Friday, April 18, 2008

I Always Hated Al Tompkins...

I always hated Al Tompkins. Some might remember Al from his days at WPSD in Paducah, KY and WSMV in Nashville, TN.

I was reading some of the notes coming out of the Radio-TV News Directors Convention this week in Las Vegas, where some news directors come to learn the latest trends in broadcast journalism, others come to network, some come to gamble and drink, and some come to chase co-eds who are angling for their first TV job out of college. At any rate, I came across a Youtube video from Al Tompkins of the Poytner Insitute. The Poytner Institute is a school for journalists, future journalists, and teachers of journalists. It's located in St. Petersburg, Florida. St. Petersburg. That's where he lives now. Another reason to hate Al Tompkins.

Very insightful, as usual from Al. Now for the reasons I hated Al Tompkins. When I was at WBBJ-TV in Jackson, TN, and later at WPSD-TV in Paducah, KY, every once in a while, I was assigned "the big story" as a reporter. Sometimes, the story was so big, WSMV sent Al Tompkins to file their report. He was SO GOOD, the minute he walked up and I saw him, my heart sank, because I knew he would find an angle, an interview or a resource that never occurred to me, and even if I did my best work, chances are, it would PALE in comparison to what Al did. He was a big guy, with an intimidating presence, even though he's since lost weight.

I was just kidding earlier, I never hated Al Tompkins. In reality, I admired him more than any other TV reporter I ever saw. I just hated it when he showed up on MY story! He's a great asset to the Poytner Institute. Any journalist would be wise to soak up as much knowlege as they can from Al. Here's to you, Al!

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