Starting Over

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Hi everyone!

So, I know I’ve been bad. I haven’t written a post in FOREVER– or a few months at least. Well, now it’s time to get back into blogging.

My life has changed a lot since my last post. I’m living in Baltimore now and working at WJZ here. I’m producing still and loving it. This newsroom is MUCH more stressful than the last, but it’s all worth it. I’ve been here for almost six months now– I can’t believe it!

I’ve spent these past few months getting to know the area and meeting a lot of new people. My co-workers are awesome and I’ve become close with a lot of them. Baltimore is such a cool city (sorry, Reading). The area I live in is great. I’m surrounded by young professionals, most in their mid to late twenties, like me. I’m two blocks from a huge park, close to lots of restaurants and bars (alcohol is important when you work in news), and on a mostly quiet street. City life is good.

Here’s the new place (a Christmas-time pic):

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I’ve also started watching The Wire (since I live in the city, right?). Right now, I’m a few episodes in to season four. Great show if you haven’t seen it.

I wanted to talk a little bit about transitioning to a new newsroom. This is the fourth one I’ve worked in now, so I feel like I have some helpful insight to share. To be honest, it’s challenging. There have been nights here that I’ve cried from the stress. I’ve felt like I couldn’t do this job, and I’ve considered leaving news altogether.

So, how’d I get back to a good place? It sounds cliche, but the key is perseverance and confidence. I had a long chat with my mom and decided I’m not going to give up.

The most challenging part about moving to a new market is getting to know it. I had a great reporting class at Syracuse where I had to fill out an entire packet with local lawmakers’ names, counties, main roads, etc., etc (Thanks, Professor Perry!). When you move to a new city, you have to do research. Sometimes, it’s hard to do that when you’re working full-time, but it’s worth it.

Now, there are things you’re going to come across at work that you can’t research. For example, major court cases the station’s been following. It’s hard to know all of that history and that’s where your co-workers come in. Lean on them. They’ll be ok with it. If they’re not jerks.

I’ve had some really hard days here. Like the day I walked in to work, thinking I was writing for the newscasts, only to find that one of the producers called out sick and I was going to be producing the 6pm show. For the first time. For those of you in news out there, you know every show has its own idiosyncrasies. It’s not easy for a producer to just jump into a show with no training on it. But, I did it and the show was clean. I had a big glass of wine when I got home that night.

Now, here’s where all of those challenges pay off. I’ve already been promoted since being here. My shift is unusual (my days off are Wednesdays and Thursdays), but I get more respect from my co-workers and I’m happier at work– two very important things.

I’ve learned a lot in these past few months– about my job and about myself. This move was the right thing for me and I’m so glad I did it.

Don’t ever be afraid to take a risk, even if you think it’ll be hard work. I know from experience that it does work out in the end.

Much more to come– including some reflection about the crazy people who call the newsroom all the time. We could talk for hours about this, but I’ll limit it to one post 🙂

Thanks for listening and stay tuned…

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And this is my new haircut 🙂

 

 

Reflecting On Facebook And WFMZ

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I have been using Facebook since 2004.

I have been working at WFMZ since 2009.

This is a reflective post, so get ready for some deep thoughts. I’m kidding. But seriously, there’s a lot going on in my mind right now.

Let’s start with Facebook.

If you didn’t have a chance to read about the F8 conference Thursday, here’s a link that breaks it all down. Facebook announced two new features: Timeline and Ticker. I’m excited to see Timeline. If you’d like to see a video on how it’ll work, click here. Very cool. It’s designed to tell a person’s story by breaking down her wall posts, status updates, likes, photos, etc., etc.

Mark Zuckerberg talking about Facebook Timeline

I’ve been using Facebook from the beginning. In 2004, I don’t think anyone even knew what the term “social networking” actually meant. I sure didn’t. Back then, Facebook was basic. That’s what made it different from MySpace. No ads, no flashiness, no music. It was just a simple profile that allowed you to connect with other college students. That’s right, if you didn’t know, Facebook was only available to college students in the beginning…and it was only open to a few big schools at first (Syracuse being one of them). You needed a .edu email account to create a Facebook profile.

This is what a Facebook profile looked like in 2004

I remember being interviewed for an article on Facebook in SU’s newspaper, The Daily Orange. I actually just did a Google search and here’s the article. I was a sophomore at the time

This is my best friend, Sara, and me during our sophomore year at 'Cuse

So, I’m very curious to see how far Facebook will be able to go back with Timeline. Will I be able to look back on my 18-year-old self? Who knows, but the possibility is exciting.

Friday is my last day at WFMZ.

I can’t believe it’s been two and a half years. It’s flown by. WFMZ was my second job out of college and I don’t regret my decision to come here at all. There have been times when I’ve been tested, that’s for sure, but I always appreciated my co-workers (most of them) and made some of my best friends in the media industry in Allentown and Reading. I’ve grown a lot since being here and now is the right time for me to move on. I’m going to miss a lot of the people I work with, but I know we’re close and we will keep in touch. As anyone who works in news knows, this business is VERY small and everyone knows everyone. I won’t be surprised if I end up working with some of my co-workers in the future. That’s how this business is.

I still haven’t locked down an apartment in Baltimore. The only word I can use to describe this time is stressful. I am stressing out. Thankfully, I have next week off to pack and move, then I start at WJZ on October 3rd. I wish time would slow down for a second, but don’t you know when you want that, time just moves even faster.

So, here I go. I’ll try to update next week, but I don’t know what my schedule will look like. Once I’m moved in to my new place and started at WJZ, I’ll be sure to let everyone know how it’s all going.

Wish me luck!

Thanks for reading 🙂

Easy-Bake, Not An Easy Interview, And The Lion King

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Easy-Bake, Not An Easy Interview, And The Lion King

I only ever baked one thing in my Easy-Bake Oven. It was a brownie. I remember it like it was yesterday…

It was a Saturday afternoon in the early 90’s. I was so excited to finally get to use my Easy-Bake Oven. It was one of my big gifts that Christmas. My gram would be my assistant in the baking process. Little did I know she’d turn on me at the drop of a tear. I worked hard on that brownie…and waited…a long time. It takes time to bake a brownie using only a light bulb. Finally, my patience paid off. I took my brownie out and placed it on the counter to let it cool. It looked amazing and I couldn’t wait to eat it and revel in my sense of accomplishment. I walked…no…strutted out of the kitchen. A few minutes later, I came downstairs to enjoy my treat. I saw Briana first. She was standing in the kitchen, dangerously close to my brownie, with her bike helmet still on, crying. Gram was comforting her. That’s when I saw it (or didn’t see it)…

The brownie was gone.

Gram gave it to Briana because she was crying. I lost it. Now, let me explain something about myself to all of you. I’m a control freak and at a young age, the signs were already there. I screamed. How could Gram give away my brownie? She saw how hard I worked on it…how much I wanted to enjoy it myself…what went wrong?  Believe it or not, I was able to eventually forgive my dear sister and for as vivid as this story is, I don’t hold it against her…too much. So, I never baked another thing in my Easy-Bake Oven.

You might guess what brought on this reflection. News came out Friday that the Easy-Bake Oven’s been redesigned for the 11th time. This time, no light bulb! Plus, look at this fancy design. You’d think it would bake faster…you’d be wrong AND it’s pricier.

Would you drop $50 for this?

Now on to the interview portion of this post. Have you guys seen the little girl from “Toddlers and Tiaras” being interviewed? One website said she showed she could do more expressions than Jim Carrey. After seeing the interview, I completely agree! I’m sure you would, too. Interviewing kids is ALWAYS hard, but this interview takes the cake. This little girl just can’t get enough of herself!

http://cdnapi.kaltura.com/index.php/kwidget/wid/1_c0ca1do2/uiconf_id/48502

Staying on the subject of interviewing, this has to be the BEST description of a car crash I’ve ever heard. Check this out!

http://www.myfoxphoenix.com/video/videoplayer.swf?dppversion=11212

Power Lines Fall on Crashed Vehicle, Driver Trapped: MyFoxPHOENIX.com

In movie news, The Lion King took home the top spot this weekend at the box office. Drew and I saw it in 3D on Sunday and…wow! I remember seeing it in the movies when it was released originally. It was the first movie that made me cry. I highly recommend seeing it again if you get the chance. The theater wasn’t filled with all kids, either! The Lion King is a great movie and seeing it on the big screen again only made me believe that even more. I feel like as an adult, I was able to appreciate how awesome it really is.

This is one of my favorite parts from the movie

Well, I think that’s it for now. Let me know if you go see The Lion King!

Thanks for reading!

Bachelor Pad Backwards And An Amazing Rescue

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Hey everyone!

So I’ll start with one of the most amazing videos I’ve seen in a long time. This was all over the Internet yesterday. If you didn’t see it, the video is below.

Here’s the story…

A car and motorcycle crashed in Utah. A photographer was in a building right next to where it happened and caught it all on tape. The motorcycle burst into flames. All of a sudden, bystanders realize someone is under the car. A few people gather and try to lift the car to save the man, but they aren’t strong enough. Then, more people come and the group lifts up the car and someone drags the man out from underneath it!! This is the kind of video you have to see to believe. The man who was saved says those bystanders are heroes.

Every now and then you see a news story that stays with you. This one will stay with me for awhile. Not only is the video amazing, but so is the story. I don’t know many people who would run toward a burning car crash…and lift a car that could potentially explode at any second. What those people did IS heroic. These are the kind of stories that give you hope that not everyone out there is bad. That’s a concept I think many of us in news can sometimes lose sight of. When you’re writing stories day in and day out about everything bad in society, it can be hard to believe the good stuff.

If you’ve ever seen the show Storage Wars, you know Darrell’s famous saying…”This is the wow factor!”

"This is the wow factor!"

Well, this story…these people…the wow factor.

Now for my Bachelor Pad update!

I know, I know. Most of you have probably already seen the finale so I am way behind on this, but oh well. I actually made a mistake watching the finale. I always watch it OnDemand and I didn’t realize the finale was in two parts, so I watched the second part first! As I was watching, I thought…wait, when did Kasey and Vienna get voted off? After watching the whole second part I went back into the menu and realized my mistake. Then I went back and watched part one.

I felt bad for Ella and Kirk. I mean, how could you not? The judges were honest though. Kasey and Vienna and Holly and Michael were the best at the Cirque du Soleil challenge which…I have to say…looked extremely hard!

I have to admit, I did read Reality Steve before the finale for some spoilers. I can’t help myself! Every season I try to be surprised, but I have to look at his blog. I’m glad though that this time around he didn’t know which couple won. I was so happy it was Holly and Michael and I think it’s great that she’s engaged to Blake (even if it is all for TV)…

Which brings me to my next point. EDITING. I’ve praised the editors of the show and I’ll continue to, but it’s becoming obvious the editing is done in a way to mislead. I don’t agree with that. Whether you’re a fan of Kasey and Vienna or not, I honestly think the whole feud with Jake was blown out of proportion. Vienna said at the finale that there were times after the three of them made up that we didn’t get to see. I believe that. The whole fight made for better television and probably got a lot more people to tune in to see it all go down. Now, you might not believe Vienna, but Blake tweeted about the editing, too.

That was about the Michael finding out about Blake and Holly’s engagement at the finale. Michael had no idea until he came out. It definitely made for a SUPER awkward situation, clearly created by ABC.

Let’s go to the tape…

Ugh. Every time I see it it’s awkward! What do you guys think?

Alright I think that’s it for now.

I’m going apartment hunting tomorrow in Baltimore! Wish me luck 🙂

Thanks for reading!

Next Stop: Baltimore

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Hey everyone!

Many of you may have already seen the news on Facebook. If not, here it is.

I’m moving to Baltimore!

I accepted a job last week as a producer for WJZ, the CBS station in Baltimore. I am so excited I can’t even tell you! I’ve been at WFMZ for over two and a half years (I can’t believe that) and it’s time to move on. I’ve learned a lot here and now I’m ready to make another move. Baltimore is a great next step for someone my age and with my experience. I can’t believe this will be my third job out of college. It’s a great feeling to be able to start somewhere new and have the ability to learn so many new things! I will be sure to update about my start at WJZ.

Fun fact: WJZ is where Oprah got her start!

So, I’ve got A LOT to do in the next few weeks. I have to pack, find a new apartment, pack, pack, and…did I mention…pack? Moving is stressful, isn’t it? Ugh. Not looking forward to the actual move, but you know, I’m very much looking forward to a new apartment in a new city.

I’ve been getting a lot of feedback about where to look for places in Baltimore. I know, like every city, it has its good and bad parts. I’m definitely being mindful of that. The news director at WJZ told me finding a place with secure parking is a must.

Do any of you have any advice? Please share!

Thanks for reading!

Remembering September 11, 2001: A Producer’s Perspective

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I wasn’t in a newsroom on September 11, 2001.

I was in 10th grade at Washington Township High School. The bell to end 3rd period Honors Biology rang, and I was making my way to 4th period Health class (you know, the class that replaced gym one marking period a year). I remember seeing my biology teacher turn on her TV as we left her classroom. As I walked into Health, my teacher there also had the TV on. We all sat down and watched as the second tower fell.

The emotion I remember the most was confusion. I didn’t understand what was happening. I saw the terrifying video, but didn’t realize what the attacks meant. Not long after the attacks happened, my school’s principal decided to have all TVs turned off for the rest of the day.

I grew up right outside of Philadelphia and I remember going home to find out the city was on lockdown. At the time, I, like many others, had no idea how the attacks at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and on Flight 93 would impact my life.

I’m sure many of you have talked to someone about where you were that day. If you’d like to share your thoughts, feel free to comment here.

When I was 15, I had no idea I’d end up working in a newsroom or that the way the 9/11 attacks were covered would become so important to me. Today I watched my station’s newscast from September 11, 2001. It was moving. I sat at my desk imagining what that day must have been like for journalists. Some of my co-workers were here at the time. They’ve told me stories about the chaos that day. In Allentown, police officers shut down Hamilton Street and were searching women’s purses. Every single person in the newsroom worked together that day to keep viewers up-to-date on everything that was happening.

Here’s a link to my station’s website, where you can find all our reports. We’ve been doing stories all week leading up to the anniversary.

I hope you all have a safe and happy weekend and don’t forget to take a second to remember September 11, 2001.

The New Bachelor Is Official And Other Randomness

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Hey everyone!

So it’s official. Ben Flajnik is the new Bachelor! Rumors were spreading a couple of weeks ago, but People magazine reported today the rumors are true. For any of you who didn’t get to see the Bachelorette season finale, where Ashley chooses J.P., not Ben, the video is below.

So, I haven’t watched this week’s episode of Bachelor Pad yet. I’ll be watching it tonight or tomorrow morning. I’ll post my thoughts after I see it. I realize though I didn’t comment on last week’s episode. I’m so glad Melissa’s gone. She is absolutely nuts. Blake may have led her on, but she was out of control. I loved the part (the editing was great) where Melissa is searching all over the mansion for Blake, then finds him brushing his teeth and he tells her he has 40 more seconds left…and she waits! I couldn’t stop laughing. Well played, Blake.

I forgot to mention this yesterday, but I did have one pretty bad experience at the Philadelphia Premium Outlets on Sunday. I am kicking myself for not taking a picture of what happened to me. We all ate at the Ruby Tuesday’s at the outlets. As one of my sides, I ordered the mashed cauliflower. The waitress brings out my dish, sets it down in front of me, and when I look at the plate, I notice the cauliflower is in a PLASTIC BAG. I was so grossed out. I didn’t get nasty with the waitress, but she sent the manager over and he offered me a free dessert. In my opinion, my meal should have been free, but whatever. I’ve never seen something like that happen. I know most of the food at restaurant chains is shipped to them, but still…seeing the bagged cauliflower was disgusting. I didn’t get the free dessert either because I honestly wasn’t hungry after that meal. They ended up taking $4.oo off the bill.

In other news, my cat, Maximus, is finally getting over his ear infection. Do any of you have cats? Maximus is still a kitten. He’s a little over four months old and is the cutest thing ever. Last week, he came down with an ear infection and it caused his third eyelid to cover almost half of his left eye. It was the saddest thing ever, but it finally looks like the eyelid is moving back. Let me introduce you to Maximus…

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Isn’t he so cute?!

Thanks for reading!