Saturday, August 16, 2014

Ten Years in Zombie Mode

One of my first newscasts at WSIL
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter

August 2004 I was asked to be the fill-in anchor on News 3 This Morning on WSIL-TV.  It was supposed to be a temporary gig.  Mark Kiesling, who had anchored the show up until that point along with Lindy Thackston, was filling in on the 5 o'clock news because then anchor Angie Wyatt was going on maternity leave.  About a month into the gig, it was announced Mark was staying on the 5 with Angie and I would be the permanent co-anchor with Lindy.

Back then, my wake up time was 3:15 a.m.  I would jump in the shower, get dressed, and head to work. I'd get there by 4, eat my breakfast (back then it was Debbie Cakes and Mt. Dew), and help write scripts.  The show was only on from 6 until 7.  

I believe this was 2006 or 07
National Dispatchers Week
Through the years, the show evolved, not just with content, but start time.  In 2007, we launched a 90 minute show, with a start time of 5:30 a.m.  That meant getting up earlier.  I stopped showering in the morning and started showering at night to get an extra 20 minutes of sleep.  When the alarm goes off at an ungodly hour, every minute counts.

Marking National Squirrel Appreciation Day
By September 2012, the show moved to two hours.  We begin at 5 a.m.  Now I get up at 1:30 and am at work before 2.  It's an adjustment, but I enjoy my job and coworkers immensely.  Never did I dream ten years ago that I would still be doing this.  I appreciate those who have supported me and stuck behind the show as it evolved into what it is today.

Celebrating my 40th birthday on the air
In the ten years that I've been anchoring News 3 This Morning, I've had six "permanent" co anchors and countless fill-in co anchors.  There have been four "permanent" meteorologists (and a handful of fill-ins along the way).  I've had nine producers.  Five directors and five chyron operators.  And since August 2004, I've worked with 39 associate producers.  Reading that list, some may think I'm hard to work with.  I'd like to think I've helped everyone find new and exciting opportunities.

Despite being sleep deprived, I do have a really good thing going with News 3 This Morning.  I'm glad to be a part of this team and grateful to have been in the right place at the right time. Thanks again to all of you.  Now enjoy a new round of bloopers with a few old favorites in there.

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