Today, my husband is retiring from the news business. Wow. For over 35 years - since his freshman year in college - he has worked in broadcasting. While still a student at Xavier
University in Cincinnati, he worked in both the radio and television stations of the university. While a junior at Xavier, he started working at WKRC in Cincinnati. Eventually, he became a
news producer at WBNS-TV in Columbus, Ohio (left). It was during his time there - almost 31 years ago - that I joined him on his journey.
When Ted Turner decided to start CNN Headline News (then called CNN2) in the early 80s, we moved to Atlanta to be part of that adventure. For almost three years, Michael produced a number of shows on Headline News before moving to CNN to become executive producer of Week In Review. He stayed there for a year until we moved back to Columbus when he was named assistant news director at WTVN (now WSYX). Eager, however, to run his own shop, he accepted a position at KVBC-TV (right) in Las Vegas in 1987. We lived in Las Vegas until our move to Nashville in 1995.
In a business where the average news director stays only about 2 years or so - either because the owner or GM wants to make a change or because the ND wants a new opportunity - Michael has been a bit different, staying in Las Vegas eight years and Nashville 13. He's had the opportunity to move on and up, in the past 10 years, but he always decided that it was more important to stay with a good company and good staff at NewsChannel5. I can tell you that while he is proud of the fact that he took both stations to the top of the ratings war, he has always been most proud of having great people in his newsrooms. The awards that NewsChannel5 won over the years is proof of this - local Emmys (over 70), national Emmys, a duPont, a Peabody, Murrows, AP and IRE awards. (The photo at the top of this post is from an Emmy dinner when he won his second of four regional Emmys for News Excellence.).
In May, his company offered employees 55 and older (for which he just qualifies) a great incentive to retire early. After a month of researching and debating the pros and cons involved in retiring this young, he surprised everyone by accepting it. He says that I have put up with his hours (leaving the house 6:30 am and coming home at 7 pm or later) and work schedule (no vacations during ratings months of February, May, July or November), and he wants to spend more time with me (He doesn't know what he's in for.).
Michael has always loved his job . . . always loved going to work. I am proud of him, his dedication, his passion, his spirit and his good heart and have loved him for all of those reasons and more. I know he's going to miss the newsroom, but they will survive without him, and he will survive without them. As he ends this journey, he begins another one which, we both know, will bring a lot of excitement, change, and adventure.
Congratulations, dear, on your retirement. You deserve it!