In the early 1990s, WAGA produced an inside-the-newsroom piece that, to my knowledge, never aired on TV. Maybe it was screened for sponsors and other clientele. I stumbled onto it on Youtube. It’s an eye-opener for many reasons:
- Amanda Davis, very fetching in a Sheila E fauxhawk;
- Images of behind-the-scenes folks like Jim Heath, David Boyd, Dan Anderson, Risa Blumen, Scotty MacLaughlin and John Chastain.
- The old newsroom. When I first got there, desks had typewriters and ashtrays;
- Morse Diggs and Dale Russell sporting what would now be considered ironic moustaches;
- A certain news director, thirty pounds lighter, making chicken noises;
- Paul Ossmann, downright boyish, showing off hilariously outdated weather technology triggered by “a garage door opener. Pretty neat, huh?”
The pictures illustrate one change: Back then, it was a boys club. Nowadays, many of those behind-the-scenes faces belong to women. Visit any journalism school, and you’ll know this demographic trend is here to stay.
Indulge me. If you didn’t work at WAGA 15 years ago, you may have trouble appreciating this. Sorry.
And in the same spirit, here’s the late Leroy Powell, narrating a brief history of WAGA. It doesn’t show here, but go ahead and say it anyway: Leroy was a genius.