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Tim Ortman has spent 35 years – a lifetime, working in television news. He’s worked for all major U.S television news networks (NBC, ABC, CBS, CNN, FOX) and the BBC. As an Emmy Award winning cameraman and producer, his understanding of the overall television production process is comprehensive with extensive experience shooting, lighting, story editing, writing and producing.
Over the span of four decades, his globe-trotting travels have taken him on assignments in five continents, covering everything from war, revolution, famine, terrorist attacks, Cold War Summits, and the fall of Communism to presidential elections, Papal visits, Olympiads and Olympic Park bombings and the occasional press conference. He has been fortunate to have occupied a front row seat on numerous historically significant happenings.
His view of the network news world was formed early on. As an impressionable 20-something staff cameraman for NBC News, Tim was based in Europe during the 1980’s, when the news biz was at its most trustworthy zenith. After seven years of international news coverage, he returned home to focus on the domestic side of world news. He formed an independent production company which enabled him to build upon his NBC reputation while fostering working relationships with the other news networks which expanded his news resume.
His stateside return intersected with the explosion of 24-hour news. He worked, watched and witnessed as a transformational change overtook the business of network news. As a network veteran, he possesses a rich perspective from the inside looking out. His take on ‘the news’ has been forged by experience and enhanced by the wisdom gleaned from decades of news coverage. His two books, NEWS DIVISION and NEWS REAL are insightful accounts of newsworthy events.
After a long time of uninterrupted bliss in the television world, Tim hit the ‘pause’ button to pursue another, yet completely different passion. While living and working overseas, Tim became a fan of wine and followed that fascination to produce his own brand of wine. He eventually become a sommelier with the Court of Master Sommeliers and joined the esteemed wine organizations the Commanderie de Bordeaux and La Confrerie des Chevaliers du Tastevin.
In today’s thousand-channel, blog-heavy news environment, it’s tough to envision a time when everyone was, more or less, on the same page; when news coverage was less contentious and delivered in a straightforward fashion. NewsReal is a view through the lens to when such a time did truly exist.
News Division is my personal journey through the last thirty tumultuous years of broadcast journalism. Through honest reflection, enriched by the author’s on-assignment experience and firsthand perspective, Tim Ortman provides a critical examination of the many news events and industry developments which transformed just how our television news is covered and consumed.