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It’s May.
For many of you that means going to baseball games, mowing the lawn or running outside instead of on a treadmill.
For those of us in TV news, it means one thing.
No vacation.
There are four months during the year designated as ratings periods. It is standard practice in newsrooms all over the country that no one (NOT ONE PERSON) is allowed to take time off during these times. And don’t even think about calling in sick. Dead, maybe. Sick, no.
This concept is absolutely bizarre to some of my friends, and most of my family. I’ve been in this line of work for about a decade now, yet my parents still ask me to go somewhere warm with them in February (a ratings month), attend weddings in May or July (ratings months) or come home for Thanksgiving in November (you get the idea).

Of course, you don’t need me to tell you when these times of year roll around. If you watch local news, you are well aware of it because this is when stations run promos like this:
“Tomorrow night at ten . . . it’s in your house. . . probably right under your nose . . . you don’t even know it’s there, but IT COULD KILL YOU! Don’t miss our special report!!!”
Of course the goal is to get you to watch. Those of us who do the producing and reporting of these “special reports” hope that you watch, and learn something.
Speaking of which, we have a Channel 13 Investigation for you tonight at 10 . . . Sonya Heitshusen continues her stories on the CIETC salary scandal. She’s spent the past few weeks digging through paperwork from various government agencies, and as taxpayers you should be very interested in what she’s found.

Back to this whole “no time off” issue . . . do you know of any other industries in which there are certain months when employees aren’t allowed to be absent? If so, please send me an email. We’ll have a lively discussion about the crazy things we do for our careers.

Thanks for reading, and watching!

7 comments

  • Anonymous

    Moms don’t get to take a day off ever. No matter how sick they are or how tired they are. The only exception is if Grandma can come to the rescue.

  • Anonymous

    SO does this mean you’ll have people do a better job of investigating their reports during these months? I have worked for the USDA in Ames for six years and have yet to see one story that has anything resembling actual fact. The latest one is no different, I speak for myself, and wish for you to actually talk to someone who KNOWS what’s going on, not some mouthpeice in D.C. who can’t find Iowa on a map!

  • Anonymous

    Accountants and CPA firms can never take time off from January to April 15th unless of course your a partner in the firm. but for the most part January to April. Payroll staff rarely get time off during December & January due to year filings and running your W-2!

  • Anonymous

    Erin,Totally understand. Work in TV news in Montana, and it’s just the same in small market news (168) as large markets..kinda of a drag..LOL…keep doing good at WHO..can’t wait to come back to see you on air again!

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