My First Memories Of TV

I’m not talking about my childhood, I’m talking about when I actually got into the business.

We have a high school student “shadowing” Good Morning Cleveland this week. I wonder what’s going through his mind about the experience so far. He arrived bright and early this morning. You have to give him credit for that initiative. Actually, it’s part of his senior project so there’s a a reason he has to do it.

At any rate, it got me thinking about my first days in TV. Growing up in the Cleveland market, I was familiar with many of the people who were on the news. I remember walking by Judd Hambrick in the halls of Channel 3 when it was back on East 6th Street across from the Cleveland School Board of Education building. Judd is a tall man but he just seemed larger than life to me.

Some of the first people I met were Kim Brattain and Jim Hooley. My college professor worked as a weekend editor at WKYC and I got the chance to go up with her to Cleveland from Ashland. I was surprise how nice they both were. They were willing to answer my questions and even noticed me when I was getting dinner at the Galleria. This was back in the days of reporters like Joe Mosbrook and John Herrington. They were the veteran reporters who knew Cleveland like the backs of their hands. They’d been in television since before I was born. I worked with Mosbrook after I got hired at Channel 3. Oh, I can’t forget to mention Thor Tolo who was the most energetic person I’ve ever met. He was hopped up on hot cocoa. I think I saw him drink at least 4 cups myself.

I remember being mesmerized with the studio and the control room. I remember watching the robotic cameras zoom from place to place in the studio. It is still interesting to watch them. I remember the excitement of the producer, the editors and the assignment desk editor. I thought I want to be a part of this. It hooked me a little on this business.

When I got my internship, I couldn’t get enough of the station. I came in on days where I wasn’t scheduled. I thought it was so cool that I was an intern for a Cleveland station. I remember being so determined to get a job there. I interned in the promotions department under Dan Klintworth initially before he left the station. His secretary, Marcia, helped get me saavy to the business. She told me go down to the first floor and memorize the photoboard so that I could see a face and know the name. I did what she said and probably surprised a lot of people who didn’t know who I was.

So I can kind of imagine what my high school job shadow student is experiencing although, TV probably isn’t as big of a deal now as it was then. Now, it might be more interesting to tour the YouTube offices.