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Balancing Act

by Nancy Francis

Posted on March 15, 2008 at 8:27 PM

Updated Wednesday, Nov 4 at 2:33 PM

Posted by Nancy Francis

Some people are astounded when they hear I've been at KGW for 22-plus years. Candidly, the fact is I would not have lasted that long if KGW had not allowed me to work a part time schedule for much of that time.

I have three daughters. After my first daughter was born, I returned to work full time: anchoring weekends (a night schedule) and reporting (a daytime schedule) three days a week. After several exhausting months, it became clear to me I wasn't doing anything particularly well; I wasn't performing to my satisfaction as a journalist or a mother.

I did not want to quit my job. But I knew that, realistically, it would eventually come to that unless there was some kind of compromise. Something had to give.

I don't believe there is a universal formula for a work/family balance. I would never dare to presume to know what other parents should do to achieve the right balance. Furthermore, many parents simply cannot afford to cut back on work, much as they might want to do that. Every situation is different; not everyone has the same options.

All I knew was what seemed best for my child and family in the context of the demanding profession of television news and the particular schedule I had.

My proposal to my then-boss: Reduce my hours, my pay, and my benefits.

I thought it was a win-win, but the news director at that time (1989) was resistant to the idea. After considerable back-and-forth, he agreed and KGW allowed me that privilege for many years, even though it wasn't necessarily always convenient for the news operation. I would like to thank KGW for that.
I hope that sharing my story publicly might encourage other companies to keep an open mind when it comes to compromising with their employees during various phases of their careers and family life. More often than not, in my opinion, it makes good business sense.

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