Donlon weighs on on Blazers broadcaster firings Jun 16, 2016 21:29:47 GMT -8
Post by Kasey on Jun 16, 2016 21:29:47 GMT -8
June 16, 2016 - Portland KGW news anchor/reporter Joe Donlon weighed in the recent firings of Blazers broadcasters Mike Barrett, Mike Rice and Antonio Harvey with a very poignant piece on his facebook page.
In his statement, Donlon talked about the brutal business of broadcasting. Here is his statement in its entirety:
When you work in the media, you are painfully aware that every day - could be your last. It comes with the territory. The ratings take a dip. Your contract is up. Or the owner has brought in a new management team that wants to shake things up. Who knows, maybe there's a new owner.
The day I was hired at KGW, the General Manager called to offer me the job - but informed me the company had just been sold, and he was leaving. I lost track, but I think that was two owners, four GM's, and three News Directors ago.
The frustrating part is - almost all of this, is out of your control. You do a good job. You're well liked by your audience and your peers. And yet - one day, you get the call.
Mike Barrett just got that call. So did Mike Rice. And Antonio Harvey.
Boom. You're gone. And yet all of us in the business understand - it's what we signed up for.
In the case of the Portland Trail Blazers broadcast team, these guys had decades of service under their collective belts. I don't know for sure, but I think all of them had a year remaining on their contracts, so they will get some kind of a parachute.
I have a contract. But the truth is, it doesn't exactly help me sleep well at night. KGW can essentially cut me loose - without cause - at any point, with 13 weeks notice. So - on any given day, I'm three months away from the beach. That's the reality of what we live with in the media. And if we get dusted, there's usually a non-compete clause that keeps us from working in a market we have come to love, for six months - or even a year. You're no longer valuable to the company, but they don't want you working across the street.
Trust me. We have amazing jobs, although I'm willing to bet we don't make nearly as much money as people think. The fact that there are about 100 people in the country who do what I do - in the top 25 markets - is not lost on me. Ever. That number is even smaller, when you're talking about the TV broadcast team for an NBA franchise. Yet we know, we aren't even guaranteed the amount of time on our contracts.
I was at a charity event with Mike and Mike last weekend, and I'm quite sure they had no idea this was coming. And all three of them, handled this - like the absolute professionals they are. Barrett said he was '..Blindsided - but not at all bitter.' Rice thanked the fans who "..Made me part of the organization.' Tone tweeted a picture of a mic drop, and said, 'Thank you for 11 great years.'
That's the response you get - from three veterans in this business. Three people who gave everthing to their jobs in the media. Three guys who know - what everyone in the business knows. We're a phone call away from our organizations 'going in another direction.'
What we do - isn't exactly heavy lifting. A lot of people think they could do it. But the fact is, it isn't easy. It takes a certain kind of steel, to sit in front of a live camera and open microphone - for hours at a time. We're paid for what we do when the red light comes on - and unless you've been in that seat, you have no idea what it's like. If it were easy, more people would be doing it. The good ones just make it look easy.
I recently heard about a Facebook group aimed at all the people in the media who have lost their jobs. It's called "Plan B' or something like that, and the number of members has exploded in the last year. Newspaper reporters, photographers, and others - who have been downsized due to changes in the digital journalism landscape. Now - you can add three NBA broadcasters to the group. I wish them nothing but the best. I know them all personally, and they're great guys. I'm convinced, doors will open for them.
I'm off for the next few days, to help move my mom into a retirement home. I'll be back next week, and I hope my badge still works - to get me into the building.
I used to say that all the time - as a joke.
But the truth is - in this business.. you never know.
Click here for the statement on Donlon's facebook page.
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