Paul  Weyrich

When I was a reporter for the MILWAUKEE SENTINEL (now the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel) we had four deadlines. The first was 6:00 PM. The papers printed after that deadline were trucked to places such as Superior and Ashland, Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Since I covered City Hall, I often had a difficult time writing stories about what happened at a City Council meeting which had concluded only an hour earlier. Our last deadline was midnight. Most often no change was made after the final deadline but if a late-breaking story made it to the newsroom by 11:30 PM or so it could be quickly written and inserted in lieu of another article. I saw this happen only twice while I was at the paper. Most often I wrote for the 10:00 PM deadline, as did most of the reporters. Life was laid back. Even though our City Editor, Bob Wills, had the reputation as the toughest boss in town, I led a comparatively relaxed life forty-three years ago.

Then came an opportunity in television. The News Director at WISN-TV, then the CBS affiliate, Bob Herzog, had read a couple of the stories I had broken from City Hall. Someone told him I had been in radio. He called and asked if I would do an audition. WISN was beginning a morning news/talk half hour and going from 15 minutes to a half hour with other WISN newscasts. I got the job. So I had three deadlines.

The first was my newscast in the morning, which usually consisted of leftover news and clips from the night before and a few short items rewritten from the Sentinel's Midnight Edition. Then we had our 6:00 PM. deadline for the newscast which followed Walter Cronkite, who also was switching from 15 minutes to a half hour. And then the 10:00 PM newscast. Most of us who worked in the daytime were long gone before the deadline of 9:30 PM. One lonely soul was left in the newsroom to watch for late-breaking stories or to fix the film if it broke. Again, no pressure. On weekends we had only the 10:00 PM news. I was the anchorman but I also wrote the newscast. We billed it has a half hour newscast but in reality it was 15 minutes of news. There were five minutes of commercials, a five-minute Sportscast and a five-minute weather segment. Basically I had all day to prepare a single 15 minutes of news-hardly a difficult deadline.


Paul Weyrich

Paul M. Weyrich is the late Chairman and CEO of the Free Congress Research and Education Foundation.
 
TOWNHALL DAILY: Be the first to read Paul Weyrich's column. Sign up today and receive Townhall.com daily lineup delivered each morning to your inbox.

Due to the overwhelming enthusiasm of our readers it has become necessary to transfer our commenting system to a more scalable system in order handle the content.