Hello, 2017: Professional Goals

by - January 03, 2017

If you read my post this past weekend about my end-of-year funk, then you'll know that work was a huge struggle for me the last two weeks of 2016. There were many contributing factors, not all of which were actually in the station, but I'm determined to start 2017 with a clean slate and make it better than '16 ever thought about being.

The groundwork for an even better year was actually laid in November when we hired another producer. That may seem like a routine thing to happen at a television station, it's been a real game changer for ours. This latest addition to our team has allowed me to actually do the things an executive producer is supposed to do for three days a week.

For me, the past month and a half has been about identifying problems, getting new producers up to speed, and targeting areas that everyone can improve in. All of our producers except for one has been with us less than a year, so up until this point for them it's really been about learning the ropes and just getting the job done. Now it's time to move past that, and it's my job as EP to help them succeed at increasing the value of all of our shows.

I recognize how broad this goal is, which is why I've broken things down into three manageable chunks.

1. Better Content Choices
You can't have a good show with poor content choices. This is one of the areas we're struggling with, especially when it comes to choosing stories that aren't locally generated. That's why this is my top goal for this year. As producers, we have to think like our viewers - what do they want/need/expect to see? If we can't deliver that, we've failed.

2. Add Depth
This is so much easier said than done, especially in today's newsroom where hardly anyone is solely producing one show. Most of our producers are responsible for at least two shows, while we have one producer who also reports during the day. With that being said though, it is possible to add depth to our shows without spending a whole lot of extra time on it. After all, there was a time not that long ago that I was reporting while producing two shows.

3. Creativity vs Consistency
One of the biggest challenge with new producers (and sometimes old ones) is convincing them that they can be creative while being consistent. As crazy as this sounds, viewers set their clocks by us. If weather doesn't come on at about the same time every morning, it could feasibly be blamed for someone being late to work. But I'm not just talking about consistency in timing; I'm also talking about consistency in how our shows look, consistency in our writing, and consistency in our choices.

As for myself, my goal as always is to be better while helping my newsroom be better. A never-ending goal but one worth pursuing.

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