Good show, Boss

There have been few people in my career who I actually set out to impress. There have been few people who have actually given me chances I didn’t deserve. There have been fewer still I looked up to like a father, but was still able to consider a friend. Andy Still is all of those people.

Andy was my boss from 1999 until early 2005. We parted ways amicably when I discovered a new direction and golden parachute. Since then, I’ve been able to watch Andy’s work from a safe distance and wished for him a graceful exit whenever he chose.

Last night, the wife and I went to Andy’s retirement party, a real-life “This Is Your Life” for him–and, frankly, us, too. Andy is giving up his role as News Director and heading off to a life of music, writing, and travel. All of it is more than deserved.

There are so many things that are wrong with television news these days. Anymore, it is a place where mediocrity isn’t merely accepted, it’s almost championed. Andy and the people who worked on his staff didn’t believe in that. Andy and the people he trusted really believed in capital “N” News. The business wasn’t all about money, how fat you were, or how good looking you could be. The business was telling stories. It was about giving people the news they needed in a way they could understand. If you entertained them along the way, even better.

I have many a rant on this subject, but those will have to wait for another day. Today is the day we recognize Andy’s last hours on the job. If you have ever wanted to believe in the profession of journalism or wondered who among the fourth estate you could trust, Andy is your man. And, as we all agreed last night, Andy is more than just a newsman. He is simply a fine human being.

Congrats on a great career, Boss. More than that, thank you for giving us a reason to believe.

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Brad Willis

Brad Willis is a writer based in Greenville, South Carolina. Willis spent a decade as an award-winning broadcast journalist. He has worked as a freelance writer, columnist, and professional blogger since 2005. He has also served as a commentator and guest on a wide variety of television, radio, and internet shows.

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1 Response

  1. Anybody who’s serious about News with a capital “N” is OK in my book. All the best to the boss.

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