Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Who Is Mike Gonzalez And Why Is He Doing Sports?

A search of TV industry website MediaLine turned up a familiar face with a not-so-familiar name in its "talent showcase" section for on-air TV job-seekers.

Yes, that is WOWT (Cox Channel 8) reporter/anchor Mike Cronemeyer identified as "Mike Gonzalez" in the screenshot from his resume tape on the right. (More on that later.) First, some background on the unusual, public - and sometimes uncomfortable - process of finding that next job in the TV news business. It is much more than just typing up a resume and mailing it around.

A large talent pool, a limited number of TV markets (210, according to Nielsen Media Research) and the finicky nature of newsroom hiring managers makes it a competitive, and sometimes complex, process.

For Cronemeyer, it will be nearly a year of applying and interviewing for a job he hopes is in TV sports. Cronemeyer has worked at WOWT since March of 2006, but with his contract coming up for renewal in about 10 months, said he is already "testing the waters" to land his next job.

"A lot of the feedback I've gotten is that sports is a natural fit for me," Cronemeyer said. "I still love the news and would to stay in it if the right opportunity came along.

"I would love to stay at WOWT if the opportunity presented itself. My family and I really like it here. Omaha has great schools, nice people and I love the College World Series."

Hardly A Secret Search
Finding a job can be a much more public process in the TV business than for someone in the private sector. For one, Croneyemer is using a public, non-password or membership protected website to post his resume and highlight tape. Secondly, compiling and producing a resume tape often means using station equipment and resources - though anchors, reporters, producers and photojournalists rarely risk doing this during "business hours."

In Cronemeyer's case, he offers up two highlight tapes to potential employers: one entirely devoted to showcasing his sportscasting talents. The other focuses solely on his news reporting and anchoring. But in both tapes, he is identified as "Mike Gonzalez" and his resume points out that he is fluent in Spanish.

"My name is in fact Gonzalez-Cronemeyer," the former North Carolina State University baseball player said. "It's a combination of my mother's maiden name and my dad's name. My mother is Puerto Rican and my father is Anglo."

Changing your last name in the broadcast business is hardly a rarity. KETV (Cox Channel 9) reporter Lisa Stites is the latest Omaha reporter to have done it. Known by her maiden name of "Boschert" before coming to Omaha, Stites is using her husband-to-be's last name.

But some TV talent have raised eyebrows with their name changes.

In 2005, Miami WSCV-Telemundo Spanish-language weathercaster Fidel "Felipe" Ferro changed his name to "Phil Ferro" when he went to work for English language WSVN-7-Fox.

"(It is) easier to roll off the tongue," Ferro told Newsblues at the time. "One less syllable."

Other name-changers include Seattle KOMO meteorologist Jim Castillo - whose real name is Jim Phillips - and Dallas WFAA reporter Cynthia Vega, who worked in El Paso as "Cynthia Weyand."

Croneyemer, who did not go by "Gonzalez" when he worked at KOLN in Lincoln, said he is very proud of his heritage.

"As my grandmother Petra says 'you are what you are,'" Cronemeyer said.

50 comments:

Anonymous said...

Well at least he really is a "Gonzalez." Mike should have probably gone with that in the first place. Everybody knows that in TV, ethnicity can only help your advancement.

What really needs to be discussed is the ABUSE of affirmative action in television. Affirmative action is supposed to be that in cases of EQUAL talent or qualifications the job goes to the minority. But, look around Omaha TV for example (Fazal, Maniko, Carlo, Elictia, Patton, Giles) and you know there HAVE TO BE more qualified and talented white people out there than those individuals. If somebody had some serious guts (obviously not me, I'm anonymous), there could be an excellent legal challenge.

Discuss....

Anonymous said...

i think it's sad (and pathetic) he is changing his name. he apparently can't get a job based on his reporting and/or anchoring skills alone. he hasn't used gonzalez as his last name to this point. why change it now?! and what a lame excuse to say 'gonzalez is my mother's name.' i'm sure his agent has encouraged him to do so. it's still an embarassment. pathetic. just pathetic.

Anonymous said...

if he's so proud of his heritage then why hasn't he used 'gonzalez' before now?!?! clearly he's looking for a new job & playing up the minority card. as a hispanic journalist i am insulted. it seems he wants to be seen as a minority when it is convenient for him. what a shame.

Anonymous said...

EOE regulations mandated by the FCC should be relaxed. Times have changed, and "AA" is no longer needed in our society.

Shameful, Mr. Cronemeyer, I mean Mr. Gonzalez, I mean whatever you are...

Anonymous said...

Wow, what a way to bastardize the station's graphics format. It is so obvious Mike's super was added in post. Minus 10 points for your, Mr. Cronemeyer.

what the heck? said...

Mike's job search may begin a bit sooner than he expected once management sees this article.

Dingbat said...

This is beyond tacky. I'm glad I'm not the only one who finds this terribly transparent.

If this is the first time in his life he's identified himself as "Mike Gonzalez", then he is clearly trying to score minority points. And that really lacks class.

Not to mention, it seems kind of hinky to doctor existing footage in order to change your name.

"Mr Gonzalez" better hope the people who are thinking about hiring him don't call WOWT to check on his references. "Mike Gonzalez? Sorry, Mac, you got the wrong number"

Annie Savoy said...

I give the guy serious props. He can play some ball. His future isn't in TV. It's on the mound. Go Mike!

are you kidding? said...

Mike, Have you lost your mind? You have ten months left on your contract. You dont post on a public site and you dont do an interview with a blogger about your job search. Good luck explaining all this to your bosses.

Anonymous said...

Gonzalez, Cronemeyer, whatever. After watching the Saltdogs portion of his resume tape, all I can say is DAMN, WHAT A HOT ASS!!!

Wishing Channel 6 Would Use Spell Check said...

6:31pm - "Bastardize the station's graphics format"? He probably spent a lot less time superimposing a new name than he did weeding out all the footage that had misspelled words.

Shall we take bets on how many times there were misspelled words under the superimposed "Mike Gonzalez?"

Anonymous said...

If the guy legally changed his name to Mike Gonzalez and insisted upon being referred to Mike Gonzalez from now on while at WOWT, I would believe this business about being so proud of his heritage.

Otherwise, to me it looks like he's just trying to get preferential treatment based on being a minority.

Is this what one wishes to teach their children, "Now remember kids, if your very best just isn't good enough, you can always play the ethnic card"

Anonymous said...

Where's Obbop? This is a perfect time for the anti-immigration speech!

Ted Brockman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ted Brockman said...

[Previous post removed for editing.]

What a tool. If the Gonzalez trick doesn't work, maybe he can try changing his first name to Miguel.

On another cynical note: Might this be Unfrozen Caveman Anchor's attempt to get WOWT to show Dave Webber the door?

To the guy's credit, however, at least he's smart enough to want out of his current gig. Who among us could stand spending two hours every weekend sitting next to speech-impeded, dumb-as-a-bag-of-hammers Rachel Pierce?

Anonymous said...

I don't know why any of you care about this. Quite frankly, what Mike decides to do, to try and further his career AND support his family is HIS BUSINESS. Leave the guy alone!

Changing his name might give him more opportunities, and then again maybe it won't.

Regardless, you can't fault a guy for trying every avenue possible to try and move up in the world. He isn't playing the race card. He speaks fluent spanish. That is a nice skill to have. Have any of you ever noticed that in some job postings there is the phrase..spanish speakers a plus!
What's the big deal with him showcasing this? It is something he can offer to a station that might separate him from another candidate.

Don't listen to these people Mike, testing the waters and giving yourself options is never a bad decision.

Good Luck to you

Anonymous said...

Nobody is dogging the guy for including the fact that he speaks fluent Spanish on his resume. That's a very impressive plus.

But the guy is stacking the deck to give himself the advantage. And that doesn't make it just "HIS BUSINESS". That has the potential to effect everybody else who might be vying for the same job as him.

Anonymous said...

I loved the story last night on Channel Sux about the "Tribble TRAIL". Later, John "Chaps" Chapman almost said "trouble with Tribbles" which I believe was a Star Trek episode. Hilarious.

Anonymous said...

About half the people in TV are using a fake last name, so "the public" has trouble tracking them down. When your on TV everyday there are alot of nut cases that may come "looking" for you, for whatever reason. Hell, people care enough to respond to a blog.
Channel 6 and the owners have a knack of purposely driving away talent. Maybe he has been informed that there will be no contract renewal, or he has no intention of ever agreeing to another deal with 6. In tv you can't just give 2 weeks and walk, if you ever want another job you have to complete your contract. As far as using a minority last name to get a job, I'd bet about 1/3 of tv people are trying that, and the bosses see that garbage every time they hire, and when the boss that's hiring narrows a list down to 3 - 5 people he will check the current stations web site for a bio, and compare that to the resume. So it's even more transparent to them.

Anonymous said...

If six has a knack for driving talent away, that means he will be there for quite some time. He's just not very good, then again, a lot of the on air people at six these days are just not good. Nothing personal, it's just that you have your talented on-air people and your not so talented on-air people. Six seems to be cornering the market on the not so good on-air talent.

Anonymous said...

Maniko maybe stupid but recently she is looking very attractive.

Anonymous said...

He doesn't need to play-up the Gonzalez thing. He needs to play-up the fact that he has a pretty face. Maybe create a video reel that has clips of him doing the news in his underpants. Everybody knows that when it comes down to it, they want to put a pretty face on the TV.

Anonymous said...

That would be nice. Have you seen that guys body? He's chisled.

Anonymous said...

I think it's perfectly fine to do that. Everyone knows speaking spanish is a plus and I think he has just decided to say hey, by the way, I am also Puerto Rican. I'm the real deal. I have the name to prove it. It's a free country isn't it? Alot of people change their name to try to sound cute. I think he is just trying to prove his extra talents and going for it like anyone would if they could. It's a dog eat dog world. Good luck Mike!

Anonymous said...

He's probably sick of people asking him what nationality he is. Can you blame him? You could say that now he pretty much has his bases covered.

Anonymous said...

Note to Mike Crone-zalez:

Find your verguenza.

Anonymous said...

The moral self-rightneousness of most of these posts is ridiculous.

I find it hard to believe that any one else on this blog -- if he was in a similar situation (bilingual and of bi-racial heritage) -- wouldn't do the EXACT same thing if it meant that more opporunities and/or a bigger paycheck were available.

Mike has a young family to support and why wouldn't he explore other possible avenues -- especially if other avenues mean substantially more money.

And the fact remains that playing "the ethnic card" apparently still works in t.v. (and other professions). I doubt anyone on this blog actually believes that Maniko was hired for her journalistic ability. She can barely communicate.

Ms. Northern European Protestant said...

Ironic...back in the day, you Anglicized your name if you were on TV, now you claim an ethnic background any way you can

Anonymous said...

I would say the people doggin Maniko haven't watched her lately. She is greatly improved --is breaking stories and looks good on the air.

Anonymous said...

That's one nice thing about radio; it doesn't matter if you're 6'4", or 4'6". Looks, even names, are of no consequence whatsoever.

As for Mike, I'd have to agree that he may also be well served to seek a position on a AA or AAA baseball team, and leave TV for a post-athletic career. He's OK, but doesn't stand out from the crowd.

Ted Brockman said...

Maniko has made huge strides since arriving here.

Rachel Pierce, on the other hand, may be regressing. Has anyone else noticed her annoying tendency to drop an extra "uh" sound in front of words when she's trying to sound impressive.

Example: "You're watching Channel Six uh-Live Saturday," and "uh-Jim Flowers with your No-Wait Forecast."

When is her contract up. Maybe she can send out a tape under the name Raquel Feo.

Anonymous said...

Maybe I'm just weird. But I would feel better knowing I got the job because of my own merit and not because I had to change my last name to do so.

By the way...I love the name Mike Crone-Zalez. Too funny.

Rhyme Time said...

Maybe y'all are missing the whole point of the name change? Could it be that he's trying to ditch the "Dronemeyer" nickname bestowed upon him by we blogspeople? "Dronemeyer" sure as heck doesn't rhyme with "Gonzalez".

Anonymous said...

Knowing what I know about TV agents, I'm sure they told Croney to play up his ethnic heritage, because there's no way in h#ll he's going to get a job in a larger market any other way. He'll probably end up at some Univision or Telemundo affiliate in the southwest.

Anonymous said...

you are all a bunch of jerks.
let him- and his name- be.

Anonymous said...

We didn't touch his name. He was the one who decided it needed to be tinkered with.

Now if only he'd go that extra mile and change his first name to Speedy.

Anonymous said...

"Dronemeyer" sure as heck doesn't rhyme with "Gonzalez".

How about "Drone-zalez?"

Anonymous said...

Or better yet...Yawn-zalez!

Anonymous said...

I thought his grandmother Petra said "Twenty bucks, your friend an extra Ten."

Anonymous said...

The worse part for M. Cronemeyer or Gonzalez is that News Directors check references and if they are serious about this guy, which they shouldn't be they'll find M. Cronemeyer or Gonzalez is a "jumper." He's skipped out on his first contract and now he's already looking? The only talent this punk has is changing his last name.

FairandBalanced said...

Anonymous 6:57,

Did he really skip out or did Gray Communications let him move from one station to another without a contract violation?

Unless you know for sure, don't post it. If you know it's true, put your name to it.

ROGER S. said...

What a douche. What about Todd Andrews! His real last name is Bonkawitz! BONKAWITZ! That is freakin sweet business peeps. We need to Blog that Rod! Maybe Cronemeyer and BONKAWITZ can have a baby, it would be a super power journalist like Geraldos Mustache.
Rogde

Anonymous said...

For all we know, it was Gray's idea to move him to Omaha.

Anonymous said...

Hey everyone,Nothing wrong with changing your air name...happens all the time in the business. The foolishness of all this is taking the discussion public and talking about it on a blog TEN MONTHS before your contract is up. This is something you do after you move to another job. For example when Greg Peterson moved from Omaha to St.Louis the first time (he was still doing sports) I believe he changed his name to Pete Peterson.

Anonymous said...

But Peterson didn't change his name to Greg Ramirez in an attempt to be attractively ethic.

Anonymous said...

The man has a legitimate claim to his name and if he feels a need to change it to get ahead, more power to him. There are plenty of people in the non media world that are busy sucking butt with half truths to climb the corporate ladder and I have more respect for people like Mike than any of those corporate buttkissers. Go Mike Go!

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