Intern Season

The staff in the Channel 4 Action newsroom grew by 20% yesterday – without a dime being spent. Great management technique? Creative accounting? Nope, it’s just intern season here at the station.

Every year, after Memorial day, we welcome a new group of summer interns to our staff. Internships are critical for college graduates hoping to get into the business of broadcasting. They allow students to make contacts, put together demo tapes and perhaps even land a job. As sports director, one of the greatest interns I ever had – is now the producer of our 11pm newscast.

Also as sports director, I saw it all when it came to interns. I had really good ones who understood the business and we really self-starters. Then, I have had the nightmare interns – young men who tried to impress me with their sports acumen – and young women who didn’t quite understand the dress code at Steelers training camp.

Over time, while interns come and go, I have changed in my approach to interns. When I began, I spoke to interns from day one and imparted my knowledge upon them whether they asked for it or not. Now, I know that was the wrong approach – so I introduce myself to each intern I encounter once and let them come to me. It’s up to them if they want to learn more from those of us that have worked in this business for many years. The smart ones in the herd always come to the top.

As for my internship experience, I did two internships at ESPN. One was strictly on the business side of things while the other allowed me to work in all departments — from the newsroom to promotions department.

If our interns happen to find this blog entry, I hope for all the best for them. This is the time to explore and learn if this crazy business is right for you. So have fun, ask questions and please – dress appropriately when you go out into the field for us — you are representing the station and yourself. Just like your internship, it’s all about making a good impression.

Now, as a news anchor, I no longer manage interns. I am just a source some will use and observe. Over time,

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