Posts Tagged ‘KWQC’

Goodbye Quad Cities Television

Today marks my last full day in the Quad Cities.

IowaMississippiRiver

Early Friday morning, I’ll be taking off for the 1,000-mile drive to Panama City, Florida, to start the next chapter of my life.

While I’ve spent time in Jacksonville, St. Augustine, and Fort Lauderdale, Florida, I’ve never seen the “Emerald Coast”, but I’m told it’s absolutely gorgeous.  And, from this photo, I see that!

EC PC.jpg

Last week, I signed off as a television meteorologist in the Quad Cities, my home for the past 11.5 years.  That’s the second longest I’ve ever lived anywhere — behind my hometown of Mayfield, Kentucky, where I spent much of the first 30 years of my life.

ABBATG2007

ABBA, my golden retriever, and I arrived in Moline, Illinois, from Salisbury, Maryland, the week of Thanksgiving 2005 when I accepted a weekend meteorologist and weekday reporter position at WQAD.

I sincerely thank news director C.J. Beutien for hiring me and bringing me back to the Midwest.  I had lived in Chicago twice, from 1994-1996 and from 2002-2004, before heading to the East Coast for almost 16 months to the Delmarva (Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia) Peninsula.

Neil.jpg

Former Chief Meteorologist Neil Kastor was instrumental in bringing me to the Quad Cities and, for that, I’m grateful.  We still stay in touch today, many years after he left the news business and the Midwest for Florida.

Along with Neil, I’m still very close with my former “work wife”, Vanessa van Hyfte, who was the weekend anchor when I started.  She welcomed me with open arms and we had some of the most exciting and fun conversations between shows. 🙂

I also consider Julie Sisk, Matt Hammill, and Cassie Heiter dear friends.

I cherished my time with anchors Jason Fechner and Barbara Dawson, morning producer Brian Boesen, (who moved on to anchor at KWQC), and photojournalist Jenny Hipskind.  (This is like winning an award and thanking all the people you care for hoping you’re not forgetting someone!)

Even though we never worked together, I consider KWQC’s Theresa Bryant a dear friend.

I fondly remember much of my time at WQAD (November 2005-November 2012).  With that being said, I was definitely angry with the station for the way it handled my dismissal that fall when it lost the Fox newscast to KWQC.

types-of-anger

It was tacky and unprofessional and the lack of compassion I was shown for my seven years of dedication and commitment was appalling.   However, the station did the same thing to Neil before me and to others since.

Interestingly enough, all of that was brought up to me again about a month ago.  In a disagreement, a former friend said to me, “Maybe you still just have a bone to pick from the station? I don’t know and I really don’t care.”

My response to him was, “my issue over this whole pettiness isn’t with WQAD. It’s with you!”

That got to me to thinking again and, honestly, the whole WQAD ordeal has been water under the bridge for me for a long time.

Anthony CBS4

After a couple of months off to enjoy the holidays, I was honored when WHBF General Manager Marshall Porter and News Director Heather Voudrie brought me on board as the morning meteorologist in February 2013.

CBS4

While I wasn’t getting rich at WQAD, I was financially comfortable.   My new position came with a big pay cut, but I was once again doing what I loved and I didn’t have to leave my family.

AP EM.jpg

At WHBF, I’ve worked with so many great people over the years.  At the top of the list is my “work wife” and dear friend, Emily Scarlett, who just took a new position with the #1 station in Columbia, South Carolina.

I’ll also remember my close friendships with chief meteorologist Andy McCray and his wonderful wife, Michelle, Jay Kidwell, Jim Neidelman and his adorable wife, Denise, and Katrina, my trusted confidant on the morning show, and her lovely partner.  (Katrina, I’ll always smile at “Breathe” and “Calm down, Lucille!”)

Those are just some of the fantastic people I’ve had the pleasure to work with in the Quad Cities, but I’ve also worked with some real losers.

I’m too much of a gentleman to say more than that, but two of the ones that stand out the most are so emasculated that it would be unfair to point out their deficiencies publicly.

Offended

With that being said, I’ve never worked in a television market as a meteorologist or a weathercaster that over dramatizes and sensationalizes weather as much as some do (or did) here.

Snowflake

That isn’t the case with all local meteorologists.  I didn’t do it and neither did Neil Kastor. I highly recommend now that you put your trust in “Local 4 News” Chief Meteorologist Andy McCray and “Quad Cities Today” meteorologist Kevin Phelps.

They’ve earned my trust over the years as colleagues.

Enough about people, let’s talk weather. 🙂  As I head to the heat and humidity of Florida, I’ll truly miss the snow!

Snowy Moline

You’re probably laughing, but I’ll seriously miss it.

How many times in your life do you get a record-setting 18.3″ in a single storm? For me, ONCE!

ABBA Tunnel.jpg

Gretel Tunnel.jpg

Happy weather, my friends!

May your springs flower with excitement, your summers toast with long sun-filled days, your autumns glow with bright colorful leaves, and your winters crackle with a beautiful fire and a blanket of serene snow covering everything to remind you of the beauty of living in the Midwest!

champagne

Remember me when you pop a bottle of champagne or you open a bottle of Moscato with a nice cheese and fruit platter or enjoy a piece of cheesecake!

Betty Crocker C-O Cheesecake

Anthony

My Favorite Thanksgivings

Our turkey is thawing in the refrigerator and I can’t wait to smell its aroma Thursday as it bakes in the oven.  I hope you’re ready for a very Happy Thanksgiving.

Ray, Tammy, and I will be preparing our feast for lunch on Friday since Tammy is working Thanksgiving.  Ray and I are volunteering to help out at Mr. Thanksgiving’s community feast for the first time Thursday afternoon.  On Friday, after we enjoy our belated Thanksgiving, we’ll spend the weekend with Ray’s family.  My sister, Tammy, won’t be going with us because she has to work.  So, if you eat out at Ryan’s this weekend and my sister waits on you, tip her well. 🙂

Since I have a Thanksgiving blog for tomorrow, today I’m reflecting on my favorite Thanksgivings.

TG2011

This was our feast from last year, which was Tammy’s first Thanksgiving with us in the Quad Cities.  It was also the first turkey day that my sister and I spent together since 1993, my last fall in Kentucky before I moved to Chicago.

MyPlateTG2011

Last year was also special, too, because it would be the last Thanksgiving that I would glance down from my plate and have two of the most beautiful, brown eyes looking up at me asking a bite.   A bite of anything would do as long as it wasn’t bananas, jello, or apples!  As you can see from my plate, I was eating for two.  This year, I can’t use that excuse.

ABBATG2011

Miss ABBA, Daddy A will have an extra bite of turkey this year just for you!

Two years ago, Ray’s parents, Ray & Donna, and his sister, Ann, and her family joined us for a family feast.  Gretel is on top of the world any time she gets to spend time with her cousins, Sydney and Addison.

GretelCousinsTG2010

In 2009, the first Thanksgiving Ray and I were together, we spent the afternoon with our friend, Tracy, and her family.  She also invited us over last year for appetizers and wine since my sister was working!

TracyTG2009

Also, at Thanksgiving 2009, Christopher, my Chicago friend, and Betty (Mom) were in St. Thomas, so Miss ABBA was doggie sitting for Mr. Panda.

ABBA Panda TG 2009

On Black Friday, we drove Mr. Panda back to Chicago and cooked Thanksgiving for Betty and Christopher.  The next day, we met Gretel in downtown Chicago for a stroll through Macy’s before coming back to the Quad Cities and picking out and putting up our Christmas tree.

TG2009Chicago

While we’ve had people over in the past, here is how ABBA and I spent Thanksgiving 2007.

ABBATG2007

While Miss ABBA ate her fair share of goodies that day, she only sat at the table for the photo.  But, she definitely was sniffing the turkey and the gravy!

As a child through the early 1990s, all of our Thanksgivings were at my Aunt Norma’s house.  After that, I moved away and usually worked on the holiday.  In the late-1990s through the early 2000s, I spent my Thanksgivings with Betty’s family in Andover, Ohio.

And, my final memorable Thanksgiving was in 1996.  I was living in Rhinelander, Wisconsin, for my first television job.  There were many of us that were new at the station that fall and none of us were able to go home.  So, I made a big feast and then we went out partying afterwards.  Closing down the bars and then working the morning show two hours later probably wasn’t a good call.  Luckily, that only happened once!

One of my friends celebrating with me that night was Elizabeth Goodsitt, who anchors at KWQC in Davenport, Iowa, the number one television station for news in the Quad Cities.

Elizabeth TG 1996

With this flashback, I wish you a “Happy Thanksgiving” one day early!

Anthony