My first job out of college was at WCTV-TV, the CBS affiliate in Tallahassee, Fla. (The station was actually located way north of the city, off County Road 12, closer to the Georgia border than to downtown Tallahassee, but, hey, blame Aerosmith.) I was only there for seven and a half months, but made some enduring friends and memories. I was reminded of both when I found the video below, the entire 11 p.m. newscast from 36 years ago tonight, Jan. 23, 1988. I was filling in on the late show, as I did a lot for a 22-year-old kid eight months out of school. (As it happened, I was three weeks from starting my second job out of college, which happened largely because of all the times I got to fill in on various newscast.)
Here’s a look at what was happening around North Florida, South Georgia and the world on this Saturday night in January 1988.
I shared the desk that night with the lovely and delightful Julie Phillips (that’s her with me, above, along with Sports Director Bob Warren) and the wonderful Mike Roberts. I saw Julie – along with a bunch of other folks I worked with – at a reunion a few years back. It was the first time I’d set foot in Tallahassee since leaving the state for good in 1992, and it was great to catch up. Mike passed away last summer. Most of the other folks I worked with are still around, though few, if any, are still in television. Many are retired. We keep in touch a bit. As first jobs in small markets go, mine was really useful, productive and memorable.
I spent much of the following 26 years in and out of television, but I often look back fondly at this job and my people. I hope you are all well, wherever you are.