KJZZ-TV in Salt Lake City threatens to do the same with our industry.
This was discovered on Craigslist:
Part-time Summer Video Work
Reply to: see below Date: 2008-02-15, 2:59PM MST
The Utah Jazz and the Salt Lake Bees are looking for individuals to fill the following positions: Camera Operator Instant Replay Operator Editor Techinical (sic) Director Utility/Grip
We are looking for creative individuals with experience and knowledge in shooting sporting/other events, video editing and interviewing. If interested mail your resume and demo reel to: Human Resources 301 W South Temple Salt Lake City, UT 84101
- Location: Utah Jazz/Salt Lake Bees
- Compensation: $50/event
- This is a part-time job.
- Principals only. Recruiters, please don't contact this job poster.
- Please, no phone calls about this job!
- Please do not contact job poster about other services, products or commercial interests.
Oh my lord, where to start?
Despite what your common sense is telling you, this ISN'T for a scoreboard feed in a minor league ballpark.
THIS IS THE REAL THING! Or as real as Salt Lake City gets, anyway (we kid, we kid).
We can look beyond someone's Utopian ideal that camera ops, tape ops, editors, TDs, and utes all deserve the same pay, as long as the rate is whatever the highest position normally gets.
Paying a utility TD money is fine and generous, but it wouldn't work in reverse. Can you name a TD that would work games for accepted utility wages?
But KJZZ takes that issue and goes about one hundred steps further. The pay is FIFTY DOLLARS per game for ALL positions! These games will be broadcast over-the-air in SLC with approximately 60 translator stations relaying the signal to viewers in Utah, Wyoming, Nevada and Idaho. And that's not counting cable and satellite viewers in the region.
This ain't no public access channel. A quick look at the KJZZ line-up reveals that they have syndication deals for "Friends", "Scrubs", "Entertainment Tonight" and everybody's favorite self-promoting fraud, "Dr. Phil".
But they're going to pay FIFTY BUCKS to freelancers working on their baseball games?
We can't wait to see how that looks.
But if you can imagine, the future may look even worse.
KJZZ is owned by the Larry H Miller Group Of Companies which controls a vast array of retail, food and entertainment businesses, financial service institutions and automotive dealerships in seven western states. The Utah Jazz and the EnergySolutions Arena, plus the aforementioned Salt Lake Bees baseball team (AAA - LA Angels) all fall under the Larry H Miller umbrella.
Conveniently, KJZZ also broadcasts 40 Utah Jazz games, which includes 22 home games this season. SLC's freelance pool continues to work these games, but what about next season? What if KJZZ offers their FIFTY DOLLAR A GAME crew the home package for 2008 - 2009? Who's to say that FSN Utah wouldn't eventually follow suit for their games?
There's nothing to stop them. Utah is a right-to-work state, and while KJZZ's actions will no doubt result in a grass roots IATSE movement, there's no legal remedy against anyone not wishing to join.
According to the their web site:
The vision at KJZZ remains, "To enhance the quality of life in Utah."
Except perhaps, for the quality of life of Utah's TV freelancers.
(By the way, companies that can't spell "technical" correctly in their help wanted ads shouldn't expect to find many Mensa applicants knocking on their doors.)