What’s the story? That’s always the first question to ask, especially if you or your company may BE the story. When reporters show up at your door or call you on the telephone, they are looking for answers to questions (Nothing is too personal for them to ask.) We know what we’re talking about. My colleague, Carolyn Sawyer and I have been asking those questions. As a result of training so many people, we developed the tools to create Media Masters. Our objective is to help you have the right response when a journalist is asking you about a story that affects you and/or your company.
We have both worked in major news markets, to include network television and radio, as well as, assignments abroad. I started my career at WJR radio in Detroit, Michigan in the mid 70’s. I was a Mass Communications major in Radio, TV, and Film. I was still in college, attending Wayne State University, when I landed my first job. My radio professor recommended I apply for a news reporter’s job at WJR. It was a powerhouse station, with a fifty thousand watt, clear signal. People who wanted to work in radio would have been happy to sweep floors just to work there. (My retired military Dad used to listen to me when he was living in Omaha, Nebraska.) That was just the beginning. From Detroit, I moved to NBC Radio News in New York, as an anchor and correspondent. Reporter/Anchor jobs in New York television would follow. My first TV gig was with the Metromedia, Channel 5 station (now FOX-TV), then onto WABC-TV, the network owned and operated station. A move to Washington, D.C. would place me at the ABC affiliate, WJLA-TV, then onto Black Entertainment Television and other radio and TV outlets across the country.
Carolyn, also the daughter of a retired military man, (We are both Air Force brats), started in the mid 80’s in Spokane, Washington at the legendary KHQ-TV. It would be the first of several top-rated stations she would work across the country. The call letters read like a who’s who of top journalistic outlets; WIS-TV in Columbia, SC, WSB-TV, Atlanta, Ga., and WBZ-TV in Boston, Massachusetts.
In her early twenties, Carolyn landed a job at ABC Network News in New York and later anchored for Lifetime Television Cable Network.
It would be over 20 years later before we would meet. But Carolyn recalls reading in a national magazine of my career changes from Detroit to New York.