WDAY ‘Zxtra

Ginny and I had a great time at the WDAY alumni luncheon today in Fargo catching up with old friends and some new ones we didn’t know we had.

It’s fun being around such happy, upbeat and relatively well-adjusted people as Jack Sand, Moby Dick Dunkirk, Rob Kupec, Jim Shaw and others.

A special thanks to Earl Williams for the Queen Elizabeth “pull my finger” story.

Thanks, Larry Gauper, for the invitation.  It won’t be our last luncheon.

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Our Last Newscast Together


How’s the Station Reception?

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How’s the Reception?

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Flag Day

A huge thank you to Senator Heidi Heitkamp who made a surprise visit to the station yesterday to present me with a retirement gift, a flag that has flown over the U.S. Capitol.  It is an enormous honor for me.  I’m proud to call you my friend, senator.

Surprised my long-time friend @TerryDullum @WDAZTV 2 congratulate him in person on his retirement. He’ll be missed.

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Stepping Aside

WDAZ has been my work home for well over thirty-nine years, but after considerable soul-searching lately, I’ve decided that this is the right time for me to step aside.

I did my first television newscast when I was twenty years old and I’ve been going at it pretty much full force ever since.

That being said, I’m not retiring.  However, I do want to take some time to reinvent myself (sort of like Madonna).  Next, I hope I’ll be able to find something nearly as interesting and creative as television.

As I have done for years, I hope to continue speaking to groups and organizations around the region.  (In some circles I’m even considered amusing.)

For those of you who want to chat, and I hope you do, I’ll still be here at AreaVoices and on Facebook and Twitter.

Ginny and I have no intention of leaving Grand Forks (except perhaps for a few days to get out of the damn cold each winter).   Grand Forks is our home.

I have been fortunate to have gotten to at least try just about everything I’ve ever wanted to on television.  For that I am grateful to those at work who have had to put up with me.

I am most grateful to our viewers who have been so (insanely) supportive of me for so long.

It’s been a great ride.



Had a great time in Langdon last night as a guest of the Langdon Chamber of Commerce.  Nice people (and a nice meal) at the group’s annual banquet.  Even the guest speaker (who’s name escapes me at the moment) didn’t take himself too seriously.

Talking with folks, it seems Langdon is enjoying something of a spurt of energy these days with dozens of new, YOUNG families moving to the area to take advantage of a decent farming economy at the moment.

Thanks to Barb and her Chamber crew for a terrific evening.  I enjoyed every minute of it.

Thanks also to Ryan & Mike of the “Mike & Ryan Show” or the “Ryan & Mike Show” at KNDK radio for introducing me to Helium Hilarity and the Bullock Blaster 3000. (Don’t ask.)

Even the trip to and from Langdon was noteworthy.  Crossing the Pembina Gorge at what must be the near peak of this year’s fall colors made for a beautiful drive.  I live in the valley.  I get excited when I see hills.  (Did that sound vaguely dirty?)  Then on the way home, one of the nicest evenings of the fall with the thermometer in my car registered 70 degrees as I pulled into my driveway just before eleven o’clock.   Are you sure this is North Dakota?  Are you sure this is the end of September?

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Thanks, Pat

Thanks for the scores.  Thanks for the stories.  Thanks for the play-by-play.  Thanks for the laughs.

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Team Coverage

Several of us from WDAZ  had a pretty good weekend.  We went to Minneapolis to “pick up” an Upper Midwest Regional Emmy Award for Team Coverage.

Our win was even sweeter knowing we had been in competition with television stations in five states, including those in the Twin Cities.  We were the only station nominated in the Team Coverage category.  Even so, we were told repeatedly, a nomination is no guarantee of an Emmy win.  The judging was done in places like New York, Washington and Nashville.

Some of us used the occasion in the days leading up to Emmy night as an excuse to buy a new dress and to have our hair and nails done.  I spent way too much time trying to master the art of tying a bow-tie.  I did it, I guess, but not without using every single swear word in my vocabulary.

Uncertain of Emmy gala etiquette (wink, wink), all of us took the stage that night as the intrepid Julie Moravchik delivered the perfect “little engine” acceptance speech.  I swear I heard a slight gasp from the audience when Julie told them it was WDAZ’s first Emmy win in the station’s history.

Winning was bittersweet as well, however, knowing we won for our coverage last year of 11-year-old Anthony Kuznia East of Grand Forks who disappeared and subsequently died in the Red River.  Since his death the nationwide Project Lifesaver has been implemented in our areaIt’s mission is the speedy location of people living with autism and with other conditions who wander away from their homes.  The other night on television we shared the Emmy with the Kuznia family in Anthony’s honor.

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Eye Opener

Happy to be able to tell you that a former WDAZer is soon to be an anchor of a nationally-televised morning news show out of Dallas.  Brooke Thomas began her television career at Channel 8 in Devils Lake several years ago.  Most recently she has been a morning anchor at Fox News in Memphis.

Brooke’s new show is called Eye Opener.  It airs live weekday mornings in Houston, Miami, Philadelphia, Portland and Washington, D.C. It is “a two-hour, syndicated morning news, comedy and variety show airing live every weekday filled with “Need to Know” news, “equal parts politics and pop culture, health and tech news, celeb gossip and the headlines of the day, plus some stuff that’s just LOL funny.”

Brooke will be a perfect fit.  Congrats!

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