Tim Guidera Joins WTOC - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

08/20/07

Tim Guidera Joins WTOC

Tim Guidera Tim Guidera

Well, hello again.

It seems like we just saw each other. In fact, it feels as if it was only yesterday that we were together in the way we always have been, me lying around on the coffee table all day and you deciding whether or not to look at me.

That situation has officially changed.

Having left the Morning News and joined WTOC, I will be doing a lot of the same work I have done telling Savannah's stories to Savannah for the last 15 years.

It's just that, in this new medium, I will be more accessible, more present and harder to ignore. My new bosses would probably say more pertinent and less 19th century, too, but I'm staying out of that old fight.

As much as they have sparred throughout the years, local television and local newspapers are not all that different. With both, the product is only as good as your connection to the community you cover. And that connection is built primarily by telling good stories well.

To me, although I am hardly objective on the subject, the secret of telling those stories is in the writing, in providing detail and flavor and cadence and flow, all of which are as vital as the point you're trying to make.

At least that's what I'm hoping. Because as I look around my new workplace today, at all the lights and cameras and pretty faces and healthy hairlines, the one area it seems I might actually fit in is at this keyboard.

I'll be around it a lot, too. One of the functions of my new job will be continuing to write columns for wtoc.com, which currently receives 1.5 million page views per month and is still growing. I also will be putting together features and special series as well as doing segments for the station's news programs and co-hosting its sports specials.

With all of that, there should be plenty of room for the same kind of profiles, commentary and analysis that I tried to deliver as a newspaper columnist. In fact, writing still will be the foundation for everything I do. I'll just have to read what I write on air now.

Not that everything will be the same on this side of Chatham Parkway. I'm really crossing the street into a whole new world, one that I have seen from the outside and dabbled in before, but have no idea if I'll be any good at.

And with this new endeavor come different challenges. The luxury of self-editing is now replaced by the demand of immediacy and where I once had a delete button saving me from anything that didn't come out right the first time, I could now have people sitting in their living rooms asking themselves, "Did he just say that?''

So I'm a little nervous, very excited and ready to get to work.

But it probably can't get worse now than the questions I have faced about making this career change.

Like whether the station has given any thought to selling advertising on the top of my head? Or how did I manage to look like I was carrying those ten extra pounds the camera adds years before getting into television?

And, of course, my kids are already asking how I am going to get inside the TV set.

Naturally, I don't have answers for any of these, the same way I don't have any explanation about how I could have been fortunate enough to have made this move.

All I really knew was that I wanted to do something different and I wanted to do it in Savannah. Then, determining that I liked the direction WTOC is going a lot better than the current direction of the newspaper industry, I called Craig Harney, who is the operations manager and a terrific producer at the station and a better friend.

That started a short series of meetings and phone calls in which WTOC management and I worked out a role that will capitalize on my writing skills and identity in the community and we hope will be mutually beneficial.

The whole process lasted about a week. That, and the 22 years in journalism and 15 years in Savannah that led up to this move. As I make it today, a question of my own comes to mind.

What took me so long?

You'll find Tim's column here weekly. Feel free to drop him an email at tguidera@wtoc.com.

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