First Day on the Job

As mentioned in my final Action Sports blog entry, I have made the move from sports to news. After 15 years of covering the games, I was finally beginning to cover the real world — or so I thought. My first day as co-anchor of Channel 4 Action News this morning was as eventful as any in my career.

The actual process of anchoring the morning news with Kelly Frey was relatively easy. She is a joy to work with and her energy and attitude is infectious — even at 5am in the morning. We had a smooth 2-hour show with little problem. After all the updates during “Good Morning America”, I was asked to put together stories for noon and 5pm regarding John Murtha’s comments on Iraq.

It was 11:30am and I was about to call it a day. That’s when the all you know what broke loose.

Our 6pm producer called me over to her desk to watch a live feed coming from sky 4 of a motorcycle accident and she asked me if the bike in question belonged to Ben. Having seen Ben’s bike a few times, it did not look familiar. It only took a couple of minutes for our partnership with the Trib to confirm it was Ben.

Sally and Michelle broke into programming shortly before noon and our live coverage began. I was asked to stand by and be ready on our newsroom set with any new details. Instead, I wound up being the “expert” — providing insight and analysis based upon my knowledge of the situation from my years in sports.

We went back and forth for two hours as the drama unfolded live on WTAE. When I finally got off the air, there was a sense of accomplishment from being able to contribute to such as team effort and knowing that while I had left sports, I would still need that insight to perform my job as a news anchor.

For a first day in news, I certainly felt like I was a still a sportscaster. To quote Al Pacino in “The Godfather III”:

“As soon as I think I’m out, they pull me back in”.

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