KCRA Restaurants Optimistic for 2015
On Christmas Day last week I just wanted to go out and do one of my own packages. I started out this New Year’s Day by continuing that holiday spirit and texting the KCRA assignment desk requesting to do the same.
I like doing stories that have a business/economic theme. That makes them more of a hard news story and tends to get placed higher up in the producers’ rundowns. That strategy played itself out perfectly today — my story became the 6:30 lead story.
KCRA news manager Angie Sheets suggested going to some small, independent start-up businesses in the El Dorado Hills Town Center. I jumped in my news car and took off. Angie gave me the names of a couple of restaurants and I wound up just focusing on them.
Restaurants have a very high rate of turnover even in the best of economies. An accepted business average is that three out of five new restaurants fail within the first three years of operation. That’s a high risk area.
Luckily for me, both businesses — the Early Toast Restaurant & Mimosa House and The Hop House — welcomed me and spoke with me, and I had not made any prior calls — just showed up with a news camera. But small businesses are always desperate for publicity and this was a good, positive story.
When I returned to the station and reported in to Angie and the 6 PM producer, he listened to what I was able to gather, then on the spot he said, “Okay, I’m bumping you up to my 6:30 lead story.”
I love being the lead! Not many photographers who reporter on the irregular basis I do are given the opportunity–and the trust of their peers–to be made the lead story. I’ve done it once before earlier in 2014 with a story about season ticket sales to the Sacramento Kings games.
My story ultimately got bumped by the lead slot by the unfortunate news of the passing of New York former governor Mario Cuomo.
The day was another opportunity to push myself as a journalist, reporter, and to take on a same day story — the first day of the New Year — and infuse it with a harder news edge.
Every news story has to have relevance to the day that it airs, the topics that are in the public discourse, and with an air of importance that compels an audience to have to watch.