Monday, November 16, 2020

Kevin O'Brien: A Remembrance

Kevin O'Brien used to make me so mad. He'd find my Betacam sitting on a desk in the newsroom and start flipping switches I didn't yet know about. I'd catch him in the act and he'd scamper off giggling, as I struggled to understand why the high dollar videocamera I'd been assigned no longer logged timecode or properly focused or recorded audio... 

Yeah, I cussed Kevin a time or two back then. But what I now know is that Eastern Carolina's Photog Emeritus was just doin' me a solid. By forcing me to figure out HOW he'd disabled my camera, he made me learn its every crevice. That was just one of the many backhanded favors Kevin granted me. I don't know why, for I was just some punk who'd conned his way into the hallowed halls of WNCT-TV. 

 When you're the Chief Photographer at a small market station in a college town, you put up with a lot of rookies. Kevin, or "K.O.", as he was affectionately known, did just that and in the process helped launched the careers of generations of TV journalists. That may not count for much these days, but to the thousands of young people K.O. helped and taught and coached, it means the world. 

 Kevin O'Brien died suddenly today. He left the world a better place - whether you watch TV News or not.