My 25th Anniversary At The TV Station

I remember driving back to meet Helaine after seeing Mike Sechrist in the spring of 1984. “I didn’t get it,” I told her. “They want someone older.”

I’d seen Mike hoping to fill his weather opening in New Haven. It wasn’t destined to be. But, surprise, I did get it–the weather job at WTNH.

I began May 21, 1984. Thursday was my 25th anniversary.

I can’t remember what kind of day it was when I started, but I do know I sat with Al Terzi, Gerri Harris and Bob Picozzi in front of a blank blue wall. We had no real set. All the backgrounds and frames were inserted using chromakey.

I did my first tease before my first weathercast saying a few words and ending with, “Well, how am I doing so far?” It was a line I’d first used on my first day in radio–probably stolen from someone much more clever. Gerri looked at me as if I’d just parachuted in from Mars.

In my 25 years she was one of two anchors who obviously ‘didn’t get me.’ Al, on the other hand, laughed at every joke I told–funny or not. What Al did was like comedy kindling and it helped establish me.

I have survived four general managers (with a fifth soon-to-be hired), ten news directors and scores of producers. I have outlived all the other on-air people at Channel 8 that day in 1984. Considering I’d bounced around radio for 11 years before getting to Connecticut that’s quite a feat.

I don’t know how it came about… these 25 years. It’s nothing you aim for. I seem to remember thinking of WTNH as a good stepping stone, not a final resting place. And yet I stayed.

For a while I filled in for ABC on Good Morning America. Maybe I thought the network would come calling–but they didn’t. So I stayed and stayed and stayed.

I built a very good life first for Helaine and then Stefanie. My parents moved to the area and then moved away. We set down roots. I tried to give back, especially with charity work.

You don’t go to work on day one hoping to stay 25 years. I certainly didn’t. It’s all one day at-a-time and then, all of a sudden, those days begin to add up. Prospective employers look at people who change jobs a lot as having baggage. Once you’ve stayed too long you’re looked at the same way.

There will never be another Geoff Fox in Connecticut. Sure, there will be more talented people. There might even be people who will stay longer–though that seems doubtful. But no one will ever be seen by audiences as large as we had in the 80s and 90s. That tonnage is gone. It’s affect is cumulative over the years.

I have a great job. I enjoy coming to work nearly every day. Even after 25 years no one will ever accuse me of phoning it in. I am a well defined personality and though lots of people like me, there’s also a sizable contingent who don’t.

No gold watch today, I got a plaque. I’m taking off Friday but I’ll be back Monday.

15 Responses to “My 25th Anniversary At The TV Station”

  1. KeithInMN says:

    My sincerest congratulations, Geoff. In a highly transient field such as yours, staying around for that long is a major feat indeed.

    Once again, best wishes to you.

  2. Jim says:

    Congratulations Geoff!

  3. Amanda says:

    Hey Geoff…I sent you a note last night, but wanted to just say Congratulations again. Enjoy your weekend!

  4. D says:

    Congrats Geoff,

    Still remember your broadcast during Hurricane Gloria….Calm and Cool….

    Thanks

  5. Wudz says:

    Well deserved accolades for you. Especially liked Koppy’s “synonamous” remark. Congrats Geoff.

  6. Tom says:

    Geoff,

    It is said good things come in 3′s.

    1. Stef has graduated college

    2. You have received a much deserved honor

    3. ???????????????? Next!

    Be sure to let us know.

    Congratulations on several jobs well done.

    Tom

  7. Evi says:

    Geoff, as I’ve said previously, I ADORE your parents… how proud they looked in that video… they make you just want to hug them to pieces! Stef not only got her college degree, but got to have her precious grandparents with her on that special day. That in itself, is a magnificent gift. Congratulations to all of you…

  8. Val says:

    We love you Geoff. Thanks for being you.

  9. razgriz.myopenid.com says:

    Way to go Geoff. So how many years are we looking forward to you being 2 News Channel 8

  10. Jim says:

    Congrats for someone in your business to be at 1 station for 25 is unheard of. I moved to central florida 3 1/2 yeas ago and NONE of the weathercasters can hold a stick to you.

    When you started were thy still useing magnets for weather graphics?

  11. meredith says:

    Wow, I had no idea I’ve been watching you as long as you’ve been on WTNH. When I was in high school I used to come down to New Haven on school breaks to visit my sister at Yale, and we’d always watch the Channel 8 news and weather.

    Congratulations on this milestone — the New Haven area is lucky to have had you all these years!

  12. mike says:

    I said it before and I’ll say it again, you had the job the moment you pulled out that floppy disc you made before coming, put it in the weather computer and made it do all sorts of things your predecessors couldn’t even imagine. The ‘older person’ thing was purely a bargaining ploy. I tried to steal you away for years. The timing was never right in Miami and Dallas just wasn’t your cup of tea. It is quite an accomplishment Geoff as noted in previous comments and one that may not be repeated in the market. The station and the market are lucky you are there. Whatever happened to that Hilton guy?

  13. Jack Slocum says:

    Geoff…. You are the best in CT. I’ve been watching for all of your years and will continue until the last nail is driven in my coffin.
    Was wondering if you have an opinion as to what is causing the recent spat of storms in Southern CT. It seems as if we get a day or two of good weather and then 1-2 of stormy ones. I cannot remember another summmer with this pattern.
    Regards and thanks,
    Jack

    • Geoff Fox says:

      Thanks Jack. The only constant in the weather is that it’s never ‘normal.’ Even if there was something weird happening it would be so well hidden in the atmospheric noise it would take decades to see.

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