Thursday, August 14, 2008

Good Night and Good Luck, Pt. 4 .....

It's another day ... and another departure for a friend of mine in West Texas television news. It's time to say good night and good luck, goodbye and God bless to Anisha Williams.

Anisha produced her final segment of NewsWest 9 Sunrise earlier this year, and since then has been working as a media specialist at Midland College. But now Anisha is making an even bigger move, beginning the month of September in a new job and a new town, producing for KSLA-TV, the CBS network affiliate in Shreveport, Louisiana.

It will be a homecoming of sorts ... Anisha came to West Texas from Louisiana, a graduate of the venerable Grambling State University. Like so many who come to this market, Anisha's a youngster ... well ... compared to someone as old as ME, she is. But she's also a hard worker and a quick learner ... and tackled some of the worst hours in local television news as morning show producer. This involved a lot more than just borrowing tapes from the previous night's ten o-clock broadcast, and re-writing the scripts to bring them up-to-date ... as Channel 9 expanded its coverage of overnight news developments, that meant more completely-new material to be produced for broadcast in the morning.

Anisha will need every one of those qualities in the months ahead, as she helps launch a new program - a 9:00 a.m. television news broadcast, with an online component, geared towards those who are turning their television on, or booting their computer up at this time in the morning. I have a good appreciation for the challenge she faces, having myself been a part of creating West Texas' first successful local morning news program, identifying an audience that did not yet exist, and crafting a product for them ... it wasn't always easy, but it sure was a blast.

So many, many times, when someone finds out I have worked in television, they will comment, 'there always seems to be a lot of turnover ... and they're absolutely right. West Texas/Southeast New Mexico is a small television market, and what we call a 'teaching market.' Young people come here from all over the country, fresh from journalism school or an internship (or an even smaller market). They gain some experience, hone their skills, develop their resumé and their contacts, and then move on to bigger and - it is hoped - better markets. It's the same for those off-camera, such as Anisha, whose work is appreciated every day ... but is seldom seen ... or given adequate credit.

Sure, you're glad for them when they get 'the call' ..... but there is some sadness too. You're sorry to see them go ..... but you wish them nothing but the best.

A good woman and a good friend ..... good night and good luck, Anisha.


Darrell Ward said...

Indeed it is always a mixed emotion sort of moment when someone like Anisha moves on to bigger and better. I always enjoyed working with her at KWES. She brought great intelligence and a sparkling personality to a grueling job. Producing the morning news is like producing three newscasts in the evening with no help whatsoever. Anyone who can do that as well as Anisha did has my respect and thanks.
As you pointed out this is a teaching market, and I couldn't begin to count the number of anchors and reporters that I worked with over the years. It seemed like once you get to know them and work with them, they're gone. Such is the nature of the market. On the other hand it is great fun to see where they have wound up, whether in larger markets or networks, and be able to say, "I worked with them", and hopefully helped them learn a little something on the way.
Like Jeff said, good night and good luck Anisha.

Jeff said...

Darrell, thanks for stopping in! It IS great fun to see where they go ... and I like to think that a small-but-dynamic television market such as ours plays a significant role in their move up.

Kyle said...

I know this is a bit off topic, but where did scott shields go?? and when??

Jeff said...

Kyle, actually, it was quite a while back that Scott departed. I have been told that he went back home to Florida ... which would be interesting since the other half of that sports department, Steve Loscalzo, had himself recently gone home to Florida.

I diodn't have a chance to say goodbye to Scottm and I regret that ... he was 'good people.'

So was our other Gator, Steve. I did have a chance to meet with Steve and say goodbye, just before he headed out to the pitchers' mound to throw the ceremonial first pitch at a RockHounds' game. It was a good night and good setting for a 'farewell.'

AV said...

THANKS Jeff, I really appreciate those words. I've enjoyed working with you for practically my entire time spent in West TX. I bet you thought I was following you when I came to MC? PR was nice for a while, but my passion is in news ... and I'm pretty good at it too. Thanks for all the great pitches in our morning meetings and thanks for making me feel welcome at MC. I'll miss Midland and all the wonderful people I've met here. I can honestly say it was 22 months well spent! God Bless.

Thanks Darrell for your comment. It was great working with you. You're a legend.

Jeff said...

Anisha, it was OUR pleasure. ou do have a passion for the news, and your work, and we know you're going to do very well.

E.J. said...

Thank you so much for your support of Anisha, and your kind words. She has continually amazed us her whole life, and we couldn't be prouder of her! I can empathize with how you feel about her moving away, but glad she'll be back closer to home.

-Anisha's Godfather (or "Parrain" as we say down here in the Gret Stet of Looziana!)

Jeff said...

Thank you for stopping in, E.J. And thank you for sharing Anisha with the Lone Star Styate, for a little while. I have a feeling she will continue to amaze us in the years ahead.

Steve said...

My goodness...I found your blog by searching for my own blog!

A pleasant read, Jeff. Pleasant, indeed.