By all accounts, Larry Mendte had it good. He was making huge dollars anchoring the 6 and 11pm newscasts for CBS3 in Philadelphia. A native of nearby Lansdowne, Delaware County, he had come home in July 2003 to help improve the station’s ratings. He is married to another local news anchor. Indeed, life was good.
But in late May, reports surfaced that Mendte was under federal investigation. Authorities reportedly searched his home and confiscated his personal computer. He had allegedly accessed the private e-mail account of his former co-anchor on the evening news, Alycia Lane.
Mendte is innocent until charged and subsequently proven guilty. But the point of this exercise is, what if the charge is proven to be true? And if so, why on earth would somebody of his prominence stoop to this level?
Hopefully, it wasn’t ego. Ego—that force within all of us that cries to be stroked, soothed and satisfied. It’s what drives many of us to get into the business of being broadcast performers.
When I was in college, just hoping somehow, someway to break into broadcasting, someone told me he wasn’t even going to try for a broadcasting career because—as he put it—that business is just a jungle of egos. And maybe it is. But that doesn’t mean you have to be Tarzan.
We all have egos. Nobody is ego-less. Basically, I think it’s those who can control their egos who end up being the better for it. Let ego drive you certainly, but only to a point. Don’t let it interfere with friends or co-workers. Don’t allow it to ruin your career, as it has for some. Find a way to channel that ego until it—shall we say—calms down. Hopefully, you’ll look back on the hurt your ego felt and look at the experience as what it really is–just another instance of pettiness.
Dealing with problems of the ego as it relates to developing your broadcasting career is just one of the many issues we tackle at www.marczumoff.com.