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9/11/07

Sep 10, 2007 by     1 Comment    Posted under: Uncategorized


9-11 six years past. Just what memories are you carrying for this day? Those of us east of the Mississippi were at work that Tuesday morning. Phones rang with friends and family telling us to turn on the TV. In America, when something important happens, people turn to television. The thoughts and feelings that went shooting through us changed each minute that day. I remember dialing someone who worked in the Tower – he got out. I remember waking up friends in LA, who were already up because they had been called by someone wanting to alert them, perhaps to help make sense of it all. We wanted to find some reason in this from the beginning. It’s been a long road.

As a part of the media, yet not news per se, it was an odd, useless position that marketing people found themselves in. I know many of you used your editing skills to help out your stations. Or your knowledge of logs. Or your community service outreach plans. The Art Department was asked to do all kinds of things that never saw the air, because the local news didn’t make it on the air. Everybody wanted to DO something; yet finding out what action to take was nearly impossible. There was so much that needed to be done, but what exactly. So we sat and watched.

Will there be any more haunting way to summarize 9-11 than to think of the empty emergency rooms in New York and Washington? Doctors, nurses, staff…adrenaline racing, ready to do their jobs – eyes glues to TV monitors while an odd silence enveloped their hospital rooms. Expected casualties would never arrive.

Many of the news leaders that day are no longer leading. Rather, Brokaw and Jennings aren’t taking a daily role anymore, and the question in many leading operations is “what is relevant in the post 9-11 world of TV?” Is TV still the source for American’s when something needs to be seen, be understood, and be shared? And what role does marketing play in that new media order?

World War II vet CHARLES DURNING recently said “Memory is more like a duffel bag than a filing cabinet.” Please share your memories with those you work with, your family and your friends today. Examine how you view things with 1,825 days gone by. What’s changed within you and around you? Then eat dessert first. Life is short.

Come back tomorrow.

1 Comment + Add Comment

  • Today also brings new sadness to our little TV world. Freelance videographer (and former WRAL ENG photog) Mark Copeland died in a helicopter crash off the coast of Sarasota, FL.

    Mark was the best – a good guy, loved his work and really loved people. Mark was funny, bright, a real sweet guy. And he was as good as they come, when it comes to freelance photogs. During my horrible time spent at a competing station (Mark and I worked together at WRAL, too) I called on Mark to shoot lots of video, one project ended up being nominated for a regional Emmy. We worked together more at that crummy station than we did at WRAL, and now I’m glad we did, because I won’t get a chance to say goodbye. When I e-mailed him and told me I was moving to CA, he was shocked but glad for me. I knew I’d miss working with him, and I was right. The folks I work with here are great, mind you, they just aren’t Mark.

    Even if Mark was just documenting something (more so than shooting it for a spot or a sales presentation) it always was done with the upmost care and foresight. Mark was always thinking ahead, often providing (at no extra charge) items he needed to make the end result better. He was just that kind of guy. A real pro.

    And Mark was funny, easy to work with, had no ego about him. He was just a hard working, great guy. His attitude was always positive, he was always striving for excellence. He loved his work, he really did.

    Here is a link to Mark’s tragic story and a great little piece put together by the good folks at WRAL.

    http://www.wral.com/news/national_world/national/story/1801619/

    May you rest in peace. I know you are looking down on us, Mark. When I am done crying, I will wave back. I miss you, buddy!

    Chuck Harrell