Mick Walsh and “The Newsman”, Me

Retiring Ledger-Enquirer reporter Mick Walsh was quoted in Thursday’s paper as saying, “I met great people like Doug Wallace, Bill Bowick and Dick McMichael. I really enjoyed it.”  He was referring to his stint as a media columnist covering local TV and radio. Well, we all got to meet a great guy from the paper who reported on us. 

 

  Actually, Mick reported on me before he started his broadcast media column in 1988. When I switched from WRBL to WTVM in 1986, Mick reported on that. Did a fine job, too. Not wanting to sound a bitter or angry note, I didn’t give him the whole story on why I switched. What I told him was true, but what I left out would have probably made a juicier story. I indicated that to Mick and, with a smile, he said, “You can tell about it in your book.”  

 

  And, after I retired in 2000, I did just that, though it was only a small part of my autobiography, The Newsman. In the book, I told of how I really got hacked off when the out-of-town owners of WRBL-TV decided to take me off the early evening news, let Al Fleming anchor it, have me do special reports for it and co-anchor the eleven p.m.  They had also said male anchors must always wear navy blue blazers, but decided later to let Al wear whatever color he wanted, but told me I still had to wear navy blue. I had lunch with then WTVM manager Gary Anderson, got hired to do both the 6 and 11 on WTVM and turned in my two-week notice to WRBL, letting management know in no uncertain terms how I felt. They tried to get me to stay, asking what it would take. “Nothing. I have signed a contract. I’m going.” After six months on WTVM, both the 6 and 11 p.m. took a healthy lead in the ratings, and over time, the gap got wider and wider. Do I harbor ill feelings toward WRBL? Of course not. It is owned by a different company now. Its manager Otis Picket is a fine man, and Phil Scoggins and I have been friends for a very long time. I brought him to the Columbus market when I hired him to do sports for WRBL back in the 1970’s. I was news director as well 7 p.m. anchor then

 

. You can get a copy of the The Newsman at Barnes and Noble in Columbus, or order one from Xlibris online

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2 Responses to “Mick Walsh and “The Newsman”, Me”

  1. Paul Says:

    Dick–I’ve read your book. It’s quite a story and I recommend it to anyone who reads this post or your website.

    Wearing matching blazers smacks of the early 70s and I agree it was silly. As I recall, you and Mr. Fleming remained friends despite the jacket thing.

    You said in the book you preferred doing a newscast at 7 but wrote of being upset when you were taken off the six and given only the 11. In the Columbus market, are the early newscasts still considered the main shows? I know that now in the major markets, the 11 pm/10 Central is considered the main newscast.

  2. dicksworld Says:

    Thanks, Paul, for the kind comments about the book.

    Yes, Al and I remained friends and still are.

    The early evening newscasts were always the highest rated newscasts and considered the main ones, as you said. I didn’t realize the 11 p.m. casts had overtaken them in the major markets. They haven’t in Columbus. I just looked at the latest Neilson and the six o’clock news on WTVM is still the one with the largest audience.

    I can see how a 10:00 p.m. newscast would do well because most people don’t go to bed until 10:30 p.m. or later.

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