Thursday, February 02, 2012

Big Break

Big Break: Mediabistro TV has a segment called "My First Big Break". I guess mine would be my first real job at KMOX radio in St. Louis. "The Mighty MOX" as they called it back then when it dominated the radio airwaves, was a ratings monster. It also happened to carry the baseball games of my beloved St. Louis Cardinals. My Uncle Ron had given me an old radio when I was in middle school. It only had AM on it. I listened to it in my room. All the time. I didn't know squat about the latest and hottest songs, but I could listen at night to my Cardinals on the AM dial. That was good enough for me.

During college, I interned at KMOX. That internship led to my big break. The news director at the time, John Angelides, liked my work ethic during my internship and offered me a job. It wasn't glamorous to many, I suppose. I still attended college full-time. And I worked the overnight shift, where I wrote news headlines for the talk show hosts. And then later in the morning, I wrote brief traffic reports for the anchors to read. To work side-by-side with some of the people I had listened to for years was incredible.

The most incredible moment was to attend the station's "State of the Station breakfast" at a swanky hotel in downtown St. Louis. I get assigned to a table and who should I see sitting across from me...? It was Jack Buck, the iconic voice of the Cardinals. He was my broadcasting idol. And there he was. He was friendly, charming and full of stories. That has to be my most memorable breakfast ever. And I can't even tell you what I ate. I probably could have eaten the plate itself and not known the difference. One of the most remarkable memories from the breakfast was this...Mr. Buck wanted another refill of his coffee. A woman came over to offer him more. Mr. Buck thanked her and then noticed the woman spoke Spanish. He immediately switched to Spanish and conversed with the woman for a few minutes about her life. Later, he called her over again and handed her a $20 bill. Such a cool moment to witness. Such a cool experience to get the chance to work with him, even if our paths rarely ever again crossed.

NBC's Brian Witness shared his first big break with Mediabistro TV. He talked of maxing his credit cards, going bankrupt and nearly giving up on ever working on tv again. It's a fascinating conversation. He seems very appreciative, as I remain today, for the opportunities life has brought our way.


What's your biggest break in life and what did you do with it?




2 comments:

Anonymous said...

i broke my leg once. got a cast.

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