Leominster Native Pen Book on Broadcast Journalism Career
LEOMINSTER — Town native Erin Logan is hosting a book signing at Barnes & Noble at Water Tower Plaza from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday for the self-help book she co-wrote with her dad, “Reporting Facts and Running From the Truth”. a chronicle of her experience as a television presenter and journalist for nearly two decades.
“It’s a cool story about the broadcast industry and moving around the country and just travel in general,” she said.
Logan was born in the town and graduated from Leominster High School in 1996 and her family, including her nonagenarian grandparents, still lives here. She travels back and forth between Connecticut and Massachusetts and teaches public speaking at Boston College.
The book, recently published by Page Publishing of Pennsylvania after a delay due to the pandemic, details his career from 2002 to 2020 and is captioned “A TV Anchor’s Struggle to Find Self Worth Beyond a Job Title.”
“My dad describes the difficulty of trying to deal with an overachiever,” Logan said. “After going to Syracuse, Boston University, reporting at 7News in Boston at 27, and working at WCBS in New York, I always struggled with self-esteem. My problem was always looking too far into the future and not enjoying all those experiences in the present.
She knew she wanted to be a broadcast journalist from an early age.
“In elementary school, I always watched ‘Good Morning America’ with Joan Lunden and Charles Gibson with my parents,” she recalled. “I said to my father, ‘I want to do what she does one day.’ I remember writing a letter to Lunden that never got sent, hilariously spelling his name and explaining why I wanted to be in the news.
Also, his school guidance counselor had a stepdaughter who was on the local news in Boston. Erin Logan was determined to get accepted early to Syracuse University, where the stepdaughter attended college.
“I did a lot of internships and kept my eye on the ball,” Erin Logan said.
Although her determination paid off, the road to her goal was bumpy.
“After many insults about my voice, my black hair, my weight, I didn’t let it knock me down and force me to give up,” she said. “Insults about appearance are one thing. Constructive criticism, as I like to call it, is another.
She said she “learned very quickly that you won’t last a year in the industry unless you’re open to constant feedback and willing to learn the ropes.”
“You also need to be willing to relocate to wherever the job is, miss vacations, work crazy hours, put your personal life on hold, within reason, and just be a good person and team player,” Logan said. “A television news program requires teamwork. There are so many moving parts. The adrenaline rush when you know you’re really on the edge is so stressful, yet so rewarding. It sounds crazy, but it’s true.
Logan said that in 2010, after nine years in the industry, she knew she had the title of her book, but it certainly wasn’t due to an incident she was proud of.
She called her father, Donald Logan, in April of that year and said, “’I can’t stand it. I’m a loser. My boss made up a reason to get rid of me, the guy I dated before doesn’t think I’m good enough. This sad and ugly photo on the far right on the cover of my book says how I felt at that moment – sad and ugly.
She remembers her father repeating facts to her during this time of depression, facts that she said she “just couldn’t hear”.
“I was told months in advance by the employer that my 5:30 p.m. presenter position was being cut,” says Erin Logan. “They already had two main anchors who were veterans. It was a brother and sister team, and they were from this town. They couldn’t justify keeping my job. Guess what? Fast forward 12 years later and they weren’t lying. They never held the position.
She said she only had two weeks left before she finished her three-year contract and that she was “let it all blow up because of the mindset I was in”.
“I’ll let you read the book, but the fact is that I was invited to the ex’s house. We talked. We had a few drinks. I was way too emotional. I couldn’t bear the thought of having no new jobs planned, no self-esteem, and the end of the relationship. This ship had sailed.
“I remember thinking I wanted to die, run away, or be rescued,” Erin Logan continued. “Instead, I was arrested. I called the cops to attention. The female officer didn’t give me any. I asked him to call the superiors and you know what happened next. The good news is that I never went to court. The case was dismissed. I got a job the next month, but it was the aftermath that was overwhelming. The rumours, the wild fabrications of what people assumed happened, the tabloid articles.
She said she made it her mission then “to prove others wrong, that I was smart, a good journalist, worthy of x, y and z”.
Erin Logan said while being on the air was kind of therapy for her, especially following the arrest incident, it was not a panacea.
“I was happy during parts of my workday when the camera was on and I had to be live and on point,” she said. “It was almost like an immediate stress relief for me, my comfort zone. However, I was still nervous, fearing failure and trusting people.
It was the process of writing her book that finally allowed her to overcome some of what she was clinging to, the pitfalls and stress of her job. And while doing so, Logan kept thinking of one monumental person in his life who could add so much to his story.
“When I first started writing, I was like, ‘Would it be great if I asked my dad to contribute?'” she said. “A person I’ve called 6,000 times over the years when I was ready to quit or agonizing. I’m very close to my mom, but I connect with my dad on a different level when he it’s about facing life’s challenges and believing in yourself.
His father said that “having a gifted one is child’s play given the alternative, having a child who doesn’t care or is totally unmotivated”.
“This kid is a challenge,” Donald Logan said. “How to reach them? An overachiever just attacks what is in front of him. From time to time, as a parent of the gifted, you need to advise that doing well is the goal and not striving for the unattainable – perfection.
When asked what the book’s key message was, Erin Logan said there were a few.
“If you don’t believe you’re worthy, you’ll never be worthy to others,” Logan said. “People pick up on it very quickly when you don’t like yourself or don’t fully believe in yourself. I never understood that because I thought being a good, solid journalist was proof of that. I took my job very seriously. I worked hard. I hated making mistakes on air. Having a great job is only part of the equation. Having confidence in yourself, doing what makes you happy and being yourself is crucial.
“I will also say pick good, quality people to keep around you,” she continued. “Appreciate them. Thank them often for just being them. When you’re knocked down, you know who’s got your back. Finally, never let anyone say you can’t achieve a goal or a dream. Hard work and determination will get you there. Yes, it’s frustrating to see your friends and colleagues get there before you do, but don’t compare your journey to that of others. It’s a complete waste of time, focus on yourself.
As for who she hopes to reach as an audience to share her story with, the published author said women who might be struggling with the same things she has dealt with.
“Honestly, it’s amazing when I think about how many women I’ve met in the TV industry and others who are very successful, powerful people who have struggled for years with the same issues. than me,” Erin Logan said. “I’m talking about beautiful, kind, smart, powerful women who are great friends, wives, girlfriends, mothers. The women I looked up to who were like, ‘Wow. She has everything. You never know what someone is going through or why.
“I can tell you that when I had the job I was most proud of, was in the best shape I’ve ever had and was making a lot of money, I often dreaded waking up. in the morning. I was putting even more pressure to do better and be better at that time. I cared way too much about what people thought.
She said the reaction to the book from friends, family and the wider community has been good.
“They’ve been telling me for five years to publish this story,” Logan said. “A lot of people think that being in front of a camera and in the spotlight is glamorous. That’s not true at all. You’re constantly under the microscope. As long as you’re an honest, kind and humble person, let the haters have their way. their thing and keep hating.
When asked what he was most proud of when it came to his daughter’s accomplishments, Logan’s father said ‘she dutifully decided what she thought were her shortcomings, being overweight and shy and deliberately attacked them. Gym, diet, sports, high school play, theater completely transformed his outward appearance and inner confidence.
He said he enjoyed writing the book together and “hearing Erin’s thoughts on how she perceived certain crucial moments in her life and comparing it with my own perceptions at the time”.
“You have to have compassion for yourself so you don’t self-destruct,” he writes in the book. “The mind is our constant companion. We have to make peace with it, control it, or it will crush you.
Erin Logan said a second book wasn’t out of the question and she knew one day she would write about her journey and years of experience.
“I just had no idea what the details or the storyline would be other than the perseverance and thick skin,” she said.