- From left: Alan Hand started at CBS in Atlanta in 1981, then switched to WSB;
- John Spink started at the AJC in 1984;
- Doug Richards started at WAGA in 1986, then upgraded to WXIA;
- Richard Crabbe started at WXIA in 1980;
- Bruce Mason started at WXIA in 1982;
- Dave Darling started at WSB in 1981.
The combined experience of the News Professionals in this photo would date back to the James K. Polk administration, if one could legitimately combine such data into such an absurd and historically irrelevant conclusion. One could do that, particularly when one writes a blog that lacks the moderating influence of a sensible editor. In this case, I’ll renounce it myself.
More accurately, all these knuckleheads News Professionals managed to get themselves hired in Atlanta news during the Reagan administration (Crabbe, during the final year of Carter) and somehow managed to never leave. No wonder all those kids beating at the door to experience the Great Adventure of somewhat-large market news can’t get a foot in. These damned old guys won’t open a slot for them. Now you know who to blame.
Old guys (and gals) have their advantages. We’ve already successfully hurdled the “jaded and dispirited” phase of our careers, a phase that vexes many of the thirty-somethings who enter midlife asking “you mean this is my illustrious career? I had hoped for better.” We all wanted to work for 60 Minutes once. We’ve adjusted, as will they.
Sadly for those ambitious market-climbing youngsters, for every Crabbe, Hand, and Spink et al, there are another five Spradlins, Ashes, Bevelles, Belchers and Crawleys. So the clog in the pipeline is thick — but it’s getting grayer and craggier.
But it’s all relative. I agreed to pose with these News Professionals because I knew I could say I was the least senior of the bunch. It’s a curious way to cling to what little is left of my youth.
Why I’d want to do that, I don’t know.