I've lived in the Capital District for 51 of my 54 years on this Earth. There's many things which make our region unique, and in ways special. If you've lived here for a long period of time, you know who Nipper the RCA dog is, and where his perch was. You know where the best Italian restaurant is, and what car wash doesn't scratch your car. Local television personalities are like members of your family, with many of the local guy's and gal's in the business hanging around for many years -- the good one's at least.
You tend to remember certain personalities like Rip Rowen, Bob MacNamara, Ed Dague, & Dick Wood. People you watched for many years. People who came into your kitchen or living room, every night at 6 & 11. One of the most recognizable in my life just signed off last night on WTEN. South Troy boy John McLoughlin said goodbye to viewers, viewers who knew and enjoyed his fine work over the years. He was a constant, an Irish uncle, a jokester, a face we came to know and trust.
Now I don't know what led to John leaving a job, that many of us thought he would do forever. Did he leave voluntarily, was he pushed out? -- nobody knows for sure. If he was pushed out -- shame on WTEN, and I'd say it was a poor decision on their part. There's a lot to be said for continuity on local newscast. When you watched WTEN news at 6, John was always the guy with the BIG story. A professional journalist who always knew the correct time to throw a joke or two into his report, and when to play it straight. John was, and is a pro. I'll miss his style, wit, and professionalism, and will be looking forward to seeing him at the upcoming, Friends of 112th St. annual dinner on Feb 26.
I watched his final broadcast last night, and I was appalled at the sign off they gave him -- a 60 second retrospect highlighting some of his reports. For a man who garners much more respect than some of the suits at WTEN who made this decision ever will, I thought there should have been more. Why not a 30 minute special show highlighting his life and career. He deserves it, and I think it would generate very high ratings for WTEN. He was highly respected by all who ever knew him or worked with him, a fact that seems to have been forgotten by his employers.
Good luck to John in this, the next chapter in his life --- and GOOD luck to WTEN trying to replace him.