Heard on the radio today that it’s the 25th anniversary of the Black Friday stock market crash. This event holds special meaning for me because I was working for the Miami public TV station WPBT at the time, as the Electronic News Systems Operator for their business news program, The Nightly Business Report.
That fancy title meant that I was the person who typed up the graphics that appeared on the screen during the show – such as the names of the people being interviewed, and the all the stock market averages and company names & stock prices that were featured during co-anchor Paul Kangas’ stock market review segment of the program.
I still remember that day like it was yesterday. Standing in front of the ADP machine with the director of the show and the stocks producer watching the Dow Jones Industrial Average plummet, and the volume of trading skyrocket! (604 million shares traded hands- a huge amount for 1987). The computer systems couldn’t keep up. We went on the air at 6:30 pm Eastern time, and literally, two minutes before air, I was retyping the Dow average because the numbers kept changing.
It’s mind-boggling to think of all the changes that have occurred in my life since that time. I’ve gotten married, raised two children and now run my own business. I never imagined that I would work for myself all those years ago. But I’m so glad that I had that experience because it has shaped who I am today.
I had a great career at NBR. I eventually became the stocks producer, and later, a writer and producer for the show itself. The skills I acquired in those positions serve me today. I learned how to operate on a deadline. I had to pay close attention to details – (reporting incorrect information about a company’s stock price, or any other pertinent data such as revenues, and the like, is not something you want to do).
Most importantly, I learned how to tell a news item in a short amount of time. I had to write 10 second teases and 30 second stories. That skill of being able to condense the meat of a story into a brief time serves me well as a copywriter, especially when it comes to writing content for a website. If the headline and content I write for my client’s website doesn’t grab their prospect’s attention within 5-6 seconds, that client just lost a potential sale.
I have fond memories of my time at NBR, but I’m very happy with my career today. I enjoy helping businesses connect with their target audiences through the content I write. If you need any help in this area, I hope you’ll contact me.