I’m writing on Andrew’s blog because this concerns him in a way.
I was doing a news story at a high school football game on a Friday night when one person greeted me by saying “Hi, Mr. Stockey.” It surprised me a bit because Andrew is younger, taller and better looking than me. He’s also black, and I’m white.
I corrected the man in what I hope was a gentle manner, because misidentification never bothered me in all my 28 years in TV, because I’m also better at faces than names. And when you’re on a news scene, it’s only important that you be recognized as a person to go to in order to get the news out. In that situation, it doesn’t really matter if your name is known.
For years, my friend Ralph Ianotti, a reporter for another station, has been telling the story of how he was mistaken for a colleague, Harold Hayes, who’s black. Ralph is white. So I have a similar story now for him.
But the story I like to tell instead is how I was recognized on the street after one day and one appearance on WTAE-TV. That showed me that this station has a truly loyal audience with whom I’ve loved interacting ever since.
So, never hesitate to talk to us, even if you don’t know our name (unless we’re about to go on the air live), and we’ll never hesitate to appreciate it.