Sunday, September 1 2013, 11:35 PM MDT
Person 2 Person: Changes in the News Business
Rod Decker talks about the changes in the business of TV news.
SHAUNA LAKE: What do you feel about TV news? What do you feel about all the changes that it’s made in the length of your career since you’ve been doing it?
ROD DECKER: Well okay what I feel about TV news is it is fun. I’ve always thought, while I don’t like to write, I love to perform in front of an audience, and TV news is a good place for me to perform in front of an audience. And so I’ve always liked that part of it. It’s changed a lot. When I first came to Channel 2 in the first few months they sent me to California to interview Edward Teller, the father of the H-Bomb although he didn’t like to be called that, and other people. We went down for a week, and we went to Massachusetts for a week, and Lucky Severson who worked here went to Bikini Atoll. And that was just; the whole business was that way. Networks rented private jets to get a reporter where he was. It was said, ‘having a local TV station license is a license to print money.’ And so it was. There was money everywhere. That’s no longer true, and it’s probably going to become less true. Probably TV now is a good business but no longer a gold mine. Probably it’s going to be like newspapers in a decade or two or three decades, and they will struggle to survive. That seems to be the way it looks.
SHAUNA LAKE: Less fun than it used to be for you?
ROD DECKER: No. No it’s still kind of fun. In ways this is the best time for me. It’s the best time sort of because school’s out. I’m past retirement age. I can retire if I want. And as my wife says, ‘so they fire you.’ You’re going to retire anyway. So I still like TV news, but partly because the management here is…the management here has gone through phases and this is for me, a particularly good phase. And partly because I’m not as intense about it as I used to be. It may be the best time for me.
(Copyright 2013 Sinclair Broadcasting Group.)