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Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Dave's Not Here!

Dave Levine was a presence in the WCIX newsroom.

The words “Levine wrap” would bring trepidation to videotape editors. Chyron operators shuddered, when Dave would mention that he needed “pre-pro”. Apparently Dave didn’t get the memo that this was Channel 6, a place where reporters sometimes mailed it in. “Levine wraps” were production numbers, the way good reporter packages ought to be. Yeah, they were a pain in the ass to produce, but they were thorough. It was never spoken or officially pointed out, but everyone knew Dave Levine was our number one reporter. It was a distinction that he earned.

Few people remember this, but for two weeks in 1984, Levine was part of our first-ever co-anchor team. Barbara Sloan was on vacation, and Solon Gray had yet to be hired. With everyone else in town having gone to co-anchor teams, then-news director Larry Lyle decided to experiment, pairing Levine with Amanda Moss. The experiment went well, and a few months later, Gray was hired to share the anchor desk with Barbara Sloan. But it was the Levine-Moss team, together for just ten nights, which set the groundwork.

Dave Levine (right), with future wife Kathy Sciere (center), and former WNWS reporter Cori Zywotow (left). Click photo to enlarge it.

When Dave bolted for New York in 1985, it was big news at the station, and in the entire South Florida news market. Several members of the news department volunteered their time to produce the following farewell video, shown just once at Levine’s going-away party. While some of these outtakes had been seen in earlier news blooper reels, many others were created just for the occasion. Mixed in with the Channel 6 employees are a few friends (and well-chosen strangers) from the, ahem, competition. The video is more than twelve minutes long, which is why it’s in two parts. I feel it is well worth watching for all the old faces you’ll see, along with South Florida landmarks from 25 years ago.

Watch for Gail Anderson, Mike Medrano, Joyce Evans, John Turchin, Rod Meloni, Bill Retherford, Jay Burton, Jill Lovell, Solon Gray, George Buigas, Jay Held, Ralph Renick, Mark Jones (WTVJ), Barbara Sloan, Ed O’Dell (WTVJ), Marianne Murciano, Mike Mason, Jim Hutton (Miami-Dade police spokesman), Glo MacDonald, Ron Laffin, Renee Hagen, Dave Game, Andy Leopold, Fess Major, Dan Slade, Tim Woodberry, Mike Bradley, Nelson Milton, Gilberto Sarmiento, Carlos Lima, Elliott Troshinsky, Tere Halls, Maria Hernandez, Liz Moore, and lots more old faces. I’m on there too, spoofing Levine’s “Viva Cuba Libre” routine from an earlier skit reel. Fun times.

WARNING: There are sexual situations, brief nudity, and many four-letter words on here. If you’re easily offended, keep on reading, but don’t click the magic arrows.

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