Lots of updates in a few short months

This is my 22nd blog. I hope you’ve enjoyed them as much as I’ve enjoyed writing them. I didn’t think I could come up with so much material.

Apparently not like the common folk.


I was thinking last week’s edition would’ve been a review, an update, because I had 20 previous under my belt and so much has changed since I started writing, back in January. But alas, I went to the Bristol Motor Speedway for the Food City 500 in Support of Steve Byrnes instead. (I know more about car racing than I did when I started writing!)

So I’ve done 21 blogs before today and I get to use the Update graphic I found a few weeks ago.

When I started, I was taking it easy in Miami, looking for the right job. Now I’m digital manager at a TV station and living on the Tennessee/Virginia border, a place I’d never been or really thought about.

I really kept from honking at this guy on the way to work, really!

I started this blog in January to keep up with my writing and learn WordPress, which some large TV station owners like Tribune and Media General use for their Web sites. Those opportunities didn’t work out but I’ve been doing just fine with IB Lakana so far. (See? There’s an update!)
I’m still adjusting and probably will be for a while. I enjoy the computer stuff (notice there’s more weather on the right side of this), but not being able to do everything can be frustrating. Writing the news has been very successful.

Framing is an issue when the police give you a vertical picture and you have a horizontal box.

This week alone, we had a Miami-type murder story. Last night, I spent eight hours at the station helping cover violent weather, tying up loose ends, and deciding how our We Salute You pages honoring veterans should look with new video every weekday (so check back!).

It’s nice how they like veterans around here.

Those of you on the old News 5 WCYB app (any of you?) need to know it’s going away at the end of the month, which means after Thursday. (This is for all five Bonten stations.) I was asked to help spearhead the call to update to the new, better one, locally. It hasn’t been easy (can’t stand emails and conference calls around the country) and we’re fixing some bugs, but it’s happening.

video section titles (for now)
our new button
our story


I’ve learned a lot about the Tri-Cities but have far to go. I’m still figuring out this market, which is divided four ways: the Tri-Cities and Southwest Virginia. Work consumes most of my time, so I don’t get out much. I live and work in Bristol (there are two twin cities), and have been to Johnson City, so there’s just Kingsport to go. I wish there was more news and we had more crews but as you read, I’m keeping busy. I’m also getting the hang of what people here like and don’t like, so it seems our page views are growing.

I’ve learned they don’t like Hillary around here. At all.

Luckily Garry has been at home a lot, doing taxes for Service Dogs 4 Servicemen, but also preparing meals and unpacking. The unpacking still has a-ways to go. The countdown to my parents’ visit stands at exactly two weeks. (By the way, that means there are exactly two weeks until Mother’s Day. You’ve been warned.)

Garry got his fryer.

I miss the family (and the space) but I’m seeing a pretty part of the country I wouldn’t normally see. And thanks to “Aunt Randi” for Skyping with the boys.

Speaking of kids, Casey and Yeti are living under one roof but staying separate, for the most part. Occasionally, I bring Casey out to the couch. There’s curiosity but the two stay apart.

Close-up of hallway after entry
The shower isn’t so bad. Casey seems to be enjoying it!

Casey will get to watch TV and I’ll spend some more time with him when we finally get cable in the bedroom. I didn’t think it would be easy with rabbit ears, but it was nearly impossible. I thought Channel 5, where I work, would be easiest because it’s the station based in Bristol and I live in Bristol, but I was wrong.

Selfies with two personalities…
…no longer on our air (for the moment)
Bill O’Reilly, via FoxNews.com

The heat seems to be off Bill O’Reilly, but not Brian Williams. Ann Curry is also gone.

Both are gone from the wall of the station.

Bruce Jenner has been in the news a lot, most recently with Diane Sawyer. I finally had to cover him.

He has been on the boxes of Froot Loops & Fruity Pebbles more recently, at least on my Facebook feed.


The Miami condo is still on the market, but the Realtor found renters. We signed a lease and I hope they can be in by Friday, which will be May 1st.

I still don’t miss teaching. Not at all. I really like what I’m doing, but had to learn about Tennessee and Virginia‘s standardized tests. (I love the Virginia name!)

Lenny Cohen

Jeb Bush may be running for President.

The name of this blog went from CohenConnect.WordPress.com to simply CohenConnect.com so the friends you tell should have an easier time finding my words of wisdom.

Oh, and to last week’s experience at the Food City 500 Supporting Steve Byrnes. Unfortunately, Steve Byrnes died two days after the race with his name. Non-NASCAR fans learned who he was.

Right now, after hours of work gathering material for this update, Garry and I are getting ready to go to the Abingdon Garden Faire. (Thanks to one of the anchors for the tickets!) Knowing me, I’ll probably walk right through, but it’s an opportunity to go a little bit further into Virginia than I’ve been so far.

About the author

The journalism “business” has changed — from standards to platforms to layoffs — along with the American public, and I’ve managed to survive somewhat on my own terms.

I started in 1994, becoming an award-winning and respected TV newscast producer.

Even better was creatively producing websites and social media, and serving as a station's digital media manager — writing news, creating graphics and getting evidence of growing my audience here in the nation's fourth largest market, Philadelphia.

I also taught first grade for eight years. My principal saw my class website and made me electronic gradebook manager to assist co-workers when we stopped using paper gradebooks.

In 2018, I took courses and earned the Google IT Support Professional Certificate.

In 2019, I was a freelance newspaper reporter, but enjoyed copy editing and reviving the publication’s social media even more.

That got me striking out on my own with a local news website to join the blog I created, designed and write.

Ask me about all the details.

I did drive Uber to make ends meet until I started as a customer service representative at one of the world’s largest web-hosting companies, with more than 8 million customer contracts and hosting more than 12 million domains.

With classroom and newsroom experience, I know how to prioritize, analyze and take the best course of action. Getting results means attention to detail, following through and following up.

Something to add? Disagree? Let us all know!

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