10:22 PM, Wednesday, May 8th, 2013:
So I've always kept in touch with my producers from my CBS days. Not even really a networking thing - I just kinda root for them. When you're part of a team, even when you're not resigned the next year - you still hope your old teammates do well. My NY producers were Tammy & Steve, who I've written about often and still try to scheme things with now that they're at MSNBC... and in LA? It was the OTHER hardest working man in TV: Jim Mietus. He produced my Living Room Live segment and once he realized I had it down? Was very thankful to produce OTHER things while me and The Egos screwed around on the set. An Egos day was always a fun day for the CBS News crew because there was a lot of sitting, laughing and watching some dude be extremely bizarre.
On top of the Egos bit I travelled with Jim to Oklahoma to do a story on Crooked X (a Living Room Live band that did quite well) and really watched him labor over the piece. Shooting hour upon hour upon hour of video for a 5 minute bit. He kinda made my head spin. But I appreciated it, and I think he knew I appreciated it because he saw what I would produce each week and wonder how it was even possible. I still argue that level of editing under that timeframe would be turned down by professional production houses let alone one dude and a laptop. What a fun time.
So in the past few years I've kept in touch with Jim and went back to Television City to shoot the shit. Again, networking aside, Jim is just a likeable guy. He would ask about what I was doing, try to help in any way he could pitching stuff to the executive producers for the show - but the truth is, I got lucky when Steve Friedman opened that door for me. That lightening doesn't strike twice. However, I'm refocusing on career stuff and just wanted to meet up again. As well, the national news moved to CBS Radford and I was curious to check out the new digs. Certainly an awesome facility...
...and the local side is absolutely gigantic. I know LA is the #2 Market but, wow. There isn't this much space in NY and certainly not on the local side. Les Rose, one of the camera guys that used to do The Egos was there too and it was awesome to see him again. I watched him from across the room try and explain to a co-worker what it was that I used to do on the show and he finally had to pull me in to help. LOL. It's a funny thing to explain in a few sentences.
Walking through, of course I missed working there. I long for the "team" mentality of things. It's fun waking up each day and trying to push your station to better numbers. And recently, CBS This Morning (formerly The Early Show) has done quite well with a bit of a format change: actual news instead of the "today show" lifestyle format. I don't watch any of it so I haven't the slightest idea just how different it is, but from a strategic standpoint I enjoy reading about the numbers and I dig that they're finding a niche and standing out a bit.
Of course that niche, which is clearly the right path for them, is where I fade into the history at CBS News because I'm a bunch of fluff. I was already straddling the line of CBS News and CBS Entertainment (which is why they connected me with Favale and I was offered Up & Adam), but now? There's not even a whiff of something I could do. And I'm honestly too happy for them to be bummed. They're doing the right thing, the numbers are improving and Jim for the first time in the nearly 7 years I've known him seems relaxed. Well, maybe relaxed isn't the best adjective... he's more confident. He is finally in a situation where his strengths are clear and the management sees it. There isn't a more deserving human on the planet. And wouldn't it be nice if actual news won? Not political punditry, but actual journalism?
Keep on producin' Jim,