Tuesday, June 17, 2008


Lessons Learned from Tim Russert: How ironic that in the past year, I found myself saying to myself, "Be like Tim Russert"; meaning, be objective, see all sides, make issues clearer, have a meaningful discussion and don't make it personal. Recently, I had the privilege to moderate the keynote address at the CRS which explored the red hot controversy of whether or not radio should pay performance rights. Before taking the stage, I'd hoped to channel Tim Russert. I received generally favorable feedback on the session in that my goal of airing out the issue and avoiding personal attacks appeared to have been met.

This past weekend, in watching all the tributes, I was inspired by how Tim Russert lived his life. This guy not only believed in teamwork, but practiced it. By being generous and giving to his workmates, he elevated the team, and himself. He mentored, yet still was able to accomplish his personal goals too.

As radio struggles to find it's way with changing technology and economic challenges, we can all take heart that we'll be OK if we approach our jobs the way Tim Russert approached his. Relentlessly seek the truth. Care about your co-workers. Give others credit and elevate your co-workers. Be prepared. Don't cut corners. And most of all, put family first. A good team will understand.

3 comments:

Randy Bliss said...

Joel,

I couldn't agree more with regard to Tim Russert and the way he lived his life. I am from the Buffalo area as well, am a long suffering Bills fan like Tim and a huge fan of Tim's work over the years. Meet the press was an appointment for me each week, with someone I trusted to illuminate both sides of an issue.

I heard the news of his passing on the radio while traveling and could not believe it. I watched the tributes over the weekend with a sense of loss almost as dramatic of that of a family members passing.

The nation has lost a valuable resource. These days network news anchors are all working some angle and in most cases don't even pretend to be in "the middle".

Tim was the exception and I cannot imagine election coverage being worth a plugged nickle without him.

I was always inspired by Tim's passion for his family, his faith and his beloved broadcasting and will continue to aspire to his example.

We talked at length about Tim this week in our air-staff meeting. We discussed the incredible example Tim set for not just professional conduct, but personal as well.

His son Luke's appearance on the Today show is all the evidence you need to see what kind of guy Tim was.

I'm really sad I'll never hear Tim say the following again:

Go Bills, If it's Sunday, its meet the press.

ErieBob said...

I've watched so many greta teams seprate with one member thinking they can do it on their own only to fall flat on their face. Tim knew the secret...great teams win games...Even Tiger Woods has a golf coach and listens to his caddy. Look around your town and I bet you can see the team before and after a win.

severson said...

With the untimely and unfortunate passing of Tim Russert, mainstream news reporting has lost a heavyweight and has taken a very large hit to their future relevance.

Tim was the epitome of being a genuine balanced reporter. I don't know of anyone out there with the professionalism and integrity to fill his shoes.