Light at the end of the tunnel?

…Or just TV lights from another swine flu news conference…

I saw a small item in the business section of the Commercial Appeal the other day. It says that “a new survey of small- business owners has found economic confidence at its highest level in 14 months.” Of course, there’s the news today that Chrysler is going ahead with a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing.

When you’re looking for work, you prefer the former story. It gives you a reason to get your hopes up, because you can work on the assumption that things actually are getting better, and that will bode well for you and other job seekers. On the other hand, if a major company goes through even a “surgical” bankruptcy as the Obama Administration calls it, you know somebody else is getting in line at the unemployment office.

News & Notes:

No More AOL?

Speaking of economically-related news, there’s this item on the possible fate of America Online from the New York Times: “in a regulatory filing Wednesday, Time Warner said it was nearing a decision to spin off America Online, and put an end to the travails that began with the merger in 2000 of the two companies, a deal that has resulted in the evaporation of more than $100 billion of shareholder value.” I was working for a Time Warner-owned company at the time of that merger. Honestly, the only benefit that seemed obvious at the time was that all the employees got free AOL. But, that was right about the time everyone was switching to high-speed providers, so there wasn’t much point to have a dial-up service, free or not. And by the time I left CNN, AOL was basically a free service anyway, not even providing dial-up any more.

The Pride of Trumann, Arkansas

I was chatting with a former co-worker from WREG yesterday. She had gotten a note from an acquaintance who mentioned meeting a TV news director in Los Angeles named Jason Ball. What a coincidence, we both thought. We worked with a young man at Channel 3 named Jason Ball… Waitaminute – we thought what if they’re the same guy!?

I can’t remember whether Jason was an intern when he first got to 3 or whether he was on the payroll. Either way, the young man from Arkansas quickly ended up one of our better producers and was a hoot at parties. I was traveling to Jonesboro a lot at the time, and I’d talk to Jason about the various landmarks (human and otherwise) that I’d see on the trip.

Well, he left Trumann for the bright lights of Memphis, and left Memphis for the brighter lights of Miami… and ended up under the even brighter lights of Hollywood, where he is now the news director at KTLA, the market’s CW affiliate.

He’s asked me to tell all the Memphis folks hello, and that he remembers the good old days at channel 3. Congratulations Jason.


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