Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Short Timer

My old friend Dick Knipfing is hanging up his microphone and stowing his makeup  at Channel 13.  After 51 years of broadcast journalism he is retiring.  I don't think I have personally ever known someone who has stayed in one profession for such a long time.  And it is a profession that has changed dramatically from days of real solid journalism to lost dog and sex stories interspersed with occasional good work that makes a difference.

I first met Dick while serving in the New Mexico Air National Guard.  I was a freshly trained photographer/cinematographer from tech school at Lowry Air Force Base in Denver.  He was also a member of the unit and I knew him to be a reporter.  I had always wanted to work at a TV station at some point.  But I was a business major and was working as a trust auditor at the old First National Bank in Albuquerque while attending UNM.

True story.  One day I went down to the personnel department at the bank to make an inquiry.  While I was there a phone call came in to the receptionist and she said the call was for me.  I got on the phone and it was Dick Knipfing saying they needed a photographer at Channel 7, and would I be interested.  I said I would and that I could start immediately.  I hung up the phone and resigned on the spot to go start my new job.  It lead to a great career in journalism and politics before it was all over.

The photo above is from Channel 7's 1972 Primary election night coverage.  (Think George McGovern)  I had moved on to reporting and on air work from shooting film.  I have to say my time in TV News was amongst the best times in my life.  Sitting around the newsroom, smoking, wisecracking, and marveling at the stuff that came across our desks.

I have Dick Knipfing to thank for that.  I wish him well in a new stress free lifestyle.


Anonymous said...

Classic photo. Thanks for posting. Two quality gentlemen.

Anonymous said...

Dick Knifping was top-notch for many years. Too bad he stayed about five years longer than he should have. It became where he would sell out a friend for a few rating points.