Identifying Great Content
May 3, 2011
I spent a week recently working with a morning show, and I thought some of what we learned might be useful for you.
It's a two-person show and they've been working hard to find content that has the potential for strong emotional reaction. So, I was delighted when, during our first day's post-show planning session, they'd found this story.
Here's the basics: Abby Dorn's heart stopped while she was giving birth to triplets. The triplets were all born healthy, but by the time doctors could work on Abby, she had sustained a devastating brain injury due to lack of oxygen. Abby is now severely disabled: she is a quadriplegic, blind and unable to speak. She has to be fed through a stomach tube.
Here's the twist: Her husband, Dan, divorced her once it became clear she could not recover. He announced his decision on the first birthday of the triplets, saying it was necessary to accept reality and begin to rebuild his life to best care for his children. And he doesn't want Abby or her parents to have court-ordered visitation rights due to her severe disability.
Potentially useful facts:
Both Abby and Dan are Orthodox Jews, and she had been taking fertility medications because the couple had been unable to conceive.
Abby's parents moved her to their home in South Carolina after Dan filed for divorce so they could better care for her.
Dan has taken the triplets to visit their mother only once since she was moved to SC. He claims the visit upset the children, while Abby's parents said they were affectionate and loving, calling her 'mommy' ... and the visit went well.
Abby's parents have filed a suit asking the court to order regular visitation so Abby can know her children.
This is a big topic, and a story worth sharing because of its potential for impact on everyone who hears it.
But, while I was pleased they had found it, I had to challenge them when they told me how they planned to handle it.
How would YOU handle this topic? How would YOU tell this story?
I hope you'll respond this week in the Comments section below. I'd love to hear from talent coaches and major talent, because in my next columns, I'll reveal my advice to my morning show, and make your responses part of the learning exercise for all of us...
in the Talent Pool.