Goodbye Cable Boy

Every now and then I get asked about the origin of the “Get Out of Town” series. While I have explained the history more than a few times, this week is a perfect time for a repeat. It is summer, after all.
Yet it’s also a good time to look back a bit, as it actually fits into my subject of the day. You see, Get Out of Town began as a yearly cover story for Tempest Magazine. Once a year, the writing staff gathered at a local pub to compile a list of ten people who deserve to be shown the city limits. As you may expect, I dominated these gatherings (in fact, I may have been admittedly overbearing at times), and at least a third of this section was ultimately my responsibility to fill.
Generally speaking, this list inevitably was filled with politicians, crooked business owners, TV news morons, and a few radio people (including a couple of KRRO bigwigs). You can imagine my surprise when towards the end of my tenure at the magazine, I was asked to make a weekly appearance at KRRO to promote the magazine.
Once Tempest folded (I actually left a few months before), my segment on KRRO was so well-received that I was asked to continue. When the idea of reviving Get Out of Town, I couldn’t get the word “yes” out quick enough.
But that’s not to say there weren’t times that I wasn’t uncomfortable wandering the then-Midco hallways. I was especially nervous when I was informed that various members of a certain television station were going to be doing their own segments on the stations housed in the building.
It’s no secret that I had made more than a few enemies over the years at that station. They weren’t all in the newsroom either. In fact, I would guess that I’ve had more complaints with their weather coverage than news and sports combined.
Much of this sarcasm has been directed at a certain Howdy Doody look-alike that began his tenure towards the end of the Tempest days. I couldn’t help but laugh at his over-the-top actions; the directives on what to wear and to “give yourself some extra time to get to work”. How could one not laugh at their weather toys, especially the Lite Brite that showed you the lightning strikes?
I’ve had more than my share of fun at the expense of…yes, it’s Cable Guy…over the years. His goofy mug even made the back of the t-shirts I had printed up a few years ago. (BTW, I still have a few left if anybody would like one.)
So you can imagine my nervousness when I first spotted Shawn hanging around the KRRO fortress. Would he try to bitchslap me? Or have one of his beefy camera guys waiting for me outside the building? Or, God forbid, have Angela Kennecke do his dirty work? That’s what I was most scared of dealing with.
For quite some time, both of us sort of stayed clear of us. I’d stay out of any studio he was in, and if he saw me when he bounced into the KRRO studio, he’d be gone within seconds.
Over the course of time, though, we both started to relax a bit. He’d come in to shoot the breeze from time to time, which eventually led to us starting to acknowledge the other. Then one morning, some sort of weather situation led to Cade calling him in while I was on the air. Both of us let out a couple of good lines that I’m sure shocked his friends as much as mine.
Since then, we’ve had plenty of nice conversations on and off air. I still have my issues with his station’s marathon weather coverage, but I think to some extent he understands where I’m coming from. We even had a short chat a few weeks ago about the expiration of his contract.
Even with that knowledge regarding his contract, I was one of those who were shocked with last week’s news that he was finished at KELO. I had assumed that he would either re-sign or find a new gig with a competitor. But what’s even more shocking is the chatter caused by his departure. You can’t open a newspaper without a blurb about him, and almost every South Dakota-based website is full of stories and conjecture about him.
Mainly because we had buried the (non-existent) hatchet a while ago, I wish him nothing but the best in whatever he does. Yet I don’t understand why it’s such a major story. TV news people come and go all the time. In fact, at the same time Cable left the top sports guy at the same station mysteriously disappeared. (Quick, name that person.) Maybe that says something about their lack of sports coverage, but truthfully you rarely see more than a short blurb or two when even the biggest news person leaves.
Best of luck, Cable Boy. Regardless of whether the rumors of your participation of a conservative online news organization are true, or you end up on another station in this market or somewhere bigger, I have nothing but kind thoughts for you.


Anonymous said…
I happened to catch travis fossings last sportscast, he said he was going to leave to go sell insurance. Either he didn't get paid squat, or he was shown the door as well. I don't think anyone wakes up in the am and says "gee, i'd like to sell insurance" Or copy machines for that matter.
Anonymous said…
Sports Guys work crap shifts...evenings and weekends...sports hardly happens in the AM so they are constantly away from their famlies...He wanted to spend more time with his wife...and yes earn more $$

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