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Monday, May 3, 2010

Versatile, A Plus

Tony LaRussa would have been proud. The St. Louis Cardinals manager, with a fetish for versatile athletes who can play multiple positions, surely would have loved the way WCIX stretched, pulled, and jostled its employees. Like LaRussa having his second baseman play the outfield, or a pitcher running out to left field, the old Channel 6 would sometimes let employees try unfamiliar jobs, either enriching or embarrassing themselves in the process.

Where else in the Miami market would a reporter (Jerry Fisher, Rod Meloni) have spent months at a time doubling as a line producer? Where else would a Chyron operator (me) have been allowed to write the Wall Street business reports, paving the way for a future career as a producer? As one who had to prepare the credit rolls that followed the newscasts on Fridays, I had to keep a score card (well, actually a score sheet) to keep track of who did what that given week. Switchers ran audio; audio operators ran tape; tape editors ran the Chyron. “Versatile, a plus” was more than an ad in an adult magazine back in those days. Put me in coach, I’m ready to play!

Keeping track of who did what for the weekly credit roll. Click image to enlarge.

Our versatility didn’t end with the newscasts. We had actors, disc jockeys, musicians, comedians, and comic book artists among our ranks. (Oh yeah, authors, too.) We were one talented bunch, if I do say so myself. Memories of that talent live on in our minds, but some of the old 6’ers left behind tangible souvenirs of their endeavors, in the form of records and, later, CDs. In the next entry, I will look at some of the WCIX alumni that were also recording artists. There will be names you’ll recognize, and others that you won’t, but I think you’ll find that our musical notes were as powerful as our reporter’s notebooks. I bet Tony LaRussa would agree.

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