Reality Check

This afternoon I’m talking to first year students in the Broadcast Journalism course at Fanshawe College.  It’s an unusual time in our industry and it will be fascinating for me to assess how much they’re plugged into what’s going on.  

Radio and TV jobs in Toronto have been decimated.  Some of my former colleagues in the business have been let go and despite promises the chopping was over late last year, plenty of TV types have just been pink slipped as well.  Fear is running the economy right now and advertisers are pulling back. It’s unfortunate because now is the time when brave business owners could take advantage of their rivals running scared.  It could be a terrific opportunity to launch a business or grab an edge on a market while the competition is hiding its head in the sand.

Revenues on the good ship media are down for some, so tossing some sailors overboard is their solution.  I have not heard of one CEO or top executive slashing his or her own salary.  If you’re making millions a year, how do you sleep at night when you chop several $35 K employees to save money?  I would be leading by example and cutting my own income until the storm passed.  It would also be a smart marketing move and one that potential customers would remember for years to come. 

Back to the talk at Fanshawe.  Students are probably worried about their future employment opportunities but there have always been reasons to be concerned.  Automation, consolidation, and now, economic turmoil.  This will probably be a bumpy year but it will turn around. Strong companies will survive.  I also happen to believe that the economy is being used as an excuse to rid some workplaces of deadwood.  All may not be as it seems.

Optimism, hard work and talent always pay off.  The present situation is not necessarily indicative of the future.  We’ll bounce back and whoever is ready when the bounce comes, will benefit the most.