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Re: First time on the air
Strap in folks...this will take a while....
My first time on the air was as an intern at the ripe old age of 13 at WALE
1400 in Fall River...during its "down" days...before it got sold.
It was summer vacation, so I was like a leech in the newsroom...I hung out
and shadowed, gophered and groveled for something to do. The scanner was
always blaring in the newsroom (per order of news hound Bernie Sullivan) so
I passed the time learning the radio codes until a friend called me from
Dunkin Donuts telling me that the FR PD just came through looking for a guy
with one leg and a shot gun.
Moments after telling my friend that he was full of ____ (fill in the blank)
I heard on the scanner that the PD had cornered a guy in the Denny's
downtown and he was armed with a shot gun. (Who knew sources would come in
handy at such a young age!)
After getting the word from George Colajezzi (station manager) to get down
there...I made the land speed record on foot from the station to the
scene...realizing too late that I forgot one key component: a cassette for
my recorder. So I headed across the street to a building that overlooked
the scene, headed to the top floor, and found a phone, calling the story in
live. After that, it was a blur...going on instinct (what little I had)
until the police began entering Denny's with guns down. A staffer from the
station came over with a few blank cassettes...and I began my career as a
A few points:
- The building (and office) I went to? None other than James Karam, who,
oddly enough, would be the new co-owner of 1400 within a few months. Didn't
know that then...but I understand my news story helped me get a gig with the
- Nothing beat the feeling of seeing the competition (and Providence
stations) coming over the Braga Bridge while lil 'ol me went live the story.
Told ya it was a long one...