Top 20 things I've learned in TV News

As I recognize 20 years as a full-time working journalist in Texas, I'd like to share a little of what I've learned. These are in no particular order and humor was my goal with a little truth, of course.

1. Waist line before deadline, always. 

2. Thrift stores rule. 

3. Accept any and all gifts under $8. 

4. Get free tickets when possible. 

5. Get roommates or rent a room. 

6. Keep your desk area mostly clear for quick and easy exit. 

7. When possible arrive 15 minutes late.

8. When possible leave 15 minutes early. 

9. Accept all interested viewers for at least one date.

10. Use your sick days. They're called mental health days in news.

11. Never touch your 401k, especially if you marry the wrong person. 

12. Never touch your 401k, unless you are wrongfully terminated and on the beach. 

13. Save $12,000 to hire an attorney for that wrongful termination lawsuit. 

14. Never hire your friends. It rarely works out. 

15. Only ask once if you are interested in that co-worker. 

16. Say no to agents unless you really have "IT" and they really have a contract for you to sign. 

17. Never say no to food or drinks. 

18. Always be ready to poke the bear and with great pleasure.

19. Have plenty of piss and vinegar in reserve for your enemies and anyone who might want to interfere with your work.

20.  Never answer the phone as yourself at work. Delete hate email and ignore it on social media, unless you have a great photo to leave them thinking. In 2018, a photo is now worth one million words.


James Doughty has worked in seven Texas television newsrooms since 1998 including KVII Amarillo, KIII Corpus Christi, KTRE Lufkin, KSAN San Angelo, KENS San Antonio, and KWES Midland.

He currently serves as morning anchor at KAVU in Victoria, Texas. Doughty uses his mother's maiden name Munoz on-air as a way to pay tribute to his Hispanic heritage. The Munoz family arrived in Texas in 1901 via San Juan de los Lagos, Mexico.

Doughty is a graduate of Texas Tech University and author of a memoir, “Some Monument to Last.” The book documents his interview with Walter Cronkite in 2000. That evening, Doughty met his great-uncle Preston Doughty. Preston was able to provide a copy of "Our Doughty Familes", which traces the Doughty family history to 1755.

The fourth-generation Texan carries the namesake of his third great-grandfather who was a co-founder of the City of Rockport, the first superintendent of the King Ranch and Sheriff of Refugio County. Another ancestor, John Moses, came to Texas in 1847 and wrote a series of columns for the San Antonio Express-News from 1887 to 1890 under the pseudonym Sesom.

Doughty has covered several major news stories including Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans and the mass church shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas.

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An example for #20.

James Doughty