Lee Morgan, Hero of “Angel Unawares” by Carol Jackson

What is your story?

Carol Jackson wrote about Crystal and myself in her book “Angel Unawares, a novel.”

Who are you?

My name is Lee Morgan. I’m the ENG manager at Channel 6, in Marshall. I’m in charge the technical end of the Electronic News Gathering operation. I’m in charge of the editors & photographers. I maintain the news cameras and editors and all the eqipment. Anything and everything in the technical end of the news.

Are you the hero of your own story?

Is there a hero in our story? It just seemed to me Carol wrote down what happened just before I left Oakland, and then some of the things that happened with Crystal after I hired her. … Crystal seems heroic to me. She’s been through a lot, and come out on top. She has quiet a strength about her, but I don’t think she knows it. … Well, maybe she does now.

What is your problem in the story?

I decided to take a job at a station in Marshall that was expanding thier news operation. I helped with the expansion, installing the new equipment and hiring new staff to run that equipment. I hired Crystal as an editor without knowing she was fired from her prior job. Once I did find out about that, I understood why she was so uptight. I don’t care that she had been fired before. I think she does a good job, so I encourage her. I try to help her build her confidence back.

Do you run from conflict?

Like anyone, I try to avoid it, but when it comes along I try to settle it.

How do you see yourself?

(shrug) Just an average guy.

How do others see you?

Probably as a guy who’s good with the equipment. I try to be a fair manager and look out for my people.

How do your enemies see you?

I hope I don’t have any enemies, but I can be trying if someone gets on my bad side.

Do you think the author portrayed you accurately?

I think so. Carol just wrote down what she saw, what I said and did. I didn’t let her in on my thoughts a whole lot. I’m kind of private that way.

What are your achievements?

I’ve done a lot of different things in the technical end of television. I’ve done production and all the different positions, studio camera, audio, video tape, editing, technical directing, lighting and so on. And I’ve worked on all the equipment. I’ve done air operations, Master Control, projection, and worked on satellite receivers. And I’ve worked on television transmitters and all the broadcasting equipment. I’ve done news, like I’m doing now. I’ve done camera on news remotes, and done news editing. I work on all the ENG equipment too. I’ve done just about everything in the technical end of television over the years. I’ve also managed those departments and the people in them. I was actually chief engineer at one station where I worked. I like to think I helped develop those departments, and left some pretty good people in charge when I moved on.

Do you talk about your achievements?

It’s all on my resume.

Do you have any special strengths?

I’ve been told I’m a good listener.

Do you have any special skills?

I’m good with television equipment. And I’m pretty good under pressure, I think.

Do you have any weaknesses?

I think maybe I’ve got adult attention deficit disorder. I always like a new challenge. I’m easily bored, as you can see from my resume. (laughs) I’ve got a temper, when I get upset. I don’t blow up though. My wife says I do a “controlled boil.”

Do you have money troubles?

No. I make decent money. My wife works, and she just got a promotion. We don’t have kids and we live modestly. We don’t need much to get by.

What do you believe?

I’m Catholic. … Oh, uh, I believe in giving people a chance. That’s all anyone really wants is a chance. Give somebody a chance and they will run with it. And thats good advice too. If someone does give you a chance, take it and run. Sorry, a little off topic there.

Do you have any distinguishing marks?

I don’t like to talk about it. It’s embarrassing. My wife likes my gray hair, though. Some of the “on air” types keep telling me I should dye it. That’s crazy. Its not me.

Are you lucky?

I think I’m very lucky.

Are you healthy?

Yes. I don’t have any health problems. I do lift weights sometimes to try to keep fit.

Who is your true love?

My wife Abby. She may not have been my first love, but she’s my true love.

How do you envision your future?

I’ll just keep woking. I may have to stay at channel 6. I’m probably too old now for any other company to be interested in hiring me. I was surprised Channel 6 would hire a guy my age. Maybe Channel 6 will be able to hold my interest for a few more years. I don’t know. We’ll see.

Thank you for your time, Lee. Good luck in the future!

Crystal Keys, a Character in “Angel Unawares” by Carol Jackson

Welcome, Crystal. What is your story?

Carol Jackson wrote about me and my boss, Lee Morgan, in her book “Angel Unawares, a novel.”

Who are you?

I’m Crystal Keys. I’m a news video tape editor at Channel 6, in the midwestern United States city of Marshall.

Are you the hero of your own story?

Hardly! That would be Lee.

What is your problem in the story?

I was working at Channel 3 editing news and was fired because they thought they lost an exclusive news story because I was carless. They fired me and blackballed me. I couldn’t get a job. I tryed everything, even burger joints and couldn’t get a job. Bad references, I’m sure. I got depressed & started drinking. Really I was falling apart. And then one day Lee called & hired me. Just that fast!

Do you run from conflict?

I try to avoid it. My nerves are shot.

How do you see yourself?

Now? I’m growing. In the story I was just scared. Scared Lee would find out I’d been fired. Scared I’d screw up. Scared I’d wind up unemployed again.

How do others see you?

Quiet, I’m sure. I kept to myself. Hopefully as a good editor.

Do you think the author portrayed you accurately?

TOTALLY! She really understands me!

Do you have a hero?

Lee. I never met anyone like him. He’s–different. VERY different than anyone I’ve ever met in television. He doesn’t seem power hungry. So many people in television are power hungry, especially managers. They don’t care who they step on or stab in the back to get ahead. And he’s fair. I’ve actually seen him stick up for people. Lots of other things.

Do you have a goal?

I want to be a good editor and stay out of trouble.

Do you have money troubles?

I did when I was out of work. I nearly lost my house.

What do you want?


What is your most closely guarded secret?

I was afraid Lee would find out I had been fired. I was afraid of what he might do if he knew. That turned out to be an ungrounded fear.

What are you afraid of?

Making mistakes and getting fired again. I was deathly afraid Lee would find out I’d been fired.

What do you regret?

I did a lot of things I regret when I was unemployed. I drank a lot then, among other things. I’m sure I did other things I regret while I was drunk, but mercifuly don’t remember some of them.

What if anything haunts you?

The memory of getting fired. The things he was yelling at me. The way he did it. All the fear and self doubt that built up. And the fear it could happen again.

Has anyone ever betrayed you?

I learned I didn’t cause the station to loose that exclusive news story, some one else did. But I’ve only recently learned that.

What in your past has had the most profound effect on you?

Getting fired. And getting hired by Lee.

What in your past would you like to forget?

Some of the things I did while I was unemployed. The drinking took care of some of that for me.

Who is your true love?

I don’t have one! (smiles) Yet. I’m- considering possibilities.

was there a major turning point in your life?

Getting hired by Lee. He turned my life around. He got me back on track. He gave me a chance.

How do you envision your future?

Wide open! I’m investigating different possibilities. I’m open to everything. I’m looking forward to the future.

Thank you Crystal for your time. Good luck!