I have been in broadcasting 35 years. This is probably the 33rd or 34th I’ve worked Christmas Eve and Christmas.
Don’t get me wrong – I’m not complaining. This is my choice. I have top seniority in the newsroom and get first choice on any day off.
In radio it was pretty awful. Usually I was living alone, away from home. Christmas isn’t a good time to be alone.
I remember one Christmas morning tracking Christmas albums. During the Christmas season you can play the ‘hits’, but when you’re playing wall to wall Christmas songs there are lots of inside tracks from old Jackie Gleason and Andy Williams albums that get played.
Now, in TV, we make more of an effort. I was surprised to find a full compliment of producers this afternoon when I walked in. They will have their hands full because there really isn’t a lot of news today (an explosion in Baghdad will get more play than it normally would). Politicians and even criminals (sometimes one and the same) are home with their families.
I always get requests to track Satna. This year I’m using very cool animations from Analytical Graphics. These are folks who normally create visualizations of missile launches or space probes. They’ve really done a nice job on Santa and his sleigh.
I’ll be working tomorrow, Christmas Day, as well. It was a scheduled day off but Gil (our weekend nighttime meteorologist) wanted to go to North Carolina to spend some time with a friend… a marine… who is shipping out.
I normally feel good about letting co-workers spend time with loved ones. This year I’m very glad Gil got to go to see his friend. Isn’t that the spirit of Christmas?