Retiring From TV

No not me. At least not yet. I still have some years ahead of me.

But I ran into another former reporter who’s now working in pr/media relations in the public sector the other day when something dawned on me: “I do not know anyone who’s ever retired from a job as a television reporter”.

Zip. Nada. Nobody.

I have known anchors who’ve retired and ridden off into the sunset the way my dad’s generation takes retirement. But other than anchors and general managers, I can’t think of a single reporter, producer or photographer who’s actually gotten the gold watch and handshake.

It seems as though once reporters reach a certain age or stage in life, they get out of television news and into something else. Several of my former colleagues have gone into public relations. I can think of three (two photogs and one reporter) who’ve left for the pulpit as preachers or ministers. Another owns and operates a bed and breakfast in Key West.

A few have left the business and gone into business for themselves. But no one I’ve ever worked with has retired from a television station.

Now I’m still a couple dozen years or more away from sticking my toes in the water and butt in the sand (nod to Zac Brown) but I do think about it. Will I, or can I keep doing what I’m doing now? Will I want to?

I know a few reporters and producers visit this blog every now and then, so I’ll pose the question to you: do you plan to work for tv for as long as you can or do you have another plan? Is it public relations for the mayor, sheriff’s department or some other government office? When will you know the right time? Do you really think that as your 3% raise adds up over the years that they’ll keep you rather than hiring someone right out of college willing to take lots less?

What will your job even look like by the time you’re retirement age? Will there even be 3 or 4 tv stations doing news in each market?

Don’t mean to be a buzz killer here but do you think about it?



Filed under Media

2 responses to “Retiring From TV

  1. Newzgrl

    I realized the other day…I’ve been a newscast producer for nearly 14-years. There are days when I think a normal M-F 9-5, holidays-off job would be fantastic. Then breaking news happens and I can’t imagine doing anything else. The journalists I know that have left the biz say they are more relaxed in their new P.R. jobs, but they are also bored. I do worry I’m going to eventually make too much money and my boss will hire two producers for the price of one. But I can’t imagine any other career.

  2. Anonymous

    assignment editor’s have slightly better odds…

    brad sessel just retired from ch.5’s assignment desk. bernie mintz will retire off the desk whichever day he decides to quit.

    but i’m praying for the p.r. job daily.

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