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Lou Pickney's Online Commentary

Flip the Script

Wednesday
May 21, 2014

What a difference two years can make. In May 2012, the equivalent of the final scene of the series finale of The Sopranos happened to me in Nashville.

"Isn't that what you said one time? Try to remember the times that were good."

Sometimes in life you have to start over. And, with that being the case for me two years ago, I was fortunate enough to have an opportunity to do just that here in Huntington, WV. Staying in Nashville wasn't a viable option, and I'll be forever grateful to my friend Velvet for letting me stay at her place for a few weeks until I got things figured out.

As it turned out, fortune was on my side as I was able to return to WSAZ-TV. The station that gave me my first big break in 1999, more than a dozen years later, gave me a second chance to return to the television news business at a time when I needed it the most.

Fast-forward two years to now. Over the past 24 months I was able to re-establish my television producing cred, and after talking with a number of stations and networks (and you might be surprised at who all reached out to me), soon I will be moving to Columbus, Ohio. More on that later. As for how this feels, perhaps this video of Chris Jericho's August 1999 WWF debut sums it up best:

To be clear, it has been a good two years being back in Huntington and I will miss my friends here, both the ones I knew from my time here from 1999-2001 and those I've met over the past two years. It's because of my old friends that I got the job that helped me to maneuver into the position that I'm in today.

But, at the same time, this is a great opportunity for me professionally -- and Columbus is a wonderful city. There was no way I could pass this up.

What's more, I won't be alone in my move up north, as two other producers from my current station are also jumping to ABC 6/FOX 28 with me. It wasn't something we planned, but it worked out remarkably well for me from a timing standpoint. My apartment lease here is set to run out at the end of the month, I was able to work through the end of sweeps (Friday is actually my last day), and soon I'll be joining a news operation where my skill set will be better appreciated and more effectively maximized than it has been since I returned to the TV news biz. Like Keith Morehouse noted to me recently, it's like everything fell into place perfectly for me with this.

In some ways it's not as much like the Jericho jump to the WWF in 1999 as it is WCW raiding ECW in 1995, signing away Dean Malenko and Chris Benoit and Eddie Guerrero. I suppose, to some degree, it's a mix of both.

As always, time will tell how this will play out, but for me it's the right move at the right stage in my life. I've had a great time in Columbus in my previous visits and anticipate some exciting times ahead there. It won't be 2001-2005 Ybor City era great, but that would be impossible since I'm not exactly in my early-mid 20s anymore. To the contrary, I'm exactly three years, three months, and three days away from my 40th birthday. That part hardly seems possible, but here I am now in wily veteran mode. Time waits for no man.

Of course, the move will mean a whole slew of changes and adjustments in my life and plenty of hard work, but I can handle that. I look forward to the challenges that await.



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