Michael Castengera is a newspaper reporter, turned television reporter, turned news manager, turned news consultant, turned university teacher.
He started out as a newspaper reporter, first while living in Australia, and then for newspapers in Orlando and Jacksonville, Florida. He made the cross over into television reporting in Jacksonville, going to work for Post-Newsweek’s WJXT.
Since then he has worked in virtually every position in the newsroom, including reporter, assignment editor, producer, managing editor, assistant news director, news director and, finally, station manager. His career has covered markets large (Miami and St. Louis), medium (Jacksonville, Fort Myers, Oklahoma City and Lexington, Kentucky) and small (Beaumont and Corpus Christi, Texas).
He cites as career highlights, investigative reports into police abuse, tornado coverage in Oklahoma and riots in Miami, being at the birth of the first 24-hour news station (KMOV) and heading up what was, at the time, the highest rated news affiliate in the country (WINK).
It was while he was station manager and news director in Fort Myers that he made the cross over into consulting, working with Audience, Research and Development of Dallas as a senior strategist with a variety of stations around the country.He now is a senior lecturer in Digital and Broadcast Journalism at the Grady College of Journalism at the University of Georgia. In addition to that, he runs his own consulting company, Media Strategies and Tactics. Clients include media groups in America as well as in India.
Number of posts: 7
Email address: email
Other: Other Sit
By Michael Castengera:
He had always wanted to go hunting with his big brother, and this was going to be his first trip. It was also going to be his last.
He got up early. Real early. They wanted to be in position by dawn. Sunrise was at 7:30. That meant they had to leave the house by 6:30, allowing for a half hour drive and a 20-minute walk into position. He was up at 5 o’clock. At least that’s what he told his brother…
There’s an old joke about a guy who goes to the circus and he sees a man shoveling manure, all the time cussing and complaining about the work. So, the guy says to him, ‘hey, if it’s so bad, why don’t you just quit.’ To which, the circus worker says, ‘what, and give up show business?’ Well, apparently that is a parable for broadcasters. Three separate reports put news broadcasters at the low end of the employment totem pole. All right, I know. I can hear the cynics out there saying, “Color me surprised.” But there’s more.
The latest controversy surrounding radio personality Rush Limbaugh seems to be proof of the old saying, “I don’t care what they say about me as long as they spell my name right.” Or, maybe it’s the other one — “there’s no such thing as bad publicity.” That’s the only way to reconcile the latest Harris Interactive Survey about ‘news personalities’ with the ratings for those personalities. According to the Harris poll, more than twice as many people (46%) say Limbaugh is their ‘least favorite’ media personality as say he is their favorite (22%). Even among Republicans, he ends up in the negative column.
Who Do You Trust?
I know we’re all supposed to be multi-media journalists but I kind of like to think of myself as a Hybrid Journalist. I run on ink and electricity. I am one of those rare persons who went from print to television – a newspaper reporter who became a television reporter even though newspapers were doing ‘real journalism’ and television was doing ‘infotainment.’ But then I got my first lesson in how the two media are perceived by the general public. It came when I went to the courthouse. As a newspaper reporter, they all politely said, “Oh, hello, Michael.” As a television reporter, they would say, “Oh, hello, Michael, how can I help you. What do you need? What are you working on?” The difference was striking.
Super Bowl XLVI marked yet another media milestone. True, it had 111.3 Million viewers, making it the largest audience for any Super Bowl so far. But that’s not it. And, true, the commercials topped the $3.5 Million mark, making them the most expensive spots so far. But that’s not it either. No, the milestone that media scholars will be discussing fifty years from now is that this was the first game streamed legal and live online for free. Both NBCSports.com and the NFL.com provided viewers the option of huddling with their computers instead of sitting in the television stands of their living room while NBC through Verizon also allowed viewers to intercept the action on the mobile sidelines.
I may no longer be a Virgo. And you may no longer be an Aries, or a Taurus or a Scorpio or whatever. Now that may not exactly be earth-shattering news to you, but apparently it is to many of the people on Facebook. A story about the signs of the Zodiac scored three – not just one, but three – of the top 40 spots on Facebook’s list of the most shared articles in 2011. Now, if you accept the idea that what people search for, and share, on the Internet gives an insight into the culture and psyche of people, what does that say to you? You have to wonder.
The Occupy Wall Street movement may prove to be a test of the news media, not unlike the protest movement of the 1960’s tested the media then. The difference is that in the 60’s, “the media” was really just three network evening newscasts and newspapers. Most people might say the big difference was that there was no cable news, but it’s more than that. There was no mainstream media, new media, social media and alternative media. Back then, as the sarcastic saying goes, freedom of the press was only guaranteed to those who owned one. Now, everybody has a printing press; It’s known as the Internet.