Monday, February 25, 2008

Whitey Flies West

Eric 'Strike' WhiteyAs evidenced by earlier posts, Eric White has left the building. Off to make his mark on the flat screens of Nashville, he leaves El Ocho a better place than he found it. That can’t be said of your average TV news reporter, but then again, Whitey ain’t all that average. Rather, he’s a workhorse; a lanky everyman who pours his endless reservoir of enthusiasm into what can be a thankless job. Eric ended up doing four years here - twice as long as most field correspondents who use our staff and facilities as finishing school before trotting off to higher ground. A marathon runner himself, the Illinois native signed up for a second hitch because he felt he still had room to grow. He was right and earned a coveted Emmy award for his efforts. Sure, he still gets excited when the cookies he packed in his lunch bucket prove to be more delicious than the day before - but food euphoria aside, our Whitey really grew up. He goes to Nashville a seasoned pro, albeit one who might very well high-five you over the crispness of his Chips Ahoy.

I first mentioned Whitey here in October of 2004. Back then he was the New Guy and I lambasted him mercilessly for his Flanders-esque approach to newsgathering and life in general. That makes me one grumpy cuss, for Eric White’s sunny disposition was no introductory put-on. He brought it with him everyday, coming in early and staying late. I didn’t work with him as often as some and there were times Whitey and I clashed like distant cousins forced to hang out together at family reunions. Through it all though, I found Eric genuinely goofy and goofily genuine. I’m certain there are times he wanted to throttle me. Instead, he put up with my blogging addiction by snapping some of my favorite photos, posing for others and willingly becoming a featured player on a website he rarely ever read. That takes real class and I am forever in his debt for doing what it took to keep me from driving the live truck into the nearest bridge abutment.

But don’t take my word for it, click here and SEE what other El Ocho associates have to say about this highly likeable reporter who’s about to add new cheerful new colors to Music City’s broadcast palette. Give ’em hell, Whitey, you’ll always have peeps in the Piedmont. Now wipe that silly grin off your face, I’m trying to act all grizzled…

No comments: