regional manager
for CONUS, she was there helping to coordinate satellite feeds
-- on that story a tricky job at best! We ended up working
together because my station, KCOP, was a CONUS station at
the time. Since then Susan has made a remarkable career change
moving into the area of resume preparation and is particularly
savvy with news people because of her news background. Susan
has agreed to come on board HalEisner.com as a weekly columnist
and we're really glad to have her. Not only will she be giving
tips on everything from resume preparation to such things
as cover letters and job interviews, she also be glad to answer
your questions whether you're an aspiring broadcaster or a
veteran trying to organize your many career experiences onto
a single sheet of paper! So, join me in welcoming Susan Geary
and feel free to write her with specific questions or article
ideas you'd like to see her explore. Her contact information
will be at the end of her column each week.
March 25th, 2002
The idea behind our REPORTERS TOOLBOX is to organize as many
links as possible that will help each and every one of us
in the News Biz with our research. We think PR Newswire will
do just that. Say you're working on a story about Enron, Mariah
Carey, or Chandra Levy, you're likely to find a press release
in PRN on those subjects and thousands more. Say you just
want to catch up on the latest in Television Duopolies or
what's happening in, for instance, the Entertainment, Film,
Technology or Travel fields -- there are more press releases
than you could possibly begin to read. I hope this is a helpful
tool for all of us. Feel
free to let me know what you think of PRN's new microsite
here for the latest from PRNewswire
APTRA Academy on the horizon
March 11th, 2002
I want to thank all of those who are volunteering their time
to be mentors at the 2002
APTRA Academy October 5th and 6th in Malibu. They are
giving of themselves so those who want to be broadcasters
can learn from people who do this stuff for a living every
day! My hat is off to each and every one of them!!! They are
PROS! Meanwhile, each week we'll update the MENTORS
LIST. There will be additions and, in some cases where
those who have committed suddenly have a conflict, there will
also be deletions. So, check the list regularly to see what
is clearly THE "A" TEAM!!! And, don't forget registration
for the Academy is NOW
January 7th, 2002
Last year we introduced a pretty neat page on this site called
YOUR BEST SHOTS. The idea is pretty simple really. A lot of
you carry still cameras around with you. If you happen to
snap a great shot, share it with us. In 2001, we got some
pretty good ones from several photogs in LA. Take
a look and you'll see what I mean. In 2002, it would be
fun to see that page expand. They don't necessarily have to
be pictures you've shot at the scene of a story, although
as you'll see from the ones currently posted, those are pretty
interesting. Just email a JPEG of your photo. Tell us who
you are, what you do, what city you're in and write up a little
caption to go along with YOUR
Happy Anniversary to US!
November 26th, 2001
As all of us celebrated Thanksgiving last Thursday, there
was another reason to celebrate. It was the 6 month anniversary
of this website. We kicked it off back on May 22nd and since
then have had over 7000 unique hits and visits from people
in countries all over the globe. We've been recognized by
Yahoo/Google and other search engines. We are linked on scores
of terrific sites. We've won several significant design &
content awards. So, for me, this Thanksgiving I had reason
for a different kind of thanks. Thanks to all of the people
who have appeared on this site and continue to contribute
terrific articles each week! Thanks to our regular weekly
contributors Jon Beaupré, Michael Bennett, Rebecca
Coates Nee and Lance Orozco for taking time out of their lives
every 7 days to share some of their knowledge with the rest
of us! Special thanks to my webmaster Jocelyne Rohrback for
her terrific work on HalEisner.com. And, thanks to all of
you for taking a moment each week to check us out!
APTRA Academy gets the Quaky-Shaky House
September 10th, 2001
Kids around LA know it as "Yogi Bear's House," but to
me it's the quaky shaky house. That's because it's designed
to do just that -- quake and shake! The house, which operates
on hydraulics, is designed to help teach young people what
to do during an earthquake. Here and now, I want to say thanks
to the LA County Fire Department. They will be bringing the
house out to Cottontail Ranch for this year's APTRA Academy
so student-reporters will be able to do standups in it as
it simulates a quake. After all this year's mock story is
an earthquake and "Yogi Bear's House" will go a long way to
helping make this year's academy "better than the average
The News about THE NEWS
September 3rd, 2001
This website has exceeded my expectations. Thanks to my webmaster
Jocelyne Rohrback it has a stunning look that continues to
evolve. Thanks to it's contributors it has really interesting
content. Thanks to all of you that stop by we have a terrific
readership. I wanted to draw your attention to our news links.
Having a website with massive news linkage was part of the
original HalEisner.com concept and if you begin to explore
our links you'll see what we mean. From newspapers to surf
reports it really is a great resource when working on news
stories or just looking to catch up. Our links will take you
to newspapers from Redlands, Ca. to Boston, Mass. Our World
and Foreign Affairs links will get you to publications from
France to Africa. Through our surf links you can connect to
live webcams at some of the world's great surfing spots. NEWS,
ENTERTAINMENT, MUSIC, SPORTS, HEALTH, EDUCATION, GOVERNMENT,
WEATHER, TRAFFIC and that's just the beginning. The site is
also filled with JOB, RESUME, SCHOLARSHIP links and more.
You can get a grip on the website by going to our site map,
but as you begin to explore it's really extensive linkage
start with THE NEWS. Whether it's television network sites,
Drudge or sites with news about the world of Technology you'll
find it all well organized and easy to access on this site.
Also, check out our SITE SEARCH on the homepage. Put in what
you want to find and if it's anywhere on the site it'll come
up. If you have suggestions for sites you'd like to see here.
Drop me an email. I'd
love to hear from you.
Fineman on Ron Fineman
July 23rd, 2001
Ask people what they think of Ron Fineman and you'll get lots
of different answers. Many of those he's targeted on his website
aren't always very complimentary, but that doesn't keep some
of them from checking in to see what Fineman has to say in
his tri-weekly updates on RonFineman.com.
I've known Ron as a street reporter for KNX for quite sometime.
We've been on many stories together. As a critic I've been
on both sides of his fairly sharp pen. He's complimented me.
He's condemned me. But, I'm one of those who likes seeing
what he has to say hoping that, if he says something about
me, he spells my name right.
What Ron may or may not know is that newspeople are always
talking about his sometimes controversial remarks. So, who
is he? What's his background? How has that shaped his opinions?
What makes him think he's qualified to comment on people who
have worked years to get to the second largest television
market in the nation? I asked Ron to take a moment and reflect
on those and other questions. He was glad to do it and I hope
you'll find his reflections as interesting as I did.
Ron's article here.
Special Thanks to Mari-Anne Cooper
July 9th, 2001
They don't get much cooler than Mari-Anne Cooper! She's
the lady who runs the Pasadena Civic Auditorium and saves
people like me from myself. For 5 years now we've all been
the lucky beneficiaries of Mari-Anne's hard work making sure
the theatre is in tip top shape, the ushers are in place,
the programs are ready, those bars outside are where they're
supposed to be, that everything is as it should be when you
walk in the door Emmy night. From the time we load into the
theater on Friday till the time we wrap Saturday night we
can always count on Mari-Anne. She really ought to get an
THE POWER OF AM RADIO
June 18th, 2001
Imagine, you're camping just outside Zion National Park.
It's a picture perfect Utah night. It's so clear. Look up!
You can see zillions of stars. The moon is high. The air is
crisp. The smell? Campfire smoke -- hot dogs -- s'mores.
You're 4 days into that long awaited vacation and all you
can hear is the rushing water of the Virgin River as it bends
around your rivers-edge campsite. That's right! Get ready
to hear about my summer vacation or, at least, a part of it.
It's just after 11pm, Tuesday night. The family's all nicely
tucked away in the new 3 room tent. The kids are all wrapped
up in sleeping bags like little burritos! The night's so remarkable.
For me, it's hard to sleep.
An idea! I wonder if there's a local radio station playing
a little music? Maybe talking about local activities? I could
recline the driver's seat, open the moon roof, listen & relax
to a little Utah chatter. What a better way to spend a Tuesday
Far away from the stress of election night coverage back in
LA. Who'll be the next mayor? The next City Attorney? It's
the kind of thing newspeople struggle with every vacation.
That feeling -- 'am I missing something?' Somehow at the nearby
general store there will be a rack with USA TODAY.
When I get back, I'll check in and see if I missed anything
big. I know if an earthquake hits my neighbors will call.
They have my pager and cell phone numbers. I know if something
just horrible happens word will get around the campgrounds.
If it's bad enough my boss will probably page me and tell
me I have to cancel the rest of my trip and get home ASAP.
Too much thinking! Time to get into the van and mellow out
under the Utah moonlight. A flick of the wrist, a slight turn
of the key, a push of a button and the roof glides open. On
the left side of the seat another button -- the seat reclines.
Ahhhhhhh this will be great! Hundreds of miles away from Los
Angeles! It's time to turn on the radio. Time for those gentle
sounds I've been waiting for, but what do I get 3 states away
from California? That's right!
"KFWB Newstime is 11:17 and here's the latest on the mayor's
Thanks goes around
May 28th, 2001
I started this site for several reasons and thought a few
people might take a look at it, but I have been overwhelmed
by the response. In the first two weeks nearly1000 UNIQUE
hits and an award! That's right an award!
Intrinsic Media Technologies has honored us with their
Web Award. It's an honor we proudly display on our home
page because it recognizes excellence in design and content,
which is why I need to say "thanks" Intrinsic Media Technologies
and "way to go Jocelyne!" Jocelyne Rohrback-Ovalle is my webmaster.
While I deal with content and the big picture, Jocelyne deals
with content & design and has she ever put together a beauty
of a website!
I have gotten so many emails from across the country commenting
on the site's slick look and the wealth of resources. Again,
thanks Jocelyne for your commitment to this project! I also
have to thank a number of others.
First of all, my hat's off to all of those contributing to
this site from the FROM
THE FIELD op-ed writers to Lance
Orozco for making this site part of his life every week!
Thanks to Ron Fineman. Ron was the first to mention HalEisner.com
on his news critique site RonFineman.com.
The number of referrals has been stunning. Ron, you have lots
of readers and thanks for letting me share a few.
Thanks to my good friend Sandy Gordon from Chicago. She was
the first person to see this site after it was unveiled. She
was so excited she sent out a chain email telling all of her
friends to check it out! Thanks Sandy! BTW, I think everyone
should send out a chain email telling all of their friends
to check out HalEisner.com!
My thanks to Don Fitzpatrick. I emailed Don to see if it would
be okay to mention the new site in his popular Shoptalk newsletter.
Don's response was "what would you like it to say?" Don, thanks
for you support!
Another big supporter Jacqueline Dispoto in Las Vegas. Jacqueline,
a Public Relations Specialist when it comes to websites, has
been a rock! Thank You JQ! Launching a website like this one
can be a monumental task, but when your working with people
like Jocelyne and getting support from others like Ron, Don
and Jacqueline-- it's much easier and more meaningful! Most
of all, though, my thanks to all of you for your kind comments
in the guestbook, emails and general show of support
May 10th, 2001
For a long time, like so many others, I've wanted to dabble
in a little technobabble. Building a website sounded intriguing,
but I didn't know what I could create that might be a useful
and worthwhile stop along the super highway.
Then, it dawned on me. A virtual press club! A place where
we could go to hear from our friends and colleagues, to learn
more about what's happening in our business, to give hope,
inspiration and guidance to those who want to be in the biz
and a site with lots of news links for those who simply want
to keep up with what's going on in the world.
You see, for all of us news matters! Thanks for stopping by
and please feel free to participate. I'm just an email away
or you can sign our guestbook