Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Sympathy for the Show Stackers

If local TV news were a western, the anchors, reporters and photogs would be the cowboys and the producers would be the horses. Producers are the nameless, faceless schlubs who sit shackled to a desk putting together that newscast you watch. Masters of the phrase, "coming up," they sit in the control room waiting for something to go wrong with the show they worked on all day. Is it any wonder they're burned out?

A story on Newslab's web site cites a study that found 20% of producers are experiencing burnout, and that "almost half of the producers surveyed scored high on exhaustion and almost two-thirds of participating producers scored high on cynicism, both factors indicating potential future burnout problems." Could this be a symptom of the monotony of tightly formatted shows that never change ---or is it the other way around?

In the old west, if your horse got exhausted or burned out you could eat it. I'm not sure if the cynical horses tasted good.