August 25, 2003

“OK Joe, bout 3 minutes away.’
Wait, was this REALLY happening? Was 5 years of busting my ass about to come true?
‘OK Joe, after this last commercial, Neil will be tossing to you.’
The producer was talking in my ear. My first true live shot for the morning show on WKRN (channel 2) was 30 seconds away.
I was about to puke. I wanted to run. Fast. And far. That, be careful what you wish for line, was all I could think about it.
But I wasn’t going to. Not now. I had been told no so many times about becoming a reporter and doing things on TV, it became comical. I sent resume tape after resume tape out and got zero bites. The definition of insanity, doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. So I completely redid my resume tape and got several offers almost immediately.
But I wanted to work at channel 2. They didn’t give me one look, despite being there 5 years. LONG story short, thanks to a General Manager, one Mike Sechrist, my dream came true. My immediate boss is/was clueless but Mike wasn’t and Mike’s opinion is all that matters and he believed in me.
‘Here we go Joe. Standby.’
Let’s do this.
‘We now go to a brand new feature on the show, our Joe Dubin, he is live at the Waffle House where we are all about to have some fun. Joe?’
Boom and we were off. August 25th, 2003.
I never looked back. So many doors slammed in my face, but it didn’t matter now. I had busted my ass to that point and people had noticed.

Thank God. I was off and running. I look back now 10 years later and I am stunned at how it all came together. I spent the better part of those 3 years on the morning show, meeting some incredible people and having some wonderful times. I moved to sports full time in August of 2006.
‘OK, guys, that is what will be doing but the main thing is, we are going to have fun!. See ya tomorrow. Back to you.’
Holy hell, I just got to say ‘Back to you’ on TV. The internship, the low pay, the working 3 jobs while I got through college, the countless hours, etc, all paid off.
Thank you Jesus.
I never imagined that 1o years later, I would have been nominated11 times for an EMMY award. I won one. And that I would have received 2 Edward R. Murrow awards, basically the gold standard in TV. Never. Imagined.
There is a lot more to this story but for now, this is good. I remember August 25th, 2003, for what not happened that day, but before and since then.
I tell this story to schools and groups about my career and how I get here. It is the like the guy traveling across the desert with his family and he is tired and hungry. It is night time and he sees a house with a light on. He knocks on the door. And knocks and keeps knocking. And knocks some more. Finally, the homeowner comes down and says, ‘The only reason, the ONLY reason I am opening this door, is that you will not stop knocking.’
My friends, NEVER stop knocking.
Thank you Mike Sechrist, Anthony May, Dan McDonald, Jay Korff, Boyd Sadler, Al Devine, Andy Cordan and Nancy Smith. I am forever indebted to you.

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