Thursday, December 02, 2004

REAL TV Anchors

Since I don’t watch network TV news, it sure doesn’t matter to me whether Tom Brokaw, Brian Williams or the ghost of Jessica Savitch is in the big chair on NBC. Network news is so played it’s the first media out the big door and into the cyber dumpster. Williams’ laughable comments about bloggers only distances him from the audience he is trying to reach. He just don’t get it, maan!

You want an anchor? Reach back into my world and visit the dulcet tones of the late, great John Facenda. For those of you under 40, you know Facenda as the original voice of THE NFL. It’s his vouce you hear in those early NFL Films… “The frozen tundra…” The wonderful Chris Berman pays homage to Facenda in his weekly highlights with his imitation of the master.

Facneda was the “anchor” of WCAU-TV news in Philadelphia (a CBS O&O in those days) when I was a kid. It was Facneda, Herb Clarke (weather) and the once great Tom Brookshire on sports. I will blog on the Brookshire story some other day. Anyway, Facenda and Clarke are Philadelphia broadcasting legends and both possessors of some of the rattiest rugs every seen on TV in the ‘60s. So here’s the kicker: in 1976, I was a graduate school intern at WCAU radio in the sports department (of course) and one day John Facenda walks over and introduces himself. I am sure I stood speechless. It was nearly as cool as the day I stood at a urinal at WCAU and next to me was Stevie Wonder (WCAU-FM was the city’s top R&B station at the time). Stevie was wearing a sweater with that famous “Fingertips” picture on the front.