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Title: Communication Breakdown
Author: Anay Lewis
Summary: A quasi-normal day after the break up of the WNYX staff in their respective "new" offices. Catherine visits Dave and Matthew in NY and Lisa tries to scoop the story about Max' on-air foul language while Jimmy, who is now acting news director of WNHX tries to out scoop her or stop her publication of the story "for the sake of the family."
Setting: New Hampshire/New York. After Season 5.
Diclaimer: I do not won any of these characters. They really belong to Paul Simms, the great creator of NewsRadio. It's just that I'm still upset that it got cancelled and have been watching a lot of reruns in syndication, which makes me more upset that it is cancelled. This is my first NewsRadio Fan fiction. As far as creating my own plot and writing the whole thing its my first fan fiction ever. Be king, I'm trying to be humorous and create an ending, if not a new season, for one of my favorite sitcoms. Yes in the spirit of NR I took the name of a Led Zepplin song for a title.
Matthew is outside knocking on the door very softly and rapidly like he did on "Copy Machine" and other episodes. Dave in inside working. He looks up, annoyed.
Dave: What is it Matthew?
Matthew enters: It's about the bathroom.
Dave sighs sounding very disappointed and sick of whatever Matthew is going to say already.
Dave: What about the bathroom.
Matthew: Well in case you have not noticed we are the only people from the old staff here...
Matthew: ...so does that mean that my life time ban from the ladies room is now over? 'Cause I really got to go.
Dave: Just use the men's room. What's wrong with the men's room?
Matthew: Well I don't think any of the new men like me.
Dave: So? (another pause, Matthew looks confused) and the women? do they all like you?
Matthew: I don't know..., but could you make up your mind really fast 'cause I still really have to go.
Dave: Go to the men's room. Run Matthew.
The WNHX booth
Max: ...and the United states once again kicked their enemies over sized asses on the battle field. And that is this day in history.
(Max exists the booth to the news room. Jimmy and Lisa are just hanging around. Lisa appears to be editing a story for her paper. Jimmy is looking at Max exist the booth.)
Jimmy: Great piece in their Max. Now why can't you deliver the local news just like that?
Max: Mr. James, I'm sorry to say that their is not nearly as much passion and excitement in the farming statistics as their is in battles that happened long ago.
Jimmy: Then how come this did not get mentioned before I moved you out here to broadcast news in my retirement home? We're you this bad when you did the city budgeting last year at WNYX?
Lisa: Actually, Mr. James, I did that. I have done- I mean did that every year I worked at WNYX.
Max: Because budgeting is something only a news-nerd would pay attention to.
Jimmy: Nah, its just because Lisa gets really excited over number and money. She is such the cutest little number-news-nerd ever.
(Lisa gets really annoyed at this)
Jimmy: You know I mean that in a good way.
Lisa: I don't really care. But yes I care deeply about how the city is being budgeted and yes I work well with numbers but that does not make me "the cutest-news-nerd" ever.
(Lisa gathers up her stuff and starts to relocate to her office. Beth enters.)
Beth: Mr. James, hmm we've gotten five calls since Max went off the air about his use of language.
Jimmy: What do you mean?
Beth: Well... he used the phrase "over sized ass" and some people found that a tad offensive.
Lisa: Well if they knew Max they'd know that he could not possibly mean anything from the phrase considering the size of his own ass.
(Lisa smiles looking very pleased with herself over her joke. She looks around and the rest of the staff looks dead serious and a little offended)
Lisa: (now disappointed, but trying to keep up a busy and content demeanor) So Beth, did you get the names and numbers of the people who called?
Beth: Yeah, as a matter of fact I did.
Lisa: Can I have them.
Beth: Sure. why?
Lisa: Might make a story for my paper.
Lisa goes to Beth's desk gets the names and numbers and then goes to her office.
Jimmy: Now, Max, seriously, how do you intend to respond to these allegations?
Max: Not do anything. I'll cut out "This Day in History" but that's it. If they're offended its not my fault.
Jimmy: But as Lisa said they do not know the size of your ass and there for they do not know not to be offended.
Max: I though you did not like her saying that about me.
Jimmy: Only to her face. Now get your fat ass on the air and apologize.
Max: For the record I said "over sized ass" and no I will not apologize.
WNYX News Office
Catherine enters looking very excited. While going around the office she sees that none of the people she worked with are in the office. Matthew enters.
Catherine: Matthew, what happened to the rest of the staff?
Matthew: They left after Mr. James he decided to become a farmer.
Catherine (who is a bit confused): Mr. James is a farmer and your still here?
Matthew: Well obviously...
Catherine: It's just that whenever the management changed I assumed that you'd be fired. No offense honey.
Matthew: Well, as mean as that is, no I'm not offended. But what does management changing have to do with anything?
Catherine: You really don't get it? Any way is anyone else left of the old staff.
Matthew: Yeah, Dave is in his office.
Catherine: Oh good. Maybe he'll explain that to me.
Matthew: Okay, I have a lot of work to get back to.
Catherine looks at him strangely and then says: "You do work now?"
Matthew: Yep. That's how I kept my job. But to tell the truth I'm kind of hankering for the good country life.
Catherine: The one Bill used to torment Dave about having lived in Wisconsin?
Matthew: Well when you put it that way...
Catherine: Honey, do yourself a favor and forget I said that.
(Catherine crosses the room to Dave's office and knocks on the door.)
Catherine: Guess who?
Dave: Catherine! Good to see you. (Dave gets up and goes to Catherine. They hug. Catherine sits on the couch and Dave sits on the end of the desk..) What are you doing here?
Catherine: Well I came to visit my family during my vacation and I decided to stop in on the old office. Or as the case may be what's left of it.
Dave: Well the largest part of what's left of the old office is actually in New Hampshire.
Catherine: Explain that to me? Because what Matthew told me sounded like they all got fired which made no sense as wouldn't he be the first to go as he did no work.
Dave: Well after you left it did not seem like any one here did any work any way... but yes the others had more of the semblance of actual working than Matthew. They however all wanted to move to New Hampshire and that was as far from my career desires as possible so stayed behind. I'm still not sure about Matthew, but he does some sort of work here now.
Catherine: What exactly does he do?
Dave: He confirms sources and stories. Sincerely I have to say we have never been this safely far from a law suit.
Catherine: Hmm, So he found his niche after all.
Dave: Crazy as it sounds, yeah. Of course the new staff here is hyper pro-work and I believe about seventy percent of them had journalism codes of conduct engraved on their brains so that they are physically unable to not cite source or falsify stories.
Catherine: So you've expanded your material as a sci-fi geek.
Dave pause and looks surprised by Catherine's response and then replies: Yes, yes I have. How did you know.
Catherine: Every other person you meet in England belongs to some sect of that geek-hood.
Dave: Well we prefer the term "geek doom" but that's okay.
Catherine: Good for you. Everyone wanted to move to New Hampshire.
Dave: Yeah. Pretty unbelievable.
Reporter enters and has Dave check a story on a clip board. It is done quickly and quietly.
Dave continues: More unbelievable is that that scene you just witnessed use to be an anomaly and is now a daily occurrence.
Lisa is working when Mr. James enters.
Jimmy: Hey Lisa, when you were news director at WNYX how did you make Max do what you told him to.
Lisa: By the time Max came I was no longer news director. Remember?
Jimmy: Oh yeah. (pause) Just sometimes I forget about that stuff. (pauses again) Do you have any idea on how to deal with him.
Lisa responds irritated: Not my problem.
Jimmy notices how upset Lisa is and sort of backs off. He raises his hands inform of him and declares: Okay, okay I'll have to call Dave about that.
Lisa continues to work and ignore Mr. James. Jimmy sees this and becomes curious. "What are you up to?" he asks.
Lisa: A story.
Jimmy: Really! A story! What's it about?
Lisa: Max irritating most of this town with his incorrect "This Day in History" piece.
Jimmy gets nervous hearing this. His companies are not supposed to say bad things about each other.
Jimmy: Now what did Max ever do to you?
The remark infuriates Lisa who looks up form her work straight at Jimmy like she is about to attack him and scratch his face off.
Jimmy: Sure that was a stupid question. But don't write the story.
Lisa: Why not? It's local news and it affected a number of people.
Jimmy: What do you mean a lot of people? We only got like three phone calls.
Lisa: You got twenty two phone calls and several of those were representing up to five people.
Jimmy: Wow! News radio is real big out here.
Lisa: Yeah.. All the more reason to be careful what you say on the air.
Jimmy: So I guess I should try and get Max to apologize.
Lisa nods in approval: yeah, you should do that and some other things.
Jimmy: Really, some other things? Like what?
Lisa: Like being news director.
Lisa: Because your holding that position until "Dave wises up" and takes it.
Jimmy: Now the way you say that sound like you don't actually think Dave is going to come here and take the job. Is that the attitude your supposed to have?
Lisa: Sir, your missing the point.
Jimmy: Unimportant, doesn't matter. Are you telling me that a sweet little fellow like Dave would rather work in an over crowded highly competitive city like New York than come out here and live in a place none to different from his home town and work with people he knows for me?
Lisa: Sir, I'm saying that your not doing you job as news director.
Jimmy: It's my job?
Jimmy: Then riddle me this Lisa Miller; how do you get some one as weird as Max Louis to do an on air apology to the people of New Hampshire?
Lisa: Not my problem. Now please leave. And if you see Joe tell him to come see me about the printing.
Jimmy leave Lisa's office.
WNHX break room
Beth and Joe are eating lunch while listening to the radio.
Joe: That's four and a half minutes of straight commercials. Why doesn't Max come back with the news.
Beth: He and Mr. James have been arguing ver weather or not he should do an on air apologize to all the fat assed people of New Hampshire.
Joe: If the find it that offensive maybe I should start my own gym here.
Joe: What's so funny.
Beth (still laughing):You, starting up a real legitimate business in New Hampshire. Its too much. Max is back on the air.
Max' Voice from the radio: I would like to make my sincerest apology for my on air fopah earlier today on "This Day in History." As I am from New York and people mock my weight all the time I did not know how offensive people would take my term of speech. (Beth looks at Joe mischievously and mouths "term of speech" and then "over sized ass" doing big air quotes with her fingers) and now the weather. Their is a rain storm predicted to hit us around five a. m. tomorrow morning. For the rest of the day expect to see...
Joe turns off the radio.
Joe: Mr. James is king. He got Max to work and do what he's told.
(Mr. James enters and looks exhausted and sits down at the table.)
Joe: Good work Mr. James. Smooth.
Jimmy: Thank you Joe. But man o man I had no idea that working with on air talent could be such a hassle. I have a heart condition you know.
Joe: We hear you Mr. James.
Jimmy: Oh and Joe, Lisa wants to see you about printing.
Joe: Right on it sir. (Joe starts to exit.) Oh and is their anything I should tell Lisa for you.
Jimmy: Just tell her that she should not publish that piece about what happened here today, you know, for the sake of the family.
Joe: Right. The Family. I know what your talking about.
Joe exits. Jimmy looks at Beth and says " It's so nice having a guy in the office who used to idolize John Gotti."
The phone rings. Beth picks it up.
Beth: Hello, this WNHX. This is Beth peaking, how can I help you.... Oh hi.... Yeah, yeah, mmhhm.... He's right here. One moment. Mr. James it's Matthew, he wants to talk to you.
Jimmy: Oh man, what'd I do to deserve that
His new assistant enter and says: Uh, Dave, Matthew's been on the phone for near half an hour now and he has not been doing his job and some of the staff's complaining.
Dave: Gees, a regressions. I'll see what I can do about it.
Dave walks over to Matthew's desk. Matthew is hidden under the desk with his phone. Dave stand next to It and repeats Matthew's name until he gets up. Matthew struggles back onto his chair looking surprised. "Yeah David."
Dave: Matthew, What are you doing.
Matthew: Listen David, this visit from Catherine put everything in perspective for me. I have no real reason to stay in New York and umm (fiddling with the things on his desk) work. Okay. So you can find some one else too work for you because I am going to New Hampshire to live with Mr. James and my friends so find another worker boy!!
Matthew has gotten very excited over his speech and then he proceeds to empty his desk by using his arm to sweep everything off the desk into a bag and onto the floor. "I Quit!" He declares and then stumbles off to the elevator. Dave looks around and sees everyone staring at him. Once he is sure that Matthew is out of hearing range he says "So you all stopped to watch. Hmmm, by show of hand who thinks I should find some one to replace Matthew's position." No one moves "Didn't thinks so. Well err carry on". Everyone start to work again and Dave smiles and heads back to his office.