Goodbye to NBC10…Again
For 28 years WCAU TV on City Avenue outside of Philly was home.
That’s a long time.
I started there as a young mother and wife, 30 years old.
I covered the Olympics, presidents, scandals, disasters. I covered elected officials who thought they were above the law, interviewed murderers, covered 9/11. I told my personal story of breast cancer and a missed diagnosis at 35. I cooked with celebrity chefs and chatted with celebrities. I was able to witness the best and the worst of humanity and share those stories with Philadelphia, possibly with you. It was an absolute privilege.
TV News is a team sport. You get close.
But, to tell the truth, it was the people I worked with at NBC10 all those years and the people I met along the way that made it an amazing journey. Photographers who partnered with me in crafting stories, news directors and managers who cheered and inspired, fellow reporters who shared this unique way of life…no way you can call it a job.
There were moments of exhilaration, stress, adrenaline, there were arguments and tears, passionate debates. You get emotional and crazy over stories: 10 extra seconds of time, which words are best, what story must be covered. You fight and then you invite everyone over to your house for an “orphan” news team Thanksgiving dinner or cookout. There are failures, mistakes, defeats, little victories, and big wins.
I was 58 years old when I left to work at Temple University 3 years ago.
I left to dare the next generation of communicators at Klein College, to speak and write; to share stories in a different way. I often tell our students there is about 1 minute and 30 seconds of glamour in a day for a tv news reporter. That’s the general length of a story. The rest of the day is hard, running, digging-in, grinding-it-out street work. Then (if you are a woman) you have to remember to put a brush through your hair and throw some lipstick on.
I tell students a lot of crazy stories about the business. Still, I’m a “what’s next” person. I generally don’t look back much.
But, I did this week.
I was asked if I wanted to come in to say goodbye to the Bala Cynwyd Studio. It will be closing soon as the station prepares to move into its new long-awaited home in the new Comcast tower in Center City.
I knew this day was coming but I didn’t know how emotional it would be, to walk the halls, touch all of my former desks, memories of events, conversations, life…so much life in this building. It’s just a building. And yet…
Former colleagues, WCAU alum, Bill Baldini, Cheri Bank, Terry Ruggles, and Larry Kane shared memories and thoughts Friday night.
Thanks to General Manager Ric Harris, Larry Kane, photographer Pete Kane, Assistant News Director Kathleen Gerrow for hitting the pause bottom and taking us back in time to remember and acknowledge where we’ve been.
It’s not an easy time to be a journalist.
It’s really never been easy. But you are lucky, damn lucky, if you find friends, if you find a place that feels like home along the way.
While I know the best stuff is all in my head and heart, when they finally close the doors on City Avenue, I know that’s going to hurt a little. It already does.