I worked as a newspaper reporter as Bettyann Tinnelly, (my maiden name), for over 15 years many years ago. I started out as an assistant and worked my way up to senior editor for Electronic Buyers News (EBN). It was a weekly newspaper that covered the electronic component industry – all of the components you would find in your computers, cell phones, etc. I also wrote for Electronic Marketing News (EMN) and Electronic World News (EWN) , which were both CMP Media. I mostly covered distribution, passive components and power sources for EBN but I also contributed to news and other sections. I went to school at night and received a B.A. degree from Adelphi University in English Lit/Communications.
Working for EBN, which was then owned by CMP Media then, was one of the best experiences of my life. The company started out as a privately-owned family business. It was extremely progressive for a company in the 1980s with on-site daycare, same-sex insurance and many other benefits and perks that made it an awesome company. All of the editors I worked with encouraged me to get a Bachelor’s Degree (I was the only editor on the staff without one). The company had tuition reimbursement so it would have been silly for me not to pursue a degree. It was tough working full time and going to school at night, but I was always encouraged to keep going. I was continuously rewarded for my hard work and dedication with raises, benefits, perks and a great salary. The atmosphere was electric, energizing, nurturing and I thrived in it. Who wouldn’t? I remember at an editorial conference, my editor presented me with a bulldog stuffed animal because I had earned a reputation for sinking my teeth into a story and not letting go until I found something interesting to write about. When I broke a front page story, I would feel an exhilaration that I could not explain. The CMP publications all had great reputations for editorial excellence and integrity, and I was so proud to be part of the CMP Media family. Of course, I didn’t realize at the time that I would look back at my CMP days as one of the best times of my life.
I actually left CMP in 1999 after the company went public. It became a completely different animal once that happened and I no longer loved it. I decided to work as a freelancer from home, which I did successfully for a few years for Electronic Engineering Times (EET), another CMP Media newspaper, as well as other electronic publications.
Once there was no more work for a freelance writer in the electronics field, I went to work in the schools for a while as a monitor and began taking civil service tests. My husband had worked 38 years at Con Edison and he was looking to retire. I wanted to get a full time job with benefits before he retired. I was hired at an extremely low salary but the benefits were good.
My plan is to work for a few more years and then retire and work as a local reporter and/or freelancer once again. I thought that working on a blog would be good practice for me to start writing again – and I could write whatever I wanted. I’m going to keep the writing light for now – focusing on uplifting/positive items because I feel that is what is needed right now. I’m not a half glass full person – I’m a glass overflowing person because I always find the silver lining – no matter what. I want to write about products that I can’t live without, recipes that I’ve changed to make them Weight Watcher’s worthy, places that I’ve visited, restaurants that I’ve eaten at, feel-good movies and whatever else I want to write about. Thank you for reading – Bettyann Liotta