Trump, Pneumonia, The Hill, and Other Random Thoughts

Random thoughts on a Friday morning while Lola is waiting for her morning walk…
(I did this on the Dwyerwire blog back in the day and thought it was a good way to wrap up the week).

Driving back from Clarksburg yesterday, I was flipping radio channels and landed on President Trump’s news conference.  When one station went to a commercial break, I had to search and find it somewhere else.  When it was over (wearing my “newsie hat”) my thought was, “Where do you start?”  Now, don’t even try to read anything political into this because that’s not my point.  It’s just that after 29 years in TV broadcasting, I’ve covered a news conference or two and typically there’s a story line or two to fill your report with and that’s it.  In TV news, there are these black spaces of air time that are filled with news content (inventory).  Some days there’s lots of inventory and sometimes you have to air a water skiing squirrel.  Well, regardless of your political slant you can’t deny that President Trump gives news outlets an overload of inventory.  The media can be bruised for the scolding he gave it, but the media can’t deny he gives it plenty to fill those black spaces with, especially the 24-hour cable channels.  It may result in more eyeballs on a channel, and that means account executives can sell commercial time for more money.  He’s good for a media company’s bottom line.  Just don’t expect them to send any thank you cards (except from Fox & Friends).

Clarksburg School JTG Class 2017

A quick bit about my visit to the JTG class at Clarksburg School in Carroll County.  When I entered the room every student stood up, shook hands and introduced themselves.  Eye contact.  Firm handshake.  Most already have college plans and and a major picked out.  One girl is going into the Army.  Another young man wants to own his own construction company one day.  Impressive group.  JTG isn’t the only school influence on these seniors, but I’m telling you it’s a big part in giving them an edge over their peers who aren’t exposed to JTG.  Take a bow JTG specialist Jeannine Stokes.

After spending most of January in the fetal position with a fever that morphed into pneumonia, you would think it would be gone.  Nope.  I still have a “catch” in my breathing.  I suspect this is what is closing school districts or at least a close relative to it.  Anyone else going through something like this?

I have had numerous appointments with state lawmakers the last couple of weeks trying to convince the state to reinvest in Jobs for Tennessee Graduates.  If you’ve never been on the hill during session, it’s a hoot.  Such an energy to the place.  Walking through the crowded halls, there is so much wheeling and dealing.  Deals cut.  Networking.  Advocacy groups wearing the same buttons or tee shirts to be noticed.  Eyes shift as you walk by and you can almost see the wheels turning through the person’s forehead thinking, “Do I know that person?  Do I need to know that person?”  It’s just a fascinating place to people watch… or to be watched, I guess.

Lynley and I don’t take in many major network TV shows and almost didn’t take someone up on this suggestion but glad we did.  Do yourself a favor and check out “This Is Us” on NBC.  We binge-watched on Hulu.  GREAT (yep, in capital letters) writing and plot twists.  Anyone else watch this show?  Thoughts?

70-degrees one day.  Frost on the car the next morning.  I love living in Nashville but February is the longest, shortest month of the year.

Sign on Mad Donnas/Wylee’s door.

A restaurant just around the corner from us closed.  (It was flipped in one week and TV crews were filming the grand reveal in the middle of the night.  We know because we heard it.  “That was good and loud,” a voice barked over a megaphone.  “But next take, do it louder!”)  I had lunch with a buddy there a couple weeks ago after it went through the facelift.  Food, service was good as always.  Boom.  Closed.  I read in The Tennessean recently that 92 restaurants were planning to open in the Nashville area in 2017.  It would take nearly two years every Friday night to try them all.  I know we are foodie town now but this seems unsustainable.  Are there enough good chefs and perhaps more importantly, good wait staff to fill the jobs?

Feel free to comment.  Have a great and safe weekend and I’ll be back here Monday morning.





By |2017-02-23T19:26:38+00:00February 17th, 2017|Random Thoughts|0 Comments

About the Author:

Call it John Dwyer 2.0 After 29 years as a TV Broadcaster, Dwyer is President & CEO of Jobs for Tennessee Graduates (JTG). JTG, an affiliate of Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG), is a non-profit organization dedicated to stewarding at-risk high school students toward graduation with follow through toward post-secondary education and/or job opportunities. Associated with JAG since 1981, JTG consistently obtains a graduation rate above 90-percent with a full-time job rate at nearly 70-percent. The most vulnerable, socioeconomically challenged young men and women, graduate with self-esteem with the realization and skill set to achieve success after high school. Does it get much better than that? Dwyer, is a resident of the Nashville area since 1996. He was sports director and/or a news anchor at TV stations in Nashville, Jacksonville, Florida; Ft. Myers, FL and his hometown of South Bend, Indiana. He is a 10-time Mid-South Region Emmy Award winner, along with winning numerous other awards. He is also a former Heisman Trophy voter. John is a 1985 graduate of Butler University, where he majored in Radio/TV while minoring in journalism. An avid running (or “plodder” as he likes to call himself), Dwyer runs in Nashville’s annual marathon. (Current tally: 7 Full, 10 Half). He accomplished a goal, once thought out of reach, be qualifying and running in the Boston Marathon in 2009. Married to Lynley, Dwyer resides in East Nashville with his wife and dog Lola. Dwyer served on the Make-A-Wish Middle Tennessee board from 2006-2012, and was board chairman for three years.

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COVID-19 Update

JAG and JTG Statement in Response to COVID-19

 As we are all feeling, COVID-19 has shifted how the world operates in a way that is unprecedented for our generation, and Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG) and Jobs for Tennessee Graduates (JTG), one of 39 JAG state affiliates, are no exception. The impact of the coronavirus and the immediate danger it presents has closed our education system, directly affecting students and their families. This is especially detrimental to JTG students, who often look to their JTG Specialists and classmates for steadiness and security in their lives.

We also recognize that our students and their families are disproportionately affected by the closure of restaurants, stores, bars, and other service-industry places of work. These jobs often provide the entry-level opportunities our students need to enter the workforce. A difficult environment is likely to continue for some time, so we are in the process to reposition our training and support to make the best case for our JTG students to be considered for employment.

At a time when we must social distance ourselves to protect each other, the thousands of JTG students we serve need us more than ever.  We are responding to and encouraged by the requests from many JTG Specialists to access online learning modules and platforms provided by JAG educational partners like the Skills to Succeed Academy, EverFi, and Tallo. We are excited to see the interest in the JAG Genius and the use of virtual connectivity and the online sense of community – something we all need in these times.

Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG) and Jobs for Tennessee Graduates (JTG) recognize we need to modify the way we provide support and deliver competencies to our students during this time of uncertainty. In response to the way business and education are adapting (in real time) to COVID-19,  JAG National is establishing new protocols and processes to ensure full, virtual engagement with our young people to ensure they have the competencies they need to meet the very competitive job market ahead. That is why JAG is providing the immediate recommendations below that are of highest priority, which impact the day-to-day lives of our students and Specialists. Like our world right now, please know that these are in real-time and subject to change.


Moving forward, we will have ongoing recommendations that will be built into new practices that will serve as both short- and long-term solutions to continue JAG’s data-driven model. This will help us remain accountable to our students, our partners, funders, and each other.