Thirty years ago today, a scared 17-year-old kid from outside Pratt, Kansas walked into 1500 N. West Street in Wichita, Kansas and asked for Larry Hatteberg. This was just after Hatteberg had won his second NPPA Photographer of the Year award. Hatteberg was the Chief Photographer for KAKE Television, Channel 10 in Wichita.
August 24, 1978 was a day that changed that teenager’s life. It was a morning filled with watching storyteller Hatteberg shoot a story on a fish farmer near Cheney. Then, as happens in television news, the afternoon agenda changed dramatically with a report of an explosion and leak at a Titan II missile silo near Rock, KS and Hatteberg and the teen headed south in Mobile Unit 4 to cover the story.
The next three days were a whirlwind of driving the blue Chevy Nova and 3/4″ video tape back and forth from a grassy corner off Highway 15 to the hill on S. Rock Road where Truck 100 could get a microwave signal back to the Holiday Inn rooftop receive site in Wichita.
When the teen’s Skyline High School class ring and right hand holding a microphone made it on ABC’s World News Tonight with Frank Reynolds, Max Robinson and Peter Jennings… he was hooked! It was a life of television news for him!!
That teenager was me.
Thirty years later, I’m the Director of New Technologies for ABC Television in New York. I can’t believe it’s been 30 years, but it has. It’s been a hell of a career. I’m looking forward to more.