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Labors of Love

Mar 3, 2003  •  Post A Comment

Nothing has been more invigorating than reporting on major media deals and deal-makers for Electronic Media-well, nothing except punctuating some of that coverage with a little M&A activity of my own.
I marked the takeovers of ABC, CBS and NBC, and the creation of Fox, by giving birth to of my four children throughout the 1980s. In what appears to be a testament to my determination not to miss a good story-or a deadline-the babies always came on Friday, at the end of the work week.
One particular instance stands out in my mind. On Sept. 11, 1986, I had just completed a telephone interview with William Paley, the late founding chairman of CBS, and other top company executives when I went into labor with my third child. I did what any self-respecting working mom would do. I wrote and electronically filed the story all about how majority shareholder Laurence Tisch stormed the CBS executive suite that week to become the acting CEO, ending one era and beginning another at the Tiffany Network. That done, I left for the hospital, backup disk in hand.
Several weeks later, Rance Crain, who personally hired me to work at Crain Communications’ Advertising Age and to help launch Electronic Media, wrote an editorial that inspires me still.
In it, he wrote in admiring terms about the recent “feats “ performed by two women: about my unusual dual-“deadline” experience, and a rare race car exploit involving his mother, Gertrude Crain, the late company matriarch and a wonderful mentor.
That experience, like so many others I have had covering the media business and speaking to so many industry leaders, afforded a marvelous blend of professional and personal drama. I have always been grateful for that duality in my life.
Diane Mermigas is editor of Mermigas on Media and columnist and contributing editor for TelevisionWeek.