• “news god” conjures up breaking news

    March 12th, 2010

    It was the most bizarre thing I have ever seen in a newsroom – and that’s saying something as I have visited literally hundreds of stations in over 150 markets during my two decades with AR&D. “It” was an ugly bobble-head doll that lives in a coffin-like box in a newsroom that will remain anonymous to protect the guilty.

    news god

    news god

    Take a look for yourself – this strange idol apparently has the power to turn an extremely slow news day or two – into one that is teeming with local breaking news.  All you have to do is take it out of the coffin – and Boom!

    I saw this little monster in action recently.   The assignment manager removed it from deep in a secret cabinet so I could get a look at it.   He opened the coffin-container and began to take it out so I could get a close look – as the assistant news director warned him not to do it.   I laughed at the strange looking doll – until the next morning.  The assistant news director warned of a heavy dose of breaking news to come quickly our way – and she was right!

    It started with a fatal house fire early in the morning.  Then a few hours later they evacuated a large portion of the downtown business district as a worker cut through what he thought was an old water pipe.  It turned out to be a very much alive natural gas pipe – that fortunately did not blow up.   By noon – a half dozen big local stories had broken all over the market.   I stopped laughing – it looks like there really is something to this scary “news god.”

    I was talking to another station employee who told me that she had touched the “news god’s” head when she first met the idol.  Once again – there were warnings – don’t ever do that – it brings snow!  Sure enough, she says, four inches of snow hit the ground the next day.   Shazam!

    So, count me in as a believer in the “news god.”  Here’s my question – do you have such a little monster in your newsroom to conjure up breaking news on slow news days – or are there some other superstitions that come into the picture with the same result?  Let me know – and I’ll share them with all of you.


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