Yep, We Must STILL be in Sweeps, Some Insight Into the Mind of Dan Rather and Apparently Saying “MotherSucker” on the Air Will Get You Fired

So I’m returning home from an early morning meeting Monday and I hear that one of the TV stations in Memphis is giving away tickets to a very popular concert featuring a young woman from Kentucky whose last name is Montana.  I guess sweeps aren’t over afterall.  I usually associate sweeps ending around Thanksgiving but Turkey Day did come a week early this year.  I guess this meant that news people had to work through the holiday at most stations.  Usually there is the scramble of taking time off with the long-time employees getting dibs on taking the holiday off.  I would imagine that there were some unhappy campers forced to stick around the newsroom this year trying to come up with a new way of doing that traditional stories on those forced to work on the holiday and how some are helping to feed the less fortunate.  Been there, done that.  Some managers try to arrange things so not everyone has to work on Thanksgiving but others are sticklers.  (How many times do you think this phrase was used “If you want a 9 to 5 job, go work for a bank”.   I will say this about the giveaway for the Montana concert.  It’s brilliant.  What better way to draw attention and viewership than to hand out a pass for 20-people to one of the hardest-to-get-tickets-to events in the country.  What parent wouldn’t try to surprise his or her little darling with the opportunity to have 19 BFF.  ‘Nuff said.

I think it’s safe to say the managers of many CBS affiliates were glad to see Dan Rather leave the anchor chair.  I used to really like Dan back in the 70s and early 80s.  My dad hated him, saying he thought he was disrespectful of President Nixon during the Watergate investigation.  But I thought DR was a bulldog of a reporter.  I grew to like him less as he took over the anchor chair from Uncle Walter.  I also thought he grew more wooden in his delivery.  Maybe he was that way all along.  If you’d like to gain a little more insight into Mr. Rather, there is a great article about his lawsuit against CBS in New York Magazine.   The article is quite in depth and gives the reader some insight into DR’s mindset.  He also comes off as something of a Captain Ahab and the facts surrounding the story that led to his downfall “The Great White Whale”.   Check it out if you have some time on your hands.

And finally,  a lesson for those of you “on-air” and a word of caution in case you forgot this from “On-Air 101”.  Don’t say anything around a microphone that has a hint of being taken the wrong way.  ESPECIALLY IF THE MANAGEMENT IS HINTING THAT THEY MAY NOT WANT TO KEEP YOU AROUND!!!!!  I know, I know, this is not a new story but an anchor at WGCL in Atlanta says she used the word “mothersucker” not that other word that sounds very similar.  I prefer to say “Got dandruff and some of it itches”.  It also  seems there are allegations that someone tried to erase the show tape that contained the utterance.  Some will say the woman was just a scapegoat for a bad book.  Hey,  if one is looking for ways to get the axe, this appears to be a very good way.  Remember, consider all microphones hot at all time and that will help keep your foot out of your mouth and someone else’s foot off your behind.

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One Comment on “Yep, We Must STILL be in Sweeps, Some Insight Into the Mind of Dan Rather and Apparently Saying “MotherSucker” on the Air Will Get You Fired”

  1. Joe Gannon Says:

    Joe may or may not remember, but I was usually the only person back in the day at the station DOTR who would try to defend Dan. I actually admired him for staying on in China as long as he could during the Tiananmen Square coverage. Along the way, I also lost patience with Dan. But then again, I lost patience with the whole business about that time anyway. I’m sorry to see him now, continuing this bizarre fight with CBS as if he deserved the job in perpetuity.

    P.S. interesting Hannah Montana story: the night before the concert in our town, my oldest daughter started asking if we were going, why not, etc. We explained that we couldn’t get tickets (sometimes a nice sales A.E. can slip you some, but not this time), too expensive, and then to prove the point, we went to and typed in “4 tickets, best available.” Lo and behold, there were 4 tickets in a great location on the night before the biggest concert of the year. After much internalizing (but not much, ’cause doesn’t give you a lot of time to do that), I bought the tickets. All had a great time, but a word of warning: unlike most rock concerts the music isn’t that loud. But that isn’t the problem. What will burst your eardrums is the sound of 20,000 little girls screaming their heads off as the Jonas Bros. take the stage. That’s what made me wish I’d brought earplugs.

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