So, I am perhaps one of the top three luckiest folks you are gonna meet in your life. I have a family I love, friends I love, and have honestly had TWO dream jobs in my lifetime. I spent 38 years shooting news: half local and half CBS News, give or take. In 2016 I started my second dream career: Professor of Practice, Broadcast and Digital Journalism at the S.I. Newhouse School at Syracuse University. They wanted me and accepted my nearly 4 decades of experience as a good thing. And yes, I cannot wait to teach and help the next gen of journos. I am in heaven with the best students and colleagues ever.
The Career: Quickly: Spent 22 years at CBS News/KCBS in Los Angeles. 7 years of “Everybody Has A Story” with Steve Hartman (along with years of Assignment America, 60 Minutes 2, On The Road, and local news feature stories with Hartman). 7 weeks on the road, as pool camera, with candidate Obama. 2 years for NBC News in Miami covering the Nicaraguan, San Salvadoran, and Honduran war zones. OJ Simpson #1, OJ by the Sea, and OJ goes to Vegas. Menendez Brothers, Michael Jackson Molestation trial, and 4 mass shootings (Columbine, Gabrielle Giffords, San Bernardino, and the Orlando/Pulse Nightclub). Covered US hostage releases in West German, Nagano for Olympics and massive California fires, earthquakes, and the LA riots. Awards? Anything you win doesn’t matter when you’ve got a terrific wife and sons like mine. Love them more every single day. Best time in my life.
Fun Facts: I have been to over 1300 rock performances in about 700 individual concerts (38 times for the Rolling Stones alone), I don’t know the model number of my cameras: I just want them to help me tell a story. I think women are the best thing on the planet Earth. They should always be respected, revered, and never underestimated. I think the First Amendment is worth going to jail for. My forehead makes a handy reflector and my belly is hopefully shrinking. I have taught every year with Al Tompkins at Poynter for almost 20 years and many years at the NPPA Television News Workshop in Norman, Oklahoma.
As for the current threats to our freedoms from within? There has never been a more interesting time to be a journalism professor. I hope you get a chance to meet my students out there, they’ll probably be wearing Orange!