Tuesday, July 27, 2010

590 MIGHTY MEMORY #505


PHOTO INDEX: WARM NEWS REPORTER KEVIN JORDAN AT TED KENNEDY RALLY FOR PRESIDENT IN 1980.

KEVIN JORDAN-WARM NEWS

I first met Kevin Jordan when I was on a College Internship from King’s College with WARM Radio. (Actually they had us go to WARM, WILK, WBRE AM & FM, and WMJW –FM). My first week at WARM was spent with the sales department. (That’s a future WARM Memory). By the second week I was in the newsroom with a very skeptical Jerry Heller who most likely had seen his share of lightweight interns. For the first day I re-wrote news copy and much to my surprise I found that it wasn’t edited that much. The next day I covered Luzerne County with Kitch Loftus. On Wednesday I was told I’d be out with Kevin Jordan, then barely 19 and one of the rising stars of WARM Radio. He was then working the 3 to 11 shift so I killed about 5 hours and then went on the road with him. It was one of those cold January days where the temperature barely broke 12. We sped up 81 to Scranton City Hall for a Council work session. As I stated earlier it was a bitter day but the January sun was blinding. To this day I don’t know how he did it, but he squeezed his little red car (a fire engine red Pinto) into a parking space with little room to spare. The sun was so intense that I swear he parked the car by intuition. In City Hall, Jordan literally lunged for then Mayor Peters, got his sound bite and then spotted Deputy Mayor Jim McNulty who was on the verge of resigning to run the Frank Elliott for Senator campaign. More sound. We then went to the Police Station and in what could only be described as a scene out of Law and Order, Jordan talked with two City Detectives about an ongoing murder investigation. More sound. Not wanting to relinquish his parking spot, we sprinted (when I could sprint) to the Lackawanna County Court House. Jordan saw Commissioner Charlie Luger and got his take on water tables up near Moosic in an area that was destined to be Montage Mountain. More sound. We then paid a visit to Register of Wills Sam Cali asking him about a new state regulation regarding probate of wills for senior citizens. More Sound. We then made our way down to Moosic where there was a small fire at Glenwood Products. Talked to the Fire Chief, water and smoke damage. More sound. In one afternoon Jordan with his trusty recorder got 6 stories for WARM News. He called “sound” in on the fire, aired three of them and back logged two of them for future use on WARM News. We got back to the Studio at 5:30PM, and after a brief lunch break Jordan anchored the WARM newscasts until 11:30PM. It was an amazing display of how WARM News reporters worked. It gave me an insight on how Jerry Heller insisted that a beat be covered efficiently and dare I say prolifically. Jordan was at WARM from 1975-1979. He came from WILK and returned to WILK as News Director. In 1981 WILK won the Joe Snyder Award for the year 1980 as the best medium market radio news department in the state. Jordan says “That was due in no small part from the training I got from guys like Jerry Heller and David DeCosmo” Jordan later went on to anchor and report news on WYOU TV.
It would be my good fortune to interact with Kevin Jordan many times in the future most notably when the Professional News Media Association was in existence. Anyway, back to the story. The next day I walked into the WARM News Department and Heller glanced at me obviously frazzled looking ahead to a busy day of news. “Got your car?” he asked. “Yep” I replied. Hurling a tape recorder at me, he said, “There’s a big meeting down at the Host Inn to plan a visit for this peanut farmer from Georgia that thinks he can be President. Get some sound and then call it in if there’s anything good”. Puzzled, I asked, “How will I know if it’s good?” He replied intently typing, not raising his head, “You were out with Kevin yesterday, you’ll know”. And I did.

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