I felt like the Internet broke this week, when KARK-TV reported that I was going to be on their 4:00pm show starting Monday, January 28, 2019. Sharp-eyed readers realized that since my end date for this temporary gig is March 1, 2019 that it must be for sweeps. "Sweeps" is television talk for the ratings' period. There are four a year. February, May, July, and November. Typically, all TV stations, that is local, network and cable, pull out their tricks to get viewers to fill out a Nielsen ratings' diary that they watched a certain program during that time. That's how they can charge the rates they do for television advertising, because "we won 5:00pm news" or whatever their story is. In this case, I'll be doing live shots for a fairly new news program on Channel 4 in Little Rock. Though it's a news program hosted by a real journalist and my dear friend Mallory Hardin Brooks, it will allow me to bring authencity and frivolity. I met Mallory around ten years ago when we were both friends to Anne Pressly, a friend who was murdered at the hands of a monster. I still can't believe Anne is gone. I was a much older friend of her twenty-something peers during that time but I was always included in their fun. I still can't believe our little community walked through that.
But the reason I think there is interest in a washed-up TV/radio personality being on TV is that Channel 4 IS NOT guilty of ageism. They are allowing someone with my experience to come and have a good time and entertain viewers. To understand the importance, let's go back in time. I graduated in the mid-1980s with a journalism degree from the University of Arkansas. Though it was in journalism, FULL DISCLOSURE, it was NOT in broadcast journalism. I pridefully remember thinking, "what can they teach me about talking?" while in college so I focused on my real love: public relations and advertising. Heavy emphasis on PR. So I left college with no on-camera experience and marched into KATV and said they needed to hire me. I am sure after the laughter, they acquiesced and did hire me. I honestly thought any minute now that they were going to put me in the role of anchor despite all I did for them was get coffee and let them know if the zoo had a new animal. That. Was. It. The economy wasn't doing well in 1986, and I was let go. I remember softly sobbing when I left that day on a cold Sunday in 1986 wondering, "now who's gonna hire me?" I had ten months experience. Of nothing. I had experience in nothing.
I did some public relations for a national campaign to fight hunger and homelessness (Memba Hands Across America with its awful song? Well, SOMEONE had to put it on). That gave me about six weeks' worth of income after my unfortunate firing from KATV, Channel 7. I piddled writing for a production company and babysat (I am an excellent babysitter) until the summer when a local radio station called and the operations manager asked if I could come to talk to him about a radio talk show. In my brokenness, I didn't think he actually wanted ME to do the talk show. I thought he wanted me to suggest someone. Because I was nothing. Nobody. No one ever wanted my opinion about anything. But when I arrived to KARN-AM that day in July, 1986, the operations manager Neal Gladner asked if I COULD HOST THE TALK SHOW. I didn't know if I was going to faint or vomit. ME???????? I was 23. The average listener was 42 and a male. This was, are you ready?, when talk radio was on AM radio; there were no cell phones, and people had to pull over and get a pay phone to call in and talk. That lasted two years and then I was fired again. This broadcast thing wasn't going well. And then there was a firing from another radio station because the GM said, "You just don't have what we want. You're not very smart. You might want to stick with TV." OK, then.
But when I was on KARN-AM, the weatherman from KARK-TV was a guest once, and he asked if I could come do the weather there some time. That's when women were "weather bunnies." No academic degree; they just had to know where all 50 states were. That was a problem with me. I always have trouble with the ones in New England so I told him I wasn't interested, but thanks for the invitation. He found something for me, after all. There is a segment on the noon show at KARK-TV called "Dialing for Dollars." It's been around since the earth cooled. I filled in for the lady doing it, and she quit abruptly in '86, and I somehow scored that gig. Again with about a month's experience on the radio. I'm either cheap labor or real convincing. I worked there and also did entertainment reporting back when stations had entertainment reporters. I got married in '88 and had a baby in '92. So I retired from my TV gig in 1993. I wanted to stay home with my children. Just a mom to one at the time, I had two more and was able to stay at home while still doing television commercials all over the country for Ron Sherman Advertising. I still work for Ron every Wednesday doing home improvement TV ads.
A crazy thing happened while I was homeschooling those kids. It was 2006. B98.5 called and asked if I could fill in (there is a pattern here. I get it). I said, "yes, but I have to get back home. I'm homeschooling my three kids." Well, that lasted two days and I came home with a two-year contract. I was there for almost 12 years. I retired from radio in the summer of 2018. When I was on B98.5, my contract prevented me from doing local TV. So Channel 4 called when I announced I was leaving and asked if I could fill in for the 4am morning show. I sheepishly said, "yes" because I'm a wimp and can't say no. But my husband said it for me. "No way are you getting up at 2:30am when you just left a career that got you up at 4am." So I texted Greg Yarbrough, the managing editor at KARK, and said I couldn't for 4am but if he ever got a 4pm show, I'm his girl.
The time came two weeks ago when he asked if I could do what I said I would do. Fill in for a 4pm show. Sure, I thought. I could do a live shot and be home at a decent hour and it wouldn't interrupt my life. At all.
So here's my schedule for the next five weeks. Set your DVR to KARK-TV at 4:00pm and watch. We're gonna have fun. Because I have FUN everywhere I go.
|January 28, 2019||Belle & Blush|
|January 29, 2019||Revive Lifestyle Medicine|
|January 30, 2019||Dr. Suzanne Yee|
|January 31, 2019||Dr. D. J. Dailey, DDS|
|February 1, 2019||The Little Red River|
|February 4, 2019||Jazzercise of Conway|
|February 5, 2019||Legacy Wine & Spirits?|
|February 6, 2019||The Color Edit|
|February 7, 2019||The Good Earth Garden Center|
|February 8, 2019||Cecil's Fine Jewelry|
|February 11, 2019||Marietta McClure|
|February 12, 2019||Molly Maid of Greater Little Rock|
|February 13, 2019||Dempsey Bakery|
|February 14, 2019||Tanarah Luxe Floral|
|February 15, 2019||Unveiled Bridal Collection|
|February 18, 2019||Democrat Printing & Litho|
|February 19, 2019||Pinnacle Dermatology|
|February 20, 2019||Cache Restaurant|
|February 21, 2019||eggshells kitchen co.|
|February 22, 2109||Walter's Heights Corner Market|
|February 25, 2019||Full Out Barre|
|February 26, 2019||Ben E Keith|
|February 27,2019||From Our House to Yours|
|February 28, 2019||Pinnacle Dermatology|
|March 1, 2019||Little Rock Marathon|