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Name: Al Linsey Jr.
Occupation: TV news producer
Duties: Finds, pre-interviews and coordinates sources. Develops story ideas and ensures that shows run smoothly. Must be able to juggle multiple tasks under close deadlines. Frequent travel.
Salary range: $25,000-$90,000
Training: College degree in journalism, communications or media studies preferred. Entry-level experience usually as a news clerk, production assistant and assistant producer. Internships at media outlets are a must.
The 33-year-old Lindsey’s road to television news producer began in 1988 when he landed a job as a “runner at CBS Sports in New York at a job fair. At $50-a-day and no benefits, the position had little financial reward but provided entree into the highly competitive television industry. From there it was two years as a news clerk at This Morning, another CBS show.
At CBS, Lindsey made quick strides, moving from assistant to associate producer and, in 1994, became a full-fledged producer. No day is boring for Lindsey, who has done everything from board a plane in search of the Unabomber’s family to interviewing witnesses to the crash of TWA’s Flight 800 to pulling together informative consumer segments.
For more information about a career as a news producer, contact: Producers Guild of America, 400 South Beverly Drive, Suite 211, Beverly Hills, CA 90212; 310-557-0807; or the National Association of Black Journalists, University of Maryland, 3100 Talafero Hall, College Park, MD 20742-7717; 301-405-8500; or e-mail: NABJ@jmail.umd.edu.