I've been a face on local TV in Yakima and the Tri-Cities for 28 years.Wow, that's a long time.Friday, June 22nd is my last day as a TV news anchor, but not my last day in television.
Ihave moved from the anchor desk to the corner office.I'm now the General Manager ofKNDU/KNDO-TV.I'll continue to work with news as one department within our company, but Shane Edinger is our News Director now.Shane has the right combination of attention to detail and accuracy, with an eye to the future and the many new platforms of news delivery.He is the right person at the right time to lead our news team.We've also hired a great new co-anchor you'll meet very soon.We spent a lot of time picking a new partner for the anchor desk, and I'm confident you'll like our choice.
I first started in TV at age 33 in Yakima as the part time host of a half hour noon talk show. Starting at that age is very rare.I begged the Manager of KAPP TV to give me a shot and today I am thankful to Gary Pierone for that opportunity.Before TV,I worked for Yakima County as a Human Services planner of local programs for people with developmental disabilities.When I decided it was time to change careers, I invested in a copy of the book "What Color is Your Parachute" and followed many of the exercises.It led me to check out news reporting.By the way, that book is still available, and it's an excellent reference if you're thinking of changing careers.
I worked my way through the many jobs in a newsroom. I hosted talk shows, learned to use a camera, edit video, write a story, anchor the news, and produce a newscast.Then came the opportunity to manage a newsroom at KNDU-TV in Kennewick in 1989.My twin children were almost a year old when I took the job.Last year, they graduated from Washington State in Pullman and both now work in Seattle.
You may not realize it, but there's a lot of pressure in being responsible for local news content.You can so easily and quickly destroy someone's character or business by presenting facts that are not accurate, or slant a story with only one side of the argument.We constantly supervise our young, inexperienced reporters, and we work very hard to create a balance in our news coverage.
Over the years, I've worked with some truly outstanding talents and just good people.One of the best parts of the job is working with young people.Dozens of fresh faces right out of college have come through the doors at KNDO and KNDU-TV.After two years or so, many were off to bright careers in news, sports and weather.They've moved on to Phoenix, Tucson, San Diego, Houston, Portland, Seattle, Las Vegas, Austin, New York, Spokane, Boise, Memphis…really so many cities I could not remember them all.It has been my pleasure to watch them grow and develop as professionals.I know it can be annoying to viewers to see so much turnover, but it's also been very difficult for me to say goodbye to so many good people.
One of the reasons I've loved news is that you always see the extremes of any issue.We end up interviewing people willing to be outspoken on a topic. People are funny, sad, perplexing, exasperating, and remarkably kind.We've shared stories that made me cry, made me laugh, and made me totally disgusted.Just like they did to you.
I've learned mental illness is equally distributed across our culture.We've experienced some horrific crimes that could only be committed by someone with deep mental problems.Cases like the teen who suffocated two girls by putting plastic bags over their heads, or the national headline grabbing case of a woman cutting an unborn baby out of a pregnant woman in Columbia Park.
Butnews is not all bad.We actually cover more "good" stories than bad… but the bad sticks out.It is generally more memorable... that's just human nature.We run to a car accident to see it, but we don't pay as much attention to the classroom project to build math skills.I am very proud to be a small part of telling so many stories of good people making great sacrifices for others.
And I'm equally proud to be part of a community partnership.We have used our power as a local TV station to partner in ways that benefit the community.Projects like Coats for Kids, The Family Food Drive, Red Cross Real Heroes, The Best and Brightest high school graduates, and Voter Registration Drives.I will continue to be involved with our station projects that help our communities.
The way that people get news is changing.Fewer people are turning to a prescribed time of day to watch localnews on TV.Instead, many get news updates via facebook,twitter, breaking news emails and stories on our website.We've created new work patterns to get information turned around and distributed to our viewers/readers as quickly as possible, because we know that's what the news consumer wants.We will always be committed to providing big and bold local news coverage.
Now my attention turns to the business aspect of operating a media company.TV is a powerful communication method.It reaches more people than any other source.It continues to be the best method of getting an advertising message to an audience.We want to make sure local businesses take advantage of that to reach customers.
And on top of that, we expect to stay ahead of the curve as new technologies emerge everyday.That's why we will soon be streaming our 5pm and 6pm newscasts live on our website at nbcrightnow.com.
We are also very close to launching a partnership with Syncbak that will make KNDO, KNDU and SWX available on your smartphone.That means you can watch the news, or an SWX high school football game, right on your phone, no matter where you are.
I have so enjoyed sharing the news of our local community.Thank you for inviting me into your home each evening.