Saturday, September 20, 2008

One of the Best Bad Writers

Whatever happened to…? The question's often asked in TV newsrooms.

Working your way from up from small markets, many of your colleagues come to their senses and defect from broadcast journalism to well-paying careers that provide perks like days off on Christmas and New Year’s.

I have seen TV friends become lawyers, authors, NRA employees.

One night after the 11 o'clock broadcast (at an East coast station), during a post-news bowling session, we ran into a former station news director. He was the bowling alley manager.

Probably second to careers in bowling, is public relations. That's a pretty popular post-television option.

A long-distance friend, Larry Brill, went into public relations. And intentionally bad writing.

I stumbled across the name of the former Colorado Springs and Austin anchor in an Associated Press story about the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest, the competition for the best worst It-was-a-dark-and-stormy-night opening line of a novel. Brill had won by writing this:

"As the fading light of a dying day filtered through the window blinds, Roger stood over his victim with a smoking .45, surprised at the serenity that filled him after pumping six slugs into the bloodless tyrant that mocked him day after day, and then he shuffled out of the office with one last look back at the shattered computer terminal lying there like a silicon armadillo left to rot on the information superhighway."

He said he had a leg up on the competition because he worked in television news.

Now he does PR and writes novels. Good ones.

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