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Weekly Features
Life in the Small Market
A collaborative weekly feature, Life in the Small Market offers up thoughts and views from small town broadcasters across America.
Elise Morgan is the main anchor at KWTX, the number one station in the Central Texas market. She started her career as a reporter at KXII in Texoma. Within 9 months she was anchoring and producing the main newscast. Four years later she went to the Law Enforcement Television Network, traveling all over the country as an anchor, reporter and producer for the national satellite network. During that time she did training for the government on crisis media communications and co-wrote a book on terrorism and the media. Before going to KWTX, Elise was the news director and anchor at ICTN in Irving, TX.

Just when we thought we had escaped our reputation as a breeding ground for Branch Davidian types, the Waco area gets another PR nightmare. There's word of a Baylor basketball player missing. His former teammate is arrested. A body is found. A coach leaves amid word of NCAA violations. Audio tapes reveal a cover-up to frame the dead basketball player as a drug dealer. This just isn't supposed to happen in a conservative, mostly Baptist community.

As a journalist, it's amazing to me how often market 93 is thrown into the national spotlight. This job has been proof that size really DOESN'T matter. The rules seem to have changed since I got into the business. Years ago, I thought smaller markets were places void of toys, good stories, and a professional product. But with ownership changes and cutbacks, I've noticed that not all large market stations necessarily have a product that lives up to their numbers. Perhaps we are the exception rather than the rule, but how many markets this size have a news director and photographers with a 25 year history at the station?

Certainly there are days that I dream of that big break, but until then I think it's important to be thankful for where I am. With the way the economy has been, I feel fortunate just to have a job right now. Everyone knows someone in the business who's been out of work and looking for a while. After 12 years in the business, I can produce, anchor, and edit an entire show if necessary... ten miles in the snow, going uphill in both directions... a battle scar I'm proud to say I've earned. Also, I'm thankful that I'm in a community that has graciously opened their homes and hearts to my team every night. People have many options on how to spend their time. We must continue to appreciate that viewers always have a choice.

For those of you miserable in your current conditions, I think it's important to remember a few things:

* If your situation is that bad, remember it's temporary. You'll find another job or you will leave that situation.
* Going to a bigger market does not mean all your troubles will go away. No matter what business you are in, there will always be bad bosses, bad days, annoying coworkers, and job tasks that you don't love.
* Remember why you got in this business. Reaffirm your purpose, your passion, and your gifts on a daily basis.
* Take what you can out of your current situation. Without even realizing it, you are improving your craft every day, learning new technology, learning how to deal with others, learning about yourself.
* You always have a choice. You always have the choice of leaving where you are, leaving the business, or changing the way you handle or look at your current problems.

Every morning I go walking. On a recent walk I saw an F16 fly overhead. Not a rare sight when the President is staying at his Western White House just 15 minutes away for a working vacation. I pulled up to work later that day and saw Marine One fly overhead with the President aboard. Not a bad way to start a day in Market 93...