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Branching Out

April 28, 2003

"Success is the sweetest revenge."
-Vanessa Williams

I've gone back and forth about this whole Executive Meddler business and mentioning it here on the website. On one side, I'm free from her control, and it's likely that anything written on here will come across as sour grapes. And I'm not bitter about my job ending at WTSP. Believe me, I wanted out more than you could ever imagine.

But on the other hand, she did spend 13 months tormenting me and doing everything she could to undermine me professionally. And at the time I couldn't say word one about it on here. Do you have any idea how maddening that was for me?

It's difficult to articulate the hostility level effectively, but some of the ludicrous stories make for some amazing reading. Like the time she made a one hour long cell phone call to Portland, Oregon in the middle of breaking news (I wonder if she happened to mention that tidbit to Lane?) Or the time she intimated that I had sabatoged her computer (which was entirely untrue -- I never did anything of the sort). Or the time when I went to Mike Miller's wedding in St. Louis last June and she had to produce the 6 AM show and it turned into what was described to me as being a total disaster on the air.

You know, the more I think about the ridiculousness of it all, the happier I am to be free. It's actually rather chilling to read back through the notes I kept on things during the time, things that couldn't be put on this website at that point...

Monday, June 24, 2002

[The EM] informed us after the show that she'd been keeping secret files on us for months. She said it in an intimidating tone, as if we should be scared that she documents "every harsh conversation". It's as if we’re expected to pay homage to her "greatness".

So, yes, I'm still going to write about the Executive Meddler on here when I'm inclined. It's not as if they killed me off or erased my memory when my employment at WTSP came to an end. And bottom line, I have many friends who still work at Channel 10 (most of the people who work there are wonderful), and perhaps she has more enemies than she realizes. And when I hear new ridiculous stories about her that I feel are worth mentioning, that's what I'll do. Maybe if she worried more about doing her job properly, or if she wasn't such a deceitful, evil human being, she wouldn't have these problems.

Here's more... There's no use pounding it into the ground, but I think you'll get the point with this...

Wednesday, June 26, 2002

[The EM] was off (thank God). Almost identical circumstances with the flooding from yesterday, but this time I got to do it my way. It was a night-and-day difference from the day before. We covered the news well, with an effective live shot from Dave Bohman (where he was actually allowed to TELL THE STORY, not have two minutes of anchor setup nonsense) and a talkback in the 6:30 half hour with a homeowner discussing reclaimed water. Because of no [EM], I had plenty of time to carefully craft elements, look at tape, create a detailed map to the talkback’s address for Van, etc. Time to think and to be able to do my job as a producer, without having to answer 10,000 little questions that interrupt my train of thought and cause problems for me with the stories I’m working on (which then get questioned later). This situation was the perfect example of addition by subtraction. We’re actually more effective with one less person when that person is [the EM]. How is that possible? And it begs the question: why is she on our staff? She contributes little, demolishes morale among producers and anchors and production, and actually manages to stifle our product. "Executive Meddler" might be a more appropriate title for her.

That may have been when that unflattering nickname was born. Whatever the case, don't think that I'm necessarily done speaking out about her.

Shifting gears, the NFL Draft is over, and I'm happy to say that I think the Colts, Titans and Bucs all did well. Initially I was livid about Indianapolis passing on DT William Joseph to take TE Dallas Clark. But the Colts do like to run two TE sets (like they used to do with Marcus Pollard and Ken Dilger, the latter of whom went to the Bucs in 2002), and the more I look at it the more I see how he could be useful for the offense. And the Colts then picked up SS Mike Doss (from the national champion Ohio State Buckeyes) and later on got Marshall OT Brad Scioli (who helped protect QB Byron Leftwich's blind side). I suppose Coach Dungy is happy with his interior defensive line.

Meanwhile, the Titans snagged CB Andre Woolfolk (an amazing athlete who's a converted WR) and then got WR Tyrone Calico from nearby MTSU. Add in RB Chris Brown (from Colorado) and Outland Trophy winner DT Rien Long, and I think the Titans did exceptionally well.

People are heaping praise on the Baltimore Ravens for their draft. And granted, getting DE Terrell Suggs at #10 was a windfall. But their trade up to get QB Kyle Boller at #19 seemed really questionable to me. They surrendered a 2003 2nd round pick and a 2004 1st rounder to get him. Maybe Boller will have an excellent career and prove me wrong, but I think it was a poor decision. Mel Kiper had Boller ranked as the most overrated player in the draft, yet he still gave Baltimore an A grade. I know Suggs was a nice choice, but it seems like a stretch to criticize Boller's standing and then praise the Ravens, who took him. But who am I to question the most well-known draft expert in the country?

The most ridiculous criticism of the weekend came from ESPN's Ron Jaworski. He knocked the Detroit Lions for getting WR Charles Rogers and LB Boss Bailey. Is he insane?!? Rogers is a rare player, a WR with height, strength and blistering speed. Bailey meanwhile was projected as a possible Top 15 pick, so for him to fall to Round 2 was astonishing to me. We'll see who's right on this one, but I say Detroit did quite well...

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