Tuesday, June 6, 2017

No, Not The Same Mistakes Again

A look at the songs that have shaped
my life and ended up on my devices.
As a newscast producer, getting a ratings report is like getting your report card. In the winter of 1995, I think I've done well in my first months as weekend producer at KRGV in Weslaco, Texas. Then the ratings book comes in and I'm puzzled by the numbers.

"We didn't do as well as we hoped," my boss, the incomparable Rick Diaz says from behind the desk. We're getting beat by the only competition in town one channel down. It's a hairline victory or a tie in all newscasts on Saturday and Sunday, but I'm still disappointed, and I'm pretty nervous. We should be killing it.

Jenny, my mentor and executive producer tries to console me. "You're shaking all over," she says. "You can't see this and say, 'I'm a failure.'"

"No, No," Mr. D says. "Look here, you doubled your lead-in."

"You're taking it all too hard," Jenny says.

I think of the lyrics from that song by Genesis, "Taking It All Too Hard."

No, not this confused again
No, not the same mistakes again
You're taking it all too heart
You're taking it all too hard

This has been one of my all-time favourite songs by Genesis, one that got played a lot on KUDL in Kansas City, even though it just missed making the top 40.

The song is about love gone wrong, not newscast producing and ratings gone wrong, but it's what I'm thinking about in that moment in the boss' office. I needed a comeback.

I got it in the next ratings period -- a vast improvement. Later, my 10pm Sunday newscast would end up beating the competition by 10 points. Vindication at last.

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