LIANE HANSEN, host:
(Soundbite of laughter)
Ms. VICKI CRYSTAL (Anchor, reporter): I know. Good morning. I'm Vicki Crystal.
Mr. NICK KANCZUZEWSKI (Meteorologist): And Nick Kanczuzewski.
Ms. CRYSTAL: And Nick, you say that the stretch of warm weather...
HANSEN: Vicki Crystal is a Yooper by definition, if that definition includes tenacity, a sterling work ethic, and the strength to push through tough times. She wears many hats. Crystal is the morning news anchor at Channel 6 in Marquette, Michigan.
Ms. CRYSTAL: ...well, it's one minute before six, one before five Central Time in the news...
HANSEN: Afternoons are spent at her second job...
(Soundbite of grocery checkout machine)
Ms. CRYSTAL: Seventeen eighty-two is the total.
HANSEN: ...a part-time cashier at the local Target. Vicki found time to talk to us between her TV segments.
In your job as a TV newswoman, you're bound to know how the current economic climate is affecting the people in the Upper Peninsula. What have you noticed? What are the stories that you've heard of how people are dealing with this recession?
Ms. CRYSTAL: You know, it's like a lot of places, a lot of foreclosures, a lot of people like myself having to work two jobs. It's only because we know that you have to carry on. For the most part, like anywhere, we'll grumble a little bit, and then you shoulder on. You just pick it up and you keep on going and a lot of that is the tradition of this area; the area has banded together. As much as we would like to go somewhere else maybe to buy something, they'll buy from a local person to keep it closer to home.
(Soundbite of TV show)
Unidentified Man #1: From Upper Michigan source, this is your TV 6 news on...
Unidentified Man #2: Stand by...
Ms. CRYSTAL: Good morning, everyone. I'm Vicki Crystal with your news and let's check on the weather...
HANSEN: The TV station has had to cut staff. There are no camerapeople on the studio floor; the equipment is stationery and run from the control room. But as soon as Vicki finishes her spot, she sprints over to the camera and puts on a headset to direct the weather segment.
Ms. CRYSTAL: You're up in 30.
So I step in and I take the opportunity to let them know it's - your time is ticking away, to get - keep them on time. You know, it's part of doing a live show.
HANSEN: So you literally do your cut in...
Ms. CRYSTAL: Mm-hmm.
HANSEN: ...and then you walk away from the anchor desk, put on a headset, and stand at the camera while the weather goes on.
Ms. CRYSTAL: Yeah. Oh, sure.
There you go. Standing by.
(Soundbite of weather report)
HANSEN: Wait, there's more. Vicki Crystal is now off to the newsroom to make calls before going back on the air.
Ms. CRYSTAL: Hi there. This is Vicki from TV 6. How you doing? Good. I am calling to do a follow-up on the home invasion story we got yesterday.
HANSEN: What time do you get up to do this job?
Ms. CRYSTAL: Well, I get up about 1:30, a quarter to two to come to this job. I get here about 2:30, quarter to three in the morning, work here till roughly 10:30 - 11:30, depending on what needs to be done after we're done on the air. And then, go home, take a nap, and I would say about three or four days a week, trundle off to Target and do my other job.
(Soundbite of laughter)
HANSEN: How do you stay awake? I mean...
Ms. CRYSTAL: There are days when I am dragging - I am just dragging. Today is one of them. A little tired, but you keep going on. You know that the next job you go to you maybe hit a Coca Cola or another cup of coffee and you just keep on going.
Now do you want to apply for a Target debit card - act as a debit card...
HANSEN: Okay. Here's the bottom line question: Why is the anchor of a morning television news broadcast working part-time at Target?
Ms. CRYSTAL: You know, I wish I could say that, you know, incredibly talented as I am, I'm also incredibly wise, but I'm not. I'm like everybody else, was sucked into the whole easy credit thing. Let's go buy a lot of stuff, and found that, as the recession worsened, as the economy got worse, living paycheck to paycheck wasn't enough anymore.
Paycheck to paycheck wasn't stretching out. It became from one paycheck to the second or third one sometimes trying to make the bills get paid and everything. And I told my boss, I got to do something. I hate to say this, but I have to do something. How could I be so dumb? I'm the one telling all the people, be careful out there and then just - schoof! I know it personally how easy it is to fall into it.
HANSEN: That's something her viewers, who are now also her customers can relate to.
(Soundbite of checking machine)
Ms. CRYSTAL: Great. Well, thank you.
Unidentified Woman: Is this a second job or...
Ms. CRYSTAL: Yes.
(Soundbite of laughter)
Unidentified Woman: Oh, good. Okay. You want to keep your life busy. You know, times are tough all over.
Ms. CRYSTAL: It's true.
Unidentified Woman: They are...
Ms. CRYSTAL: Eighteen fifty-one is your total. Okay, I'll slide it right in here...