Failing to Recover in 2011, I Must Re-group in the New Year

While I did not recover all that I set out to recover on the first day of 2011, I can see more clearly what I need to do to make it happen in 2012. It’s time to reflect on 2011 and prepare for the beginning of a new year in just hours.

RICHMOND, Va.– From homebase- in the greatest city in the world– Virginia’s capital city I reflect for just a few minutes on a year that according to my first blog post of 2011 was to be a YEAR OF RECOVERY.

I was going to recover good health through continuing weight loss.  I was going to recover time by stepping down from leadership positions that require too much of my time.  I was going to recover order in my life.

I wrote 364 days ago the following:

Besides my health and my time,  I will recover order in my own life by having fewer things to do.   That means withdrawing from AT LEAST THREE leadership roles in 2011.  I am looking forward to having order because I have finally acknowledged the limitations that mandate I prioritize and cut from my agenda things that are just not humanly possible to accomplish.   Setting clear boundaries is an important step for me in 2011.

Now tonight, it’s the end of 2011 and I have miserably failed in these attempts to make the necessary changes in my life.  Does this mean 2011 was a year of failure for me?

No, I won’t go that far.  But, hindsight says there are deeper issues that prompted me to languish in my efforts at recovery.   Understanding WHY These were areas where recovery was needed is an important first step in the right direction as I consider what to do in 2012.

I believe in New Year’s Resolutions only IF There are clear, measurable ways to reach those things we resolve to do and someone to whom we can be accountable to chart our progress Month-by-month, week-by-week and even day-by-day.

I lost 4.2 pounds this week.  So the health recovery was not entirely a failure.  While year-to-year, I experienced a slight weight gain (2010 compared to 2011), the difference is one of just three pounds.  

So, in the final three hours of the year as I prepare now to watch in the new year with fellow congregants at Fourth Baptist Church this evening, I think about why Idid not recover some things in 2011 and what I must change to recover those things EARLY in 2012.  

Tonight I purchased a boatlaod of Thank You Cards because I have resolved to immediately spend some time writing to  thank those who helped me accomplish what I DID accomplish in 2011.  It’s never too late to say thank you.   

Recovery relationships that have deteriorated due to lack of maintenance is another area that I must give immediate attention in the opening days of the new year. 

The reflection continues.   I must have an update by the time we reach 2012. 


Farewell Week Begins For Alabama 13’s Pollone

Chris Pollone prepares to sign off WVTM-Alabama’s 13 on Dec. 23. This week he’s running a series of retrospectives on what he’s enjoyed in his 11 years at the Central Alabama NBC affiliate.

Looks like we have the rare opportunity in the Birmingham (Ala.)  television market  to see a “classy” way for a local TV news anchor to exit his position.

In the local television news business, anchors and reporters change stations more often than some of us change shoes.

Usually, there will be a brief farewell on the person’s last on-air appearance and then the person disappears.  And sometimes, management will stipulate “no on-air goodbyes.”

Alabama’s 13 has decided to allow Chris Pollone, an 11-year veteran at the Media General-owned NBC affiliate, to do a series of farewell-oriented reports during the 10 p.m. newscast this week.

Pollone announced today that he’s leaving the area after getting married in a couple of weeks.  He and his new wife will be living in New York City.

I caught the first of his farewell stories tonight.  It focused on the sports stories he’s enjoyed covering over his decade plus one at the Birmingham station.  Tomorrow night’s installment is supposed to be about Pollone’s favorite foods.

Is this news?  Not really.  But, it’s Christmas week and there’s not a lot going on.    So why not?

Pollone’s Legacy?

Since we’re talking about Pollone’s departure, it’s worth asking, what will be Chris Pollone’s legacy in Birmingham TV?

During his 11 years, WVTM has been through at least one ownership change and numerous anchor shake-ups.  Only a few years ago, it was NBC 13.  Now it’s known as “Alabama’ 13.”

When I first met Pollone, it was over e-mail as I queried him about stories he produced in his 10 p.m. newscast.    He was always kind in engaging me, in spite of my pesky questions.

I think AUDIENCE ENGAGEMENT is a must for broadcasters.  Pollone has shown how to do that well and built an audience around his content.

Even his competitors interact with him on Twitter. I’m curious after he leaves WVTM, what will happen to his Twitter handle?  @ChrisAla13.  Will he have to start over building back up to the more than 2,000 followers he has now?

Pollone’s also mastered how to do News and SPORTS well.  Few in the business can do that very well, especially in the Birmingham market.

On a personal note as a journalism professor now, I have appreciated what he’s done to take up time with our students who are coming along behind him.

In one case, at least one of my University of Alabama students attributes her exposure to the broadcast news business based on Pollone’s encouragement and mentoring.

These are some of the things I think Pollone will be remembered for as he departs the nation’s 39th largest television market.

Where Should Pollone Land Next?

In his on-air an announcement tonight, Pollone made it clear that he is not sure where he will land next?   But, he alluded to the fact that he hopes to stay in this career track.

Might he make the jump from Market Number 39 to the Number-1 TV market?   In this day in time, stations in top-ten markets are hiring what are known in the business as “one-man bands”   Pollone is well-acquainted with this way of reporting.

Maybe he ends up on one of local network owned-and-operated stations as a digital journalist or all-platform journalists.

Marriage is on his mind right now.  But, after the wedding cake is gone and excitement of making this life change has worn off, Pollone should end up on the air somewhere soon.

The New York local stations (or their network operations) could probably learn a lot from this versatile, cross-platform reporter who loves Syracuse University.   Maybe he’ll end up like Bill FItzgerald, who left WVTM several years ago for a stint at MSNBC and now is the main anchor in my hometown of Richmond, Va. at my former TV station, WTVR-TV, the CBS affiliate.

Hey, Bristol, Connecticut is a mere two-hour drive from “The Big Apple.  It would be a heck of a commute.  But, ESPN would not be a bad place for Pollone to land.

We’ve grown to love watching him here in Birmingham and will miss seeing him on the air.

Best wishes Chris!