Archive for February, 2008

Pittsburgh #1 Way To Wake Up … Again!
February 29, 2008

Thank you! Thank You! Thank You!

According to the lastest February ratings, Channel 4 Action News this Morning is once again Western PA’s favorite way to wake up! All of us here on the morning crew are excited, but we also want to thank the biggest reason for our succes – you! Whether you tell us on-line, or you just make the choice to click on WTAE in the mornings, we really appreciate the fact that so many of you make us a part of your day.

While we do our jobs for a variety of reasons, we are also a business in competition with other stations for your viewership. It’s a competition we like – and every day, we battle to win that coveted top spot in the ratings. It’s a battle that gets tougher every year.

Once again, from Melanie, Kelly, Demetrius, Ashley, Ari, Marcie, the many working behind the scenes daily that you don’t get to see – and yours truly – thanks once again for allowing us to maintain Pittsburgh’s top spot in the mornings.

Have a great weekend! See you on Monday … and have that cup of Joe ready to watch us.

A Revealing Moment with Myron
February 28, 2008

This website is full of tributes, memories and moments — all about the late Myron Cope. There’s no doubt that just reading the viewer e-mails and seeing the video tributes that Myron was more than a broadcaster to the people of Pittsburgh. He was the Steelers. He created the image, the trademarks and the traditions that have become part of Pittsburgh’s football identity.

So I wondered, how could I pay homage to Myron. Sure I knew him professionally and spent personal time with him, but those stories are better told by the likes of Sally Wiggin and Bill Hillgrove. I could tell you about his life, but after yesterday’s coverage I doubt there is anyone in the city who could not recite his achievements.

So let me share with you a question I asked Myron — and his telling answer. I visited Myron at home one day and was working on another story where I just needed a quote from him. While we were waiting for the photographer to get set up, I looked at the walls of his den. The walls were covered with various magazingc covers and newspapers with his image on the front.

While gazing at his collection, I asked him a personal question. I wondered if he thought his unique personality and style would work today — if he was just starting out. Myron did not hesistate. He said no. He said why would anybody hired a short strange looking man with a voice like his?
His response was telling .. and quite true. In a world where there is somewhat of a uniform look and a sense of homogenization, Myron’s style would probably not get him a job on the airwaves today. He never had the polish, wore a suit and tie with somewhat of a disdain and was never much for makeup. He could write, but his unique use of the English language would frighten general managers and English teachers alike.

No, Myron is the last of his generation: a character with character. A broadcaster who told it like it was and won over an entire city in the process. A creative mind that saw his role in a way that was very different from traditional broadcasters. No, there will never be another Myron Cope. Maybe, in a small way, that is a good thing. It allows us to truly realize how luck we were to have this one-of-a-kind talent in our hometown.

Late Night Channel Surfing
February 27, 2008

More than a few people have asked me what my favorite TV show is. The truth is when you work the hours I do – and that means sleeping between 7p-1a – you just don’t get to watch a lot of prime-time TV. I’m also not someone who TiVo’s a program only to watch it later. I just don’t have the time.

So what do I watch? I’m glad we actually re-broadcast Channel 4 Action News at 11 so that I can see what I missed from the evening before and be prepared when I arrive at work at 3:30am. Still, I just don’t get out of bed and watch the news. I’m a slow riser, so here’s a sneak peak at what I was saw as I flipped through the channels and tried to force myself out of bed at 1:30am.

1:30am: ESPN News
It’s my one chance to catch all the game hilights from the night before.

1:40am: CNN/Fox News/MSNBC
I just could not stay up for the Barack Obama/Hillary Clinton debate

1:50am: The History Channel
Look, I’m a sucker for a well-done modern documentary.

1:55am: Sci-Fi Channel
I have always been a big “Twilight Zone” fan and there’s nothing better than the conclusion on an episode. It’s like having dessert while skipping dinner.

2:00am: Encore, HBO
My two pay movie channels and – occassionally – they will actually show a movie I haven’t seen.

2:05am: On Demand
Gives me a chance to watch the lastest episodes of my one guilty pleasure – “InTreatment”.

Yes, it really does take me 35 minutes of channel surfing before I get my lazy butt out of bed.
Then, it’s off to the shower and time to get ready for work. I’m usually grabbing some orange or tomato juice while watching our late news re-broadcast at 2:35am before heading off to work.

And who says there’s nothing good on late night TV?

An Unspoken Threat
February 26, 2008

It’s been quite a week for the New York Times. From the reach of a story suggesting a romantic relationship between Senator John McCain and a lobbyist who graduated from IUP to another piece hinting that more and more Americans are giving up golf ( if that is true, why aren’t the greens fees going down as well ). Monday, another story that at least initially looked to me like it was trying to spark fear and create a story where there was none.

The piece, entitled In Memories of a Painful Past, Hushed Worry About Obama, essentially says given the proximity Senator Barack Obama is to clinching the Democratic nomination that suddenly has made him a target for assassination. The comparison is made to a couple of young charismatic leaders like Obama who were gunned down 40 years ago: Dr. Martin Luther King Junior and Senator Robert F. Kennedy. Obama – to his credit – says he’s not worried citing the fact that neither King nor Kennedy enjoyed the Secret Service protection he has had since last May.

However, upon reading the article, there was some substance behind it. It spoke to the fact that some in African-American community would not vote for Obama out of fear for his safety. That is something I have heard from my elders and those around during the 1960’s. Also, I realize there is hatred everywhere and it’s no surprise this fear is now coming to light in the press as the candidates campaign in Ohio – which according to the Anti-Defamation League – has the highest amount of hate group activity in the country currently.

While I do not fear for Obama’s safety, I’m not a Pollyanna in the ways of the world. Yes, the threat is there and the threat is greater for Obama than Hillary. That’s not sexism, that’s being honest. Rarely does a woman’s grab at power on a national level incite the kind of violence we have seen when African-Americans make a run at office.

At the same time, I think we cannot let that fear dictate our lives. Obama faces the same challenge that the civil rights leaders of the past faced: trying to push for a change in an atmosphere where there are those who want to protect the status quo. Despite Obama’s popularity, he is still seen as black by many Americans and the worlds of Governor Ed Rendell, though not popular, do hold true. There are those who simply will not vote for a black man for the Presidency.

But never should we let fear take control our lives, whether we are fighting to become President of the United States or standing up to injustice in our own neighborhood.

photo courtesy: Associated Press

February 25, 2008

Friday night, I attended one of the five best events I have been to in my life — and that takes into account a lot of events over the years. I bought a ticket to the celebrity roast honoring Jim Krenn on his 20 years on WDVE.

I consider Jimmy a friend and one of the nicest people on the planet. True, he never answers his cell phone and I don’t think I have ever seen him drive himself to anything, but deep in his heart, he is a caring and concerned individual whose dedication to his wife and pets is commendable.

I wondered how this “roast” at the Lexus Club at PNC Park would go. I mean, how do you roast somebody who everyone likes? More to the point, how do a group of celebrity roasters rip on Jim when they themselves have no experience in actually “roasting” someone?

Channel 4 Action News Sports Anchor Jon Burton “roasting” WDVE’s Jim Krenn

Much to my amazement, it was not only a fun time, it was laugh out loud funny. Part of the reason I was doubled over in laughter most of the night was because this thing got raunchy in a hurry. Nothing was out of bounds and if you did not know George Carlin’s legendary “7 words you can’t say on television”, you certainly knew them by heart at the end of the evening.

While it would be both impossible to remember and unwise to repeat what was said, I can tell you there more than a few great lines from those on the dais: DVE sports guy Mike Prisuta, the PG’s Gene Collier, DVE DJ Sean McDowell and comedian Billy Gardell just to name a few.

Jon Burton managed to poke fun at everyone — including myself — without saying one naughty word. Sally Wiggin did the same, though you could tell she was walking on eggshells. Perhaps the funniest bits of the night were on tape: Joe DeNardo and DVE newswoman Val Porter were showed no mercy in skewering Mr. Krenn.

But perhaps nothing caught me by surprise quite like the performance by Mayor Luke Ravenstahl. Not known for his humor and often monotone in his daily delivery, the mayor put on a show for the ages. While his script was likely written in advance by someone else, his delivery was so good — and his willingness to joke about his own missteps so shocking — that the mayor may have won himself some street cred.

Overall, it was truly a night I wish you all could have been there. It also reminds me that I doubt I’ll be roasted when I hit my 20 years of service to WTAE. While I’m sure people could find plenty of ways to tease me, I doubt I will be as beloved as Jim Krenn.

Happy 20th Jimmy!

Morning Show Hunkers Down
February 22, 2008

If you happened to catch any of the 4.5 hour extended winter weather extravaganza that was this morning’s broadcast, you know the winter weather dictated the direction of our program. Since we didn’t know how bad it would be coming in – and how long we would be on the air – the morning show team decided to be ready for the worst.

That means bringing breakfast. Here’s what we dined on during the course of the morning news:

Ashley’s DiParlo’s all-world sticky buns. They didn’t last long.

Kelly Frey’s Cheese, Sausage and Triscuit Tray

Who says you can’t find good friend chicken at the store? Melanie Taylor did.

Who is that trying to hide behind that chicken wing?

Meteorologist Erin Kienzle posing with producer Steve Hadt’s corndogs.

All the food was yummy and well-consumed during the course of a long morning. And if that was not enough, our news director Bob Longo brought in bagels. All I need now is a cup of coffee and I’m ready to hit the sack.

Have a great weekend.

Parents, This One’s For You
February 21, 2008

There was a time I thought $100,000 was a lot of money. Apparently, that is not the case.

Parents, those of you with kids planning to go to college, listen to this: Stanford University is planning to eliminate tuition for students from families that make less than $100,000 annually. The prestigious private institution also says it will pay most of the room and board costs for students from families who make less than $60,000.

Stanford University ( courtesy: Stanford University )
Let me say this again. They plan to eliminate tuition costs for families that make less than $100K. When asked why, the school said it was concerned about the fears of middle-income families when it comes to paying for their child’s education.

I say “bravo” to Stanford which instead of offering rhetoric is acutally doing something rather novel about the high cost of education. But don’t cry for this prestigious west coast college. Stanford’s tuition is about to rise to$36K next fall and room & board will hit about $11K.

It scares me when I hear about the cost of college today. Not having kids at present, it’s not something on my radar, but I sit there in stunned silence and wonder how in the world families can afford college. I’m not just talking about Stanford either. I’m on the board of trustees at Chatham University and we constantly struggle with the issur of how to keep education affordable when tuitions nationally are climbing into the $30K range annually. Suddenly, I feel blessed I was able to attend school – Ohio University – out of state and spend less than $30K for the whole three year experience.

I’m not writing this to speak out on the high cost of tuition and make some great plea for a cheaper education for our young people. Just thought I would share this little tidbit in the great tuition debate. Food for thought on this Thursday morning.

Your Product Here
February 20, 2008

Before my lastest entry into the blogosphere, I have to give a big thanks to a guy named Bill who e-mailed me this morning. He noticed by blogs have been taking on a more serious tone lately. I had not noticed – and sometimes the issues of the day dictate a more serious look. Still, I’m a pretty easy-going person so let me lighten up a little bit.

If you were watching today at 6:35, you saw our daily conversation with Robin who sent us a little present: a box of tissue as part of an inside joke since Kelly had complained the day before we had no tissue on the set and we were left with just toilet paper to blow our noses. The box I pulled out on the set was Kleenex brand.

That bit of fun – along with a story Ashley did a bit earlier on making money on your blog by endorsing products got me to thinking. I could actually use this bit of communication technology to endorse prodcuts. Now, of course, I wouldn’t but when I think about my daily life, so much of it is sponsored that I know some company would pay me if they knew how many people were reading this blog on a daily basis.

Think about it. I get and shower using ( bleep ) brand of soap and ( bleep ) brand of toothpaste. After I put on my suit made by ( bleep ) and toss on my ( bleep ) style watch, I go downstairs and have a glass of ( bleep ) orange juice while I look at local papers on my portable ( bleep ). Then, I hop in my car and drive my ( bleep ) towards WTAE and once I arrive, I make ( bleep ) brand coffee before heading to my desk.

See. Your whole world is just one big commercial. It seems like I’m letting an opportunity to cash in big pass me by. Then again, I didn’t get into blogging to make money and I doubt anyone would use a certain product because I use it.

Although I will leave you with this: If you are curious as to what product I use and why, I’ll be happy to respond to your e-mail. No charge.

Why Apologize?
February 20, 2008

I apologize.

It’s one of the more unusual practices in this country. The apology. While Americans are quick to villify those who make mistakes and miscues ( i.e. New England Bill Belichick, Senator Larry Craig, etc ), we somehow have always been swayed by apologies. While this may sound like an exaggeration, it seems to hold true: You can do anything short of murder in this country and be forgiven if you apologize.

But recently, apologies are not what they used to be. Take a look at the apology below.

I’m sorry. I did not mean to offend anyone and I’m so sorry for all the pain that I have caused my friends and family. Please forgive me.

This is not an apology from any one person, but rather a summation of some of the recent please for forgiveness I have heard from public figures. What’s wrong with it? Take another look. Notice the apology lacks one crucial ingredient: The act that led to the confession of guilt. There is not one indication of what the person did to warrant the apology in the first place.

That’s my point. People make mistakes or say the wrong thing. That’s going to happen. That’s life. The problem is when the apologize, they hardly confess to their sins. They say they are sorry for putting their friends and families through so much pain and public humilaition, but they never actually apologize for the act itself.

I’m so done with apologies, unless they are done right. Look, if you have done something wrong, confess to it and be specific and be done with it.

Once again, I’m sorry if I misled anyone or any on my statetments were misconstrued.

I do not want to hear the politically-safe response to your sins. Just own up to it and be honest. However, I trust our next major public apology ( Michelle Obama’s is probably on the way for her admission that she is “proud of America for the first time in her life” ) is going to be another non-apology apology.

Sorry for bending your ear and venting.

Happy 40th to the Neighborhood!
February 19, 2008

I like to think I have a unique view of Mr. Rogers Neighborhood that many of you do not have. While Fred Rogers TV show is as much a part of Pittsburgh as Steeler football, I did not know that until I moved here.

Mr. Rogers Neighborhood was one of my favorite shows as a child. I loved the trolley and grew up watching human characters like Mr. McFeely and puppets like King Friday become part of my daily routine. When I was a tot living in other parts of the country, I never thought about where Mr. Rogers Neighborhood was produced. All I knew is that every afternoon my home became part of the neighborhood through the magic of TV.

While Pittsburgh holds the honor of being home to this unique series, it belongs to the entire world and every child over the past four decades feels as if Mr. Rogers is their neighbor. I think it’s when you grow up with the show outside of Western Pennsylvania, you truly appreciate the impact of the program.

Since arrivng here, I have had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Rogers several times before his death. However no meeting will rival my first encounter with this gentle soul. It was an event at the Children’s Museum which I hosted in the late 90’s. It was to honor Fred Rogers and I must admit I was a little nervous meeting my childhood friend. When I went to introduce myself, Mr. Rogers not only said he knew who I was, but was a frequent viewer of channel 4.

Wow! Not only had a I met Fred Rogers, but he knew who I was! I called my parents as well as my friends who were not from Pittsburgh and told them all about it — and they were impressed. Not only impressed with the fact I had met Mr. Rogers, but also the show originated from my new home of Pittsburgh.
On the day he died, I was so sad. His infleunce on my life helped me to come up wtih an idea — and produced it for on-air that day — showing Mr. Rogers passion for sports. I found video of him skating at a Pens game, tossing out the first pitch at a Pirates game and .. of course .. his legendary episode with Steeler receiver Lynn Swann.

Let’s all celebrate on this 40th birthday of is creation! Mr. Rogers left us a lasting legacy of childhood lessons that many of us carry on into adulthood … and each day, we should ask others the question that he asked us each episode.

“Won’t you be my neighbor?”

Reassessing Rendell’s Comment
February 18, 2008

There was a time where public figures could get away with saying something controversial and there were few – if any – repercussions. A time before every statement was run through the political correctness prism to see if it would offended any group or demographic.

That is not the case anymore. Any mis-step, any wrong word or anything with the possibility of being controversial will be pounced upon by today’s electronic media. If not, there are bloggers and amateur journalists more than willing to take the quote and run with it.

The reason I bring this up is because of a comment made my Governor Ed Rendell last week. A quote that kind of slipped under the rader when it was first said, but gained some steam last week when former gubernatorial candidate Lynn Swann took issue with it.

Rendell said that he believed there were Pennsylvania residents who would not vote for Barack Obama because he is black. Swann, during an interview with our own Sally Wiggin, was upset the governor would even bring up the possibility.

Let me say this: I think Swann should be upset, but not for the reasons you might think. Rendell’s assessment is hardly news. Anyone who thinks that the voting electorate is color-blind needs to move out of Disneyworld right now. In a country where people are actually swayed by celebrity endorsements or the choice of tie worn by someone running for office, it should shock no one that people will not vote for a candidate because he is black. There are people who won’t vote for Hillary Clinton because she is a woman. Even if one of them is truly the best candidate.

My outrage comes from the fact that Rendell should not be saying this when he has already endorsed Hillary Clinton. In light of Rendell’s support for Hillary, his comments about Obama amount to mudslinging of the worst kind. If Rendell did not suport any candidate, his comment would not only be a fair assessment, but a brave stand as well. He would be speaking to a subject few white politicians dare to tread.

I guess any questionable comment – no matter how slight – will get extensive coverage. All you need to do is look at the “pimping out” comments from an MSNBC reporter when describing the campaign efforts of Chelsea Clinton. Some comments deserve criticism because they are thoughless and hurtful. But Governer Rendell’s assessment does not fall into this catagory. If we look at the context – as we should every controversial statement – we would see that Rendell’s greatest mistake was supporting the other Democratic candidate before making his statement.
photo courtesy: Associated Press

Cleaning Out the Thought Closet Once Again
February 15, 2008

So much to talk about before I head off to Winterfest for the weekend, so let me kind of send you a list of stuff that’s on my mind before I call it a week.

SI Swimsuit
I have been overwhelmed by the number of e-mails I received regarding my comments about the SI Issue. Many of you think I’m right about the swimsuit issue, while many others believe that I have joined the ranks of the cavemen .. and this difference of opinion is spilt along gender lines.

Let me just say this: I understand those who are offended and I agree with you to some extent and perhaps I should take a different look at what this issue is really portraying. As for me being a caveman, I’ll let those of you who wonder how I feel about women take a look at my bio on this website. Then, you will be able to see where I fall on issues related to women.

Steroid Hearings and “Spygate”
Second only to the swimsuit issue, I was deluged with e-mails about those Congressional Steroid Hearings. I should send these e-mails to Washington because there are a lot of upset people out there. The waste of time and money over an internal baseball matter is ridiculous and hardly helps the millions of Americans dealing with “real” issues crucial to their survival.

The only thing more offensive that the hearings was Senator Arlen Spector’s pursuit of “Spygate”. Now, he’s saying the Steelers were spyed upon and insinuating that Pittsburgh’s AFC title game defeats may have been influenced by pre-game videotaping. I think this smacks of playing to your constituents and, once again, wastes valuable time and resources on what I believe is not an issue affecting American life and a past that cannot be changed.

Older Women Behaving Badly

I know 60 is the new 40, but what is going on with these mature actresses? First, it was Diane Keaton dropping the “F-bomb” on “Good Morning America”. Now, it’s Jane Fonda’s turn. On “The Today Show”, she uttered perhaps the worst of them all. The one word that if a man said it to any woman, would instantly guarantee his death right there on the spot. In light of these offensive comments, suddenly the SI swimsuit issue looks wholesome.

Campus Shooting at NIU

Once again, America is going through an all-too common practice today. The mourning of college students killed in a senseless shooting. The candlelight vigils have already begun as we once again are left to wonder why someone would kill five people for no apparent reason. Once again, we are going to wonder if our campuses are safe and we are going to put these places of academic freedom under temporary lockdown. We know the drill … a drill that has become all too familiar.

This week has been filled with talk of steroids in baseball, spying during a football game and whether scantilly-clad models are good or bad for the image of women in this country. Leave it to a tragedy like this to remind us what is truly important and what out lawmakers should really be focusing on. This is what really matters.

A Spirited Discussion …. and a Stupid Debate
February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Now that I have the love out of the way, let’s get to the hate. OK, hate is too strong a word in this case but my blog from Wednesday ignited quite the firestorm of debate. While my feelings about the SI swimsuit issue resonated with many of you, there were more than a few women upset that I could look at the publication as anything more than pornography.

Some felt it objectified women; others took the swimsuit publication as a personal insult. I will admit that – as a man – I can not say what would be offensive to a woman any more than a white person can tell me where the N-word is offensive or not. That being said, I still think it’s simply an entertainment publication and should not be considered a social statement on the status of women in general. I’m mean we’re on the verge of electing a woman for President. Which do you think is the greater indicator of where we are as a society when it comes to sexual equality?
One thing we can all agree with is insulting and offensive is what took place on Capitol Hill Wednesday. In one room, legislators grilled a baseball pitcher and his former trainer about whether one injected the other with steroids. Down the hall, one of Pennsylvania’s U.S. Senators questioned the commissioner of the NFL about an investigation into one team stealing another team’s signals.

I’m going to try and be as calm and rational as possible, but I am mad as you know what about this. Here I am paying taxes – and a ridiculous amount – as a citizen of this country and I’m watching the people I elected and I pay hold hearings into how professional athletes conduct their business. Are you kidding me? We are at war, heading into a recession and running out of natural resources and Congress has nothing better to do than run a dog and pony show for the cameras? Give me a break.

Let’s say I buy the steroids argument because it’s a national “health” issue. That being said, why the Senator from my state is extending his investigation into how the NFL polices its players’ on-field activities is beyond me. Senator Specter, if you want to be a referee just say so – otherwise this “spygate” matter is not your concern and does nothing to make my life or the life of your constituents better. What’s next? Are you going to investigate whether pro wrestling is on the up and up?

One local politician asked me why people are so cynical when it comes to those in public office? The answer was as clear as day on Wednesday. We don’t trust our leaders because they tend to be out of touch with what’s important to us as a nation. Yes, we love sports … but we think you could spend your time better by working to make our lives better, not our games.

Cover Story
February 13, 2008

Just got my new Sports Illustrated in the mail .. and if you know anything about “SI”, you know why I’m blogging about this issue.

The Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue is part-publication and part-phenomenon. No single issue of any magazine in America sells more copies than the annual SI swimsuit issue — nearly $40M worth of publications. It’s over 200 pages and nearly half of those are advertisements.

So why is the maagazine such a big deal? Take a look at the over of last year’s issue below:

I thought I would show this one rather than this year’s version for a reason. While the issue is popular, it also the source of noth consternation and controversy. It’s easy to see why from a distance. Scantilly-clad women lying on a beach in some tropical location. This year’s cover shows the model without a top, covered with only a large necklace. While it’s sexy – and sex does sell — there are many who think the issue simply objectifies women.

When SI started publishing this annual issue back in the 1950’s, the reasoning was very sound. There isn’t much going on in sports during the month of February and SI need to come up with something new. It was an instant hit and over 50 years later, as many women buy the issue as men.

Folks, I don’t know what the big deal is. I have never found the issue objectionable or – as some extremists might say – pornographic. Yes, there are beautiful women wearing swimwear and – as a guy – I find that attractive. Why not look at beautiful women? They are models and this is what they do and they are there to be looked at. To be honest, I can’t tell what the difference is between the SI swimsuit issue and the Victoria’s Secret catalogue.

In the end, I think people just need to realize – as I do – that this is fantasy and not reality. It’s entertainment and not exploitation. As a reader, it’s nice to escape to a tropical place and enjoy the view for a few minutes. But when I’m done looking at the pictures, ( I don’t read the articles inside) I return unaffected to my life and my wife who doesn’t wear a bikini.
At least not this time of year.

Still, it’s a nice read on a cold, snowy day.

Marathon Morning
February 12, 2008

“Good Morning America” fans may have been a bit disappointed.

Those normally tuning into see Robin, Diane, Sam and Chris were greeted instead by Kelly, Melanie, Demetrius and Andrew. Channel Four Action News this morning extended its hours to cover this multi-part winter storm that landed on Western Pennsylvania this morning.

It’s not something we normally do, but circumstances were far from normal. A snowstorm drop 5 inches of snow overnight and led to ridiculously long delays. Then, just as the roads were getting clear, round two of snow showers and what Demetrius calls “frizzle” arrived by 9am.

You have heard our title of “Pittsburgh’s Official Winter Weather Station”. We take that title very seriously and that’s why we extend our coverage when the weather turns. There is nothing more important and more serious than when severe weather hits.

Of course, it also takes some determined people to do nearly five straight hours of live television without a script. We have quite a team in the morning, and with the emergency edition of Erin Kienzle and phone calls from our reporters and even our news director out in the field, we were able to tell viewers what was happening and what to expect.

For Kelly and me, our job goes from being anchors who tell you what’s what to a pair of air traffic controllers who direct traffic and add color to the commentary coming from many sources. While it may look easy, it’s a demanding dance for the two of us. TV news anchors are seen as people who simply read a teleprompter. Nothing could be further from the truth on a morning like this. We tossed out the script after the first hour — and basically did TV without a net for the final 3.5 hours.
That being said, I love it when we cover an unfolding story like this. It reminds me of my days doing play-by-play of a sporting event, only it’s much more serious and people really depend on the information. It’s days like this that I know I made the right decision by switching jobs.