These 1981 Ratings were just terriffic. There were a number of years that we beat Channel 19 by a wide margin (before Channel 48 became a contender). This anchor team is representative of the strong and talented people we assembled over the years. There were many changes and sometimes it took a while to regain our #1 position again, but through research and tireless efforts to be Number One, it happened. It took the entire staff, not just the anchors, however. Promotion had to do their job advertising and promoting these people and the newscasts. Engineering had to keep equipment working, both on-air as well as the cameras and recorders and live equipment. Production had to produce slick, error free newscasts that showed the audience why we were the leading station. We had to resist cramming in too many commercials when we were #1, so as not to run viewers away and leave room for content, but it was nice to make the money while we could. It helped us continue to grow and give raises. Winning is always a total station effort taking every single person.
Channel 48 and Channel 19 had moved down the mountain, while we continued to expand and/or patch up the old, original building on the mountain. We were referred to as "That Bucket of Bolts On The Hill" in one competitor's meeting. They were saying, "how could 'That Bucket of Bolts On The Hill' beat a station with state of the art facilities, building and location." The answer was, it's what the audience sees on the air that matters and the morale of the people at the TV station. We spent money for on-air and for morale because that's what mattered, not how pretty and new the building was.
I can remember many a department head meeting where arguments would break out about conflicts with news, engineering, production, traffic, promotion and every other department (including janatorial). But it was because we all cared and wanted everything we supervised to be the best. That's what it takes to win. It takes caring, a strong desire to win and a lot of heart (Ask Seabiscuit).
M.D. Smith, IV