Peace Corps Videos

Thursday, May 17, 2007

More Newspaper Stories

I don’t remember much that happened my first day in Television News. That was 23 years ago on July 30th, 1984. I don’t think I would have ever imagined my last day, much less that it would be as strange a day as it was. Here is how the day was described in the newspaper.

Former WPEC News 12 executive news director Steve Hunsicker had a rather unexpected, but no doubt eventful, last day on the job Friday, as staff at the CBS affiliate were told they might have been exposed to tuberculosis from an employee who'd contracted the highly infectious disease. I imagine the staff, who were directed to gather at the station Friday morning, were somewhat surprised to see two nurses ready to test them for TB, instead of an occasion to bid farewell to Hunsicker, who left to become a Peace Corps volunteer in the South Pacific. When I called, Hunsicker declined to discuss details of the TB scare, other than to say he still thought a send-off soiree was in the works. As for the risk of TB exposure at WPEC, health department public information officer Tim O'Connor said it was not an outbreak, and the testing was a required precautionary measure whenever someone tests positive for tuberculosis.


And the very last story I wrote? It was a story about the Health Department testing the staff for TB. I doubt it will be remembered for its compelling journalism.

Frequent readers of this blog will remember that I predicted that people would jump to conclusions about the reasons for me leaving. That’s exactly what happened in the Palm Beach Post. The guy who writes this stuff never calls to check his information and has printed many stories that I know are just not true. Here is what he wrote.


There'd better not be complicated computers at the Peace Corps! Former WPEC-Channel 12 and WFLX-Channel 29 news boss Steve Hunsicker stunned most of his employees when he quit last week for a stint in the Peace Corps. Maybe no one should have been too surprised. I'm told by a source close to WPEC that Hunsicker didn't earn many brownie points from new General ManagerDiana Wilkin while overseeing the transition to the new robotic camera system. It allows the station to broadcast news shows with fewer producers — Translation: It saves money! — but on-air glitches have been so numerous that even the unflappable anchor Curt Fonger has had enough ...

There is no question that the automation process was a mess and our shows suffered. However, I had absolutely nothing to do with the decision to buy this equipment and strenuously objected to it being implemented on-air before we were ready. (I lost that argument) What is true is that I knew the equipment was coming when I applied to join the Peace Corps last September. But it had very little to do with my decision to apply. And while I haven't spoken with Curt since the story came out, he has been one of the supporters of the automation.

Melissa Holsman, who wrote the first story will give you a fair shake. Not so with the guy who wrote the second one. He never writes anything nice about anyone.

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