On The Occasion Of His Departure: My One John Stossel Story

John Stossel is leaving ABC. From TVNewser (who claim to have broken the story)

John Stossel, the longtime ABC News correspondent and co-anchor of “20/20,” is leaving ABC to join Fox News Channel and Fox Business Network. TVNewser has learned Stossel will host a weekly, one-hour program for the 2-year-old business channel. He’s expected to signed a multi-year deal with Fox which will include regular appearances on Fox News Channel during daytime and primetime. He’ll also host four, hour-long specials on Fox News, much like the business/consumer specials he’d hosted for years on ABC.

john-stossel.jpgI have one John Stossel story. This was a long time ago and I was filling in on Good Morning America in New York. TV-2, their studio at the time, was squeezed into an old building on the West Side. You’d never know there was anything going on there if not for the double parked town cars most days.

I was heading from the studio back toward my (actually Spencer Christian’s) dressing room. As I rounded the corner there was John Stossel.

He was a big deal to me. There were lots of ‘names’ from the network and other boldface types who passed through TV-2 but there was something special about Stossel.

“Hi John, I’m Geoff Fox and I’m filling in on the weather this week,” was about what I said. I extended my hand.

Nothing. He gave me the look you give a dog who’s soiled the carpet and then he turned away.

Good grief. I was crushed.

In my few dozen trips through GMA it was the only time I ever met anyone who was less than gracious. It still stings.

His departure will be a loss for ABC which in turn means a loss for my station–I regret that. On a personal level, good riddance.

8 Responses to “On The Occasion Of His Departure: My One John Stossel Story”

  1. Evi says:

    OMG. What an awful story! Maybe his mom didn’t teach him to, “Treat everyone like you wish to be treated”. It’s a very important life lesson. Too bad he missed it.

  2. Laraine says:

    I believe that whatever you put out there comes back to you three-fold.

    Let’s hope!

  3. Jeanette says:

    I also say “good riddance”. Stossel is the reason I stopped watching 20/20. He always seemed totally self absorbed. By your story, sounds like I was right.

  4. meredith says:

    Ugh. I hate when that happens. A few years ago I was in charge of artist hospitality at the Connecticut Folk Festival in New Haven (known as the Eli Whitney Folk Festival at the time), and that year Nanci Griffith was our headliner. When she and her band and entourage arrived I introduced myself as the person who would be taking care of them that day, and she looked at me like I was something she’d discovered stuck to the bottom of her shoe and wouldn’t even shake my hand. Then she proceeded to only perform for just 40 of the 75 minutes she was contracted for.

    I used to be a Nanci Griffith fan, but since then, not so much.

    (Her band and crew, on the other hand, were all really great guys.)

  5. Rick Wilson says:

    I never did like John. He seems the type that would fit in really well at Fox News. I really liked his story about wrestling being fake years ago! :)

  6. alex s. says:

    Or maybe, in the ten seconds of his entire life that you met him, he was having a bad day. Why would you post this story?

  7. Geoff Fox says:

    Alex -

    It just felt very dismissive at the time. He remained on-site for a little while, so he had time to undo if he chose.

    As I said, I was a fan and this was a very disappointing moment. It’s my blog… my permanent record… and it serves as my diary or journal. I write about me.

    Alex, you very well may be right–and I hope you are. But this is an accurate depiction of my personal experience.

  8. DAF says:

    Several years back, I once waited and held the door open for him (he was on crutches) on the Upper West Side near Lincoln Center some place and told him I was a fan. He just looked at me and said nothing. I think he’s a jerk.

    But…Stossel does have one of the few remaining great mustaches on television news, Geoff. Geraldo will always be the king- but Stossel was right up there. Who else is left, Geoff? (Cronkite had one, too, I will note.)

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