When I was a kid, tornadoes ripped through Alabama on April 3rd and 4th of 1974. The Super Outbreak devastated North Alabama. This is home for me. Watching the meteorologists and newscasters on 31 News convinced me I wanted to follow in their footsteps. At first, I wanted to be a meteorologist. But, that career goal changed to news.
On a field trip to WAAY with my class from East Limestone School, I cut out a 31 News logo from a TV Guide and glued it to the microphone connected to a cassette recorder. I pretended to be a reporter and interviewed the news folks I met at WAAY.
While I was in high school, I started a business called Graphics Unlimited. I designed logos, hand-painted signs and screen-printed caps, t-shirts and jackets. Since I had that business, when it was time to go to college, the practical side of me chose Accounting. I graduated from UAH with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree. Then, I got my CPA certificate. I also have insurance and securities licenses.
TV was still calling me, though. So, I went back to school -- this time to UNA where I majored in Journalism, Broadcast-Journalism and Radio-Television-Film. My experience there was fantastic. UNA even gave me the opportunity to intern in the Press Office of The White House. I worked right behind the blue curtain where you see daily news briefings.
Early in my career, I worked at WOWL, WAAY, WBRC and WATE. Later, I was news director for WVUA, the University of Alabama's commercial TV station. Then, it was on to WTTO, WHNT, WWAY and WAAY again. Along the way, the Alabama Associated Press and Alabama Association of Broadcasters honored me with "Best Investigative Reporter" awards for uncovering corruption inside Morgan County government.
Stage 3 colon cancer interrupted my career. After surgery and chemotherapy, I gave up my job at WVTM in Birmingham to recover.
It was somewhat difficult finding the right job to get back into TV news. But, Heartland Media's purchase of WAAY opened the door. When I read WAAY 31 was actively recruiting serious journalists with experience, I knew it was an opportunity I couldn't pass up.
So, now I'm back to my roots. I'm home. And I'm enjoying my career and life with my wife Shannon and our family.