KCBS-TV Channel 2
Two weeks ago, as a stolen 7-Up truck barreled down a Los Angeles freeway weaving in and out of traffic, Larry Perret was scrambling to make sure the cameras were ready, the reporters were on the scene, and the helicopters were buzzing overhead.
As a TV news director in the nation’s second-largest media market, Perret says there is “never a dull moment.” The 15-year television news veteran considers himself on duty all the time keeping his pager with him constantly.
“If I am at home and there is some major breaking news event, I can’t consider myself off duty,” said Perret. “Sometimes this is a 24-hour job.”
When major news happens, such as the 1994 Northridge earthquake, he might work around the clock for a week or more. “All of the sudden it is 4:18 in the morning and you find yourself at work,” he said.
Perret wakes up at 5:30 a.m. to the sound of his fax machine pumping out the station’s ratings from the previous day. Then he reads the daily news wires. “I will be in the office by about 8:30 a.m. and by that time I am fully plugged in,” said Perret.
He directly runs four of Channel 2’s five daily broadcasts a regimen that usually keeps in the office until 7:30 p.m. (unless there is a breaking news story). Perret, who is single, says he is pretty much married to his job. “It is very hard to balance this job with a family,” he said. “It is a very demanding business and can take its toll if you have a family.”