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Paternity Leave Takes Center Stage as Announcers Chastise Baseball Player

bball diamondThis story grabbed our attention like you wouldn’t believe.

Maybe that’s because maternity leave in America seems rather succinct compared to various countries. And no one really talks about the understated yet valuable leave as well for the father.

According to the Family Medical Leave Act of 1993, women are entitled to 12 weeks off from work. Technically they don’t have to be paid during that time and exceptions occur within some small companies. Per this infographic from Huffington Post, most countries offer at least three months of paid time off and offer benefits for fathers as well.

This is all the more reason why the New York broadcasters took it too far with New York Mets’ second baseman, Dan Murphy. Although the team’s opening day was on Monday, he went to Florida to be with his wife as she delivered their son. Oh, the travesty! Read more

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Why Do We Choose the Boring Work?

boringIn The Myth of Sisyphus by Albert Camus, a man is condemned by the Gods to roll a boulder uphill, watch it roll down and repeat the cycle for eternity.

In the essay, Camus mentions this is not unlike a worker who does the same thing every day and this fate is no less absurd.

Per the interview on NPR which inspired this post, Shankar Vedantam alludes to an example of being paid to work in a museum telling people they can’t touch the exhibits. In context, this is related to monotony on the job and recent research conducted at Duke University which revealed subjects actually chose to do a boring task instead of a more interesting one.

He says, “Imagine working for a museum standing around for several hours a day watching people.”

Vedantam makes the point of the disconnect when looking for a job versus realities on the job. When you apply, you may say to yourself, “Great! I’ll just stand around for a few hours and get paid to do nothing. This is such an easy gig!”

Now imagine the reality. You’re watching people walk around, you can’t talk to them, and you’re standing the entire time.

He points out how job seekers view a job versus the actuality of doing it. “When we think about jobs we have to do, we’re confronted with different things to think about it so we simplify it and think about just one or two characteristics of the job. If you had to choose between living in sunny California or freezing Michigan, the question makes you think about the weather because of the weather but there’s traffic jams, the cost of living — you simply the decision into one or two factors.”

And although the research brings light to choices and how subjects chose the more boring job rather than the more interesting one, that poses questions we should ask ourselves when making our own decisions. Are we in the comfort zone even though the reality may lead to boredom?

Are we making decisions by simplifying them and not looking at the entire picture? Just some food for thought…

Journalism Student Defends Major: ‘We’re Headed Into an Industry That is Alive and Kicking’

press hatMelanie Stone, journalism student at DePaul University, has just about had it with people badmouthing our industry.

In a Business Insider piece she writes:

“Everyone is hating on journalism, and I’m tired of it. Two years ago, I shipped off to college, wide-eyed and ready to write. I had plans: I would master the feature lede. I would abhor the Oxford comma. I would graduate with my journalism degree and run off to The Chicago Tribune where surely, surely I’d be hired to be the next page-two columnist.”

Who can’t relate to Stone? Read more

College Senior Recaps Summer Radio Internship: “Be Willing & Have a Good Attitude”

Ah, it’s good to be a college student. Very good if you’re Sarah Scroggins, senior at Texas Tech University.

The broadcast journalism major told The New York Post while working for 92.3 FM’s digital media department she got to see Justin Bieber and, but more importantly she got an experience to bolster her resume. Read more

Several Layoffs At Former Citadel Broadcasting Stations

As many as 15 staffers from WABC and WPLJ in New York were let go Friday as new owner Cumulus officially completed its acquisition of Citadel Broadcasting, reports FishbowlNY. That includes overnight WPLJ DJ Dave Stewart, who had racked up 22 years at the station, Sunday host Mancow Miller at WABC, and more.

In Atlanta, Ga., Cumulus-owned stations cut Spiff Carner and Randy Cook, co-hosts of the morning show “Randy & Spiff” on WYAY as well as WKHX afternoon host Tim Michaels and a handful of others.

KABC/KLOS, Los Angeles manager Bob Moore is also out and senior VP Carl Anderson left earlier this month.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that Citadel required Cumulus to void its non-compete clauses in the contracts of anyone it let go before approving the sale, so any laid-off employees are free to begin work again immediately.

Salt Lake City Council Approves Loan For Faltering Public Radio Station

The Salt Lake City Council has approved a $250,000 loan for KCPW, which will allow the public radio station to pay its debts and remain on the air, reports the Salt Lake Tribune.

The company which owns the station, Wasatch Public Media, must pay $250,000 by the end of October, but the poor economy has cut into KCPW’s expected revenue from pledge drives.

The council’s loan terms include the provision that it will forgive the 5 percent interest in exchange for free advertising; the station will air short spots promoting city events.

“It would be a travesty if you guys went away. I have full confidence that you can pay back our loan,” one councilmember said to KCPW execs.

General manager Ed Sweeney says he’ll hold another pledge drive to cover the loan.

NJ Assembly Won’t Sell Defunded NJN To WNET; Layoffs Coming

After New Jersey governor Chris Christie signed legislation last year that defunded New Jersey Network, the state’s public broadcaster, it looked like the station’s 129 employees would lose their jobs.

But then Christie suspended the layoffs, the plan apparently being that whatever existing public broadcaster purchased NJN would also receive those employees.

However, the New Jersey Assembly has just rejected a plan that would have sold NJN’s public TV to a subsidiary of WNET, which is based in New York.

“Giving NJN to New York makes no sense,” said Patrick Diegnan (D-Middlesex) before the vote. “We need to make NJN stronger and not give it away.”

The NJ Senate also needs to vote to block the sale by Tuesday, or the sale will proceed as planned.

Without the sale, though, the station’s employees will lose their jobs and “NJN as we know it will cease to exist,” as State Treasurer Andrew Sidamon-Eristoff said.

In addition to the deal with WNET, Sidamon-Eristoff negotiated the sale of New Jersey’s nine public radio licenses; those deals have not generated opposition and will likely proceed, the New Jersey Star-Ledger said.

Maine Could Be The Next State To Cut Public Broadcasting Funds

Maine governor Paul LePage (R) has proposed zeroing out $2 million in state funding for the Maine Public Broadcasting Network, reports Current Public Media.

If passed, Maine would be the second state to privatize public media (an oxymoron if we’ve ever heard one), following New Jersey last year.

MPBN officials were “shocked” by the proposal. “My focus right now, my total energy, is on making sure we don’t lose that money,” Jim Dowe, MPBN president, told the Portland Press Herald.

According to the network’s annual report, state contributions account for about 1/6 of the network’s annual budget, or about half of what members kick in.

NPR Saved (For Now) But VOA Might Be Cut

The temporary budget Congress approved at the last minute last week allocates $445 million to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, close to what the CPB got last year, and $445 million more than some people wanted.

But the permanent budget is yet to be passed and NPR and PBS funding will likely end up back on the chopping block.

At the same time the government-funded Voice of America may be cutting its Chinese-language broadcasts, notes the WSJ’s Gordon Crovitz. This could save $8 million a year not to mention about as many headaches, as Beijing jams radio broadcasts and refuses to allow VOA to open a bureau in Shanghai.

Congress has held hearings on the plan, which would eliminate the Cantonese-language broadcast entirely and cut half the Mandarin reporters. VOA says it would place higher emphasis on the Internet, which it already helps users in China and Iran access by providing firewall-skipping tools.

“Firing the journalists who create the content in languages like Mandarin undermines both Web and radio efforts,” Crovitz writes.

Bloomberg Radio’s GM Talks Journalists and Radio

With all the different formats a journalist can tell a story these days, like blogs, television, web video and even on dead trees, it’s important to know how to use them all. But one platform that often gets overlooked is radio.
Still, with Bloomberg Businessweek Radio’s recent launch, it brings up a decent question: Do journalists make for good performers on the old FM? You mostly hear about boisterous talking heads on the tubes, but can journalists bring quality content to the table as well?

Talking Biz News spoke with Bloomberg Radio’s GM Al Mayers about this issue. His response was rather practical.

“Journalists from any medium can be top performers in radio, as long as they have a solid understanding of the content, know how to tell a story and can engage the listener in a lively and conversational manner.”

I would think you would also need a smooth silky voice or sound as if you’ve been drinking scotch and smoking cigarettes for 20 years, but maybe that’s simply my tastes’ talking.