The spring of 1997.
It was pretty much my first time away from home. Steve and Tom hired me to produce the 11pm news at WFSB-Channel 3 in Connecticut.
I got there, but anchor Denise Dâ€™Ascenzo was on maternity leave for the first month or two. We’d only met during my interview. (Thanks to Dennis House, who’s still there, whose work I read weekly, for recording everything including this.)
Gayle King had to work her own job (which definitely meant anchoring the 5:30pm news and probably included planning the nationally syndicated Gayle King Show) and then fill in with Al Terzi at 11pm.
I donâ€™t remember talking details at the time but I suppose she went home, fed her children, and put them to bed. Then, sheâ€™d head back to the station for the second time, looking presentable, and trusting the Nightbeat news team to be accurate and make her look good.
It was never hard making Gayle look good.
Just before Denise returned, it was the end of the May ratings period (â€œsweepsâ€) and leave it to Gayle — she had a full dinner catered for all her co-workers. (Do you know how many people it takes to run a station and put on a newscast?) I don’t remember plastic nor styrofoam. I can hardly imagine her eating off of those.
She had invitations made (on top, because we had no external email), and singled Al and me out. That was 20 years (and 4 days) ago. I forgot to post it on Sunday. (You know, work.)
But thatâ€™s Gayle for you!
I’ve worked with many brilliant, patient people who have taken time to teach me a lot over the years.
This was one unique memory and a lesson on appreciation. For that, Iâ€™m grateful — and yes, should remember to be a lot more often. It was a good group of people having good times.
(By the way, in case you haven’t heard, such a deserving person managed to go on to bigger and better.)