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Heidi Godman Day in Sarasota … and a message from Heidi herself

Okay, first the good news … Mayor Kelly Kirschner announced Monday, May 3, 2010 as officially “Heidi Godman Day” during the Sarasota City Commission meeting earlier this week. heidigodman

There was a nice presentation, with lovely things said about Heidi’s contributions to the community, the City, the county. Dr. Hill and another woman from Sarasota Memorial Hospital, I believe, were on hand to personally thank Heidi for her commitment to educating the public on health care issues. (If you want to check out video of the meeting that just shows the tribute to Heidi, follow instructions at end of this blog.)

I think it’s great that the guys at City Hall recognized Heidi in this way, but I think it stinks that they had to have the event at all … since it is a reflection of the fact that Channel 7 has completely lost its mind and manners and has severely underestimated the cultural climate in this community when it comes to loyalty, respect, and how, why, and from whom we want to receive the news of the day.

If you haven’t read the many, many comments from blog readers about Heidi and how much she’ll be missed, you can check them out here.

But believe me, more than twice the number of folks who posted comments, reached out to me via phone, email, or in person to tell me just how “disgusted” (that’s how my Mom put it, for example) they are at how Channel 7 management let Heidi go, and how so very many of them have every intention of NOT watching Channel 7 anymore. While I’m not sure that’s practical, it does show the depth of feeling the community has for Heidi, and appreciation they have for her years of excellence in reporting, and her sincere efforts in establishing a relationship with the community as a whole.

I even, in fact, heard from Heidi herself. And she was as gracious in her personal message to me (apparently she’d read some of the blogs I’d written about her and the comments people have been making) as she was in her public message signing off from Channel 7 … and I don’t think she’d mind me sharing a few of her words here: “I want to thank you and your readers for your support. It means a lot to me.”

I’m not sure what Heidi will do next, but I know she’ll flourish with whatever venture or path she pursues next. She’s too gracious, smart, and classy for anything but success. All best wishes to her.

And now, as promised, the bad (sort of) news: When Mayor Kirschner began his talk about Heidi Godman, he mentioned that he’d read a report of her leave-taking on a “somewhat obscure blog posting”!!!

Obscure? Moi? I think not, Mister Mayor! ;)*

(*and yes, I’ve got good reason to think he was referring to my little old blog!)

(If you want to watch the video of the Heidi Godman Day tribute, go to and go to the City Commission Regular section, click on the May 3, 2010 hyperlink, and it will open to the start of the meeting — you’ll hear it/see it, but you can scroll down the agenda to item IX Commission Presentations, click on the hyperlink, and the video will switch to just that section.)

Posted on May 5th, 2010Comments RSS Feed
4 Responses to Heidi Godman Day in Sarasota … and a message from Heidi herself
  1. John W. Perkins
    May 5, 2010 at 1:20 pm

    Mayor Kirschner, a “somewhat obscure blog posting”

    Obscure ? What’s that turkey’s phone number ? I’d like to tell him that more people across the nation pay more attention to what you have to say M.C., than to anything he’s ever had to say.

  2. Well at least you got that right Captain.:-)

  3. Stan Zimmerman
    May 5, 2010 at 11:34 pm

    MC: A 22-year run at any TV station on Earth is nothing short of astounding. Ken Thompson’s tenure as Sarasota’s city manager was about as long, and is still a national record. I abandoned TV news decades ago when a news director told me, “You’re all meat. And eventually you all go bad. And then I replace you.”

    Another axiom of TV news: “A new manager means somebody gets fired.” The new manager might be the GM, maybe the ND, but the exercise of prerogative seems inescapable. “I’m the boss, and wake up everybody. I’m in charge.” Past performance has nothing to do with it. Expertise is expendable.

    I still miss TV news. I’m a Channel 40 (now 7) alumni, hired as they took away the film developing tank and switched to 40-pound ENG cameras. Plus the 20-pound VCRs. Plus mike etc. Summer coverage was guaranteed weight loss. Worked at four other stations, climbing my way up the markets. But when “Mr. Meat” dropped his dime, it was time to get a real news job.

    Editing videotape – even 25 years ago – was an exercise in creating perception. I loved it, blending the script with the video, maybe even adding music, my fingers had power. I came away from the experience saddened by its misuse, as hard news became info-tainment. To this day, it is painful to watch people watch TV news. My labor to craft a tight and important story competed nightly with mashed potatoes and wardrobe commentary. “He needs to cut his hair,” instead of “Whoa, they did what?”

    Heidi served our community with passion and perception. I’m happy Mayor Kirschner recognized her contributions, and I too salute her labors in an under-appreciated and over-clocked trade. Last year 5,800 print reporters lost their jobs. The old economic model supporting freedom of the press is under assault from a variety of enemies. Including new GMs wanting to flex their very transitory muscle. s/Stan Zimmerman

  4. Stan, the Man,

    Your comment, the writing, the language, is so visceral, I could almost see Mr. Meat, the antiquated equipment, the sweat lodge effect, and the editing room. What a fabulous New Yorker article this would make.

    Thanks for the perspective.


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