Sunday, January 15, 2017

The Word Is RUT

This series is inspired by the "Words From
Unity" public service announcements
that ran on television (particularly in
Kansas City) in the 1970's and 80's.
Long ago, in a newsroom far, far away, I had a supervising producer who was deathly afraid of being boring. That's not a bad fear to have as a television producer. In fact, it's almost compulsory. But that fear becomes irrational when you constantly work to keep the production value high and still feel the ratings boogeyman is out to get you.

"I just feel we're falling into a rut," this supervisor commented one time.

This was a station that had a monstrous lead over its weak one-station competition and continued to consistently kick tail. Rut, my butt.

True ruts in business are brainless complacency nurtured by laissez-faire leadership. People show up and collect a check but do little except occupy mass. I've never worked in a business that tolerated that, either inside of television or out.

"Well, yeah," one might scoff. "You've never worked for the government!"

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