Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Media musical chairs

So here's a fun story:

Six years ago today, I ended my seven-year relationship with WLVL in Lockport. I walked into the office around 9 a.m. as always and was called into Dick Greene's office. He told me they were "going in another direction."

So ... unemployed. Ugh. My Facebook status was a simple "ouch."

Later that same day, Eric DuVall, editor at the Tonawanda News, sent me a message on Facebook asking if I wanted to reprise my column for publication in the News. Of course, I agreed. It didn't pay much, but it kept my name out there and made job hunting easier.

I had some radio interviews including WJJL and WBEN. But nothing came of them.

A few weeks later, Tim Marren, editor at the Lockport Union-Sun & Journal asked if they could also run my column. Of course, I agreed. It meant getting paid double for writing one column and it got my name back out there in Lockport, where I was most well-known.

That continued for about a year ... until a full-time job opened up in the Lockport newsroom. I took that job of city editor, replacing Karen Keefe, who took Marren's job as managing editor. Side note: I got my original job at the US&J taking over for Karen's husband as city reporter in 2000.

I kept the city editor job until 2014 when I left the US&J to take the position of news editor at East Niagara Post, where I was reunited (professionally) with Heather Grimmer, who had left her freelance photo job at the US&J in Oct. 2013.

January of this year, the Tonawanda News stopped publication and Eric DuVall moved to WLVL to take over as news director and talk show host — my old job.

ENP has grown considerably in the past year and now has six former US&J peeps (Heather Grimmer, George Root, Craig Bacon, Jill Keppeler, Howard Balaban and me) — and two current ones (Steve Wallace and Bob Confer) on its list of contributors.

And Friday night, we start broadcasting hockey games live via the Internet.

None of which would have happened if six years ago, Dick Greene hadn't decided to go "in another direction."