Time and time again I get asked about my job, how I do it, why I do it, etc. Well, here are some of those questions and the straight forward answers:
1) "Hey Fells, your Sportscenters are 90 seconds long, so that takes you about five minutes to do?"
Ummmmmmm, no. Let's take the morning Sportscenter update. First off, I have to go through the 20 or so e-mails that hit between 8pm and 5am to pick out the important scores, stories, etc; condense those, and throw them into the script. Then, for the scores that didn't get e-mailed to me, I have to go through the Free Press, Press Republican, Times Argus, and the Rutland Herald for what I missed. I pick apart which scores are important, then toss those in the script. I usually edit things down, read it over once, edit again for time, and then voice it into the computer system. After that it has to be edited for slips of the tongue, brain, and for time. (Try saying some Eastern European name before the first cup of coffee hits.) Throw in the music bed, double check for time, then send it over to station number one. THEN, scripts have to be modified for each station so they can be tailored for each listening audience. Repeat the editing process, and four 90 second Sportscenters take me about an hour and 45 minutes; including e-mailing/file transferring over. Weather spots(three of those) take about 15 minutes total since I copy and paste those from a service. Repeat the process for the afternoon with details on certain games.
2) "How long does it take you to prepare for say a college football game?"
About eight to ten hours or so. Each week, I would contact the opposing team's Sports Information Director for updated stats and a Word version of their roster, go over their previous games, look at play trends, etc. Then, read over the roster about 15 times in order to avoid totally relying on memory for numbers, names, hometowns, etc. Then, writing a 22 minute pre-game show takes me about four hours or so with editing; lineup halftime guests, have plenty of material for injury timeouts, get all of the sponsor tags, record the promos, make sure my color guy has all my notes, and prepare for the weekly coaches' show. So yeah, about eight to ten hours, sometimes longer.
3) "How about basketball?"
Less time since I only need to go over the roster about three times. It is less since there are only 12 players on each team and it is easier to take a quick look down when I blank on a name.
4) "If I want a career in sports, what is the most important skill to have?"
Two things: First of all, be able to think on the fly. During a game, you never know what in the world is going to happen. You never know if there will be a 29 lateral play, a record broken, or a 20 minute injury timeout. Having the ability to improvise and talk about anything is a very important skill. Also, BE ABLE TO WRITE!!!!! I had an intern last year who told me he wanted to get into radio because his writing skills stunk and in radio he wouldn't have to write. HAH!!!! Trust me, you can't do everything from memory, and what do you think I am doing now? My scripts are written, intros are written, I write TONS of notes that are in small paragraph form, I write commercial script, and tons of other stuff. If you can't write, what you say on air can sound moronic and that is the last thing you want.
5) "I hear that pay in radio isn't good; why do you do it?"
It sure as hell beats working for a living. Seriously, how many people can say they love their jobs? I can!! I watch sports, I talk about sports, I write about sports, and guess what? I actually get paid for it!!!!! Man, this is every sports junkie's dream!! Now granted, I could make more money doing something else; in fact I took a serious pay cut to take this job, but there is something to be said for being happy.
Off to the grocery store. After all, I do need to be domestic.......Before I watch football.