The Sky is Falling!!

The Sky is Falling . . . NOW!

The Sky is Falling . . . NOW!

The sky is falling, the sky is falling, the sky is falling . . . NOW!

Hush, Chicken Little!  The sky never falls!

Well, almost never . . .

Detroit Michigan, 2004.  WDWO TV-18 was in the spotlight for a live program that would be broadcast around the world and in millions of households in the United States, and it was my job, as station manager, to make this happen.

I had produced enough programs to know that in order to be successful at bringing a quality program, I needed a studio audience, talent, singers, topics of interest and a speaker with recognition. Never shirking from a challenge, I went to work.  If I remember correctly, I had about 6 weeks to pull this 3-hour live program together.

I trust that all of my current and former employers would agree that “Subordinate” is my middle name.  I aim to make everyone happy, so when the president of the network called and said he wanted this one preacher man to be the guest speaker, I went to work to make it happen.  This gentleman was a very high-profile minister, a Bishop, in fact.  I had never met him, but had heard enough to know this would not be an easy scouting expedition.
Getting an appointment with any bishop in Detroit was a challenge made even more difficult because for one, I was a woman without the “covering” of a man, and secondly, I held a position of authority, and this should be reserved for men only. I had much to overcome, not to mention that not everyone has appreciation for Christian television.

The first step in the right direction was to become acquainted with the secretary of this Man of God. I made lunch dates, sent flowers, attended the church and finally garnered an appointment.
Meeting Bishop was nerve-wracking, and intimidating. I knew immediately he did not approve of me being in his presence without a male accompaniment, but I forged ahead with my spiel promoting my television station, telling him how I am giving him this opportunity to reach millions, promising he will grow his congregation, and be heard preaching around the world!

He had to pray about it.


Befriending the secretary proved to be a brilliant decision because two weeks later, I am still trying to get an answer, and having her help was crucial. I was determined that “No” was not acceptable, so I continued to hound from a distance until Bishop finally said he would be a part of this program.
After weeks of stress, hard work, planning and plotting, the day arrived. We picked up the president of our network from the airport. He was very pleased with my work and success with the bishop. A church was bussing in their congregation to be the audience. Our set was stunning. The Green Room well stocked with the finest foods and drinks. Paperwork and releases signed. The engineers had everything wired and synced. The camera operators were in place. Sound checks done. We were 15 minutes to air, and I am so pleased, not to mention, I see a nice raise coming my way.

Then I start to hear the sound of a crumbling sky.

My secretary comes running to me saying that we had a big problem, and indeed we did.
Mr. Minister is at the front door saying he won’t be making the broadcast because he just remembered another obligation. Crack. Crumble.
No amount of pleading, crying, promising or shaming was changing his mind.

The sky was falling. It was the end of the world. Blood rushed through my head, and I saw the end of my career just seconds away.

I had no choice but announce to my boss what had happened. Thunder cracked. Clouds desinigrated. The sky continued to fall.

The show must go on, and it did. Without the guest speaker. We made it through the 3-hour airing by improvising, shaking, stretching out the talking heads, sweating, and adding more music.

I thought the sky completely landed upon the earth this night, but I was wrong. My career continued, successfully, and I never heard from the bishop or his secretary. I think he was not ready for the big-time:-)

When I think I am experiencing the sky falling and the end of the world is upon me, I remember the bishop, and I smile.

Chicken Little need not panic. The sky may open up but will never swallow me. I’ve learned to dodge the debris.

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