Tonight is the last 10 p.m. newscast for my friend and colleague, Norman Robinson. In the 3+ years we’ve anchored together at 10, we’ve tried to be informative, have fun and not take ourselves too seriously. I think we did a pretty good job.
When management first decided to pair us up, we wondered how long two guys anchoring the late news would last. As far as we could tell, it hadn’t happened in this market since the 1970s when WDSU legend Alec Gifford was part of an all-male anchor team. Another station in town even decided to debut its own version of The Man Show shortly after ours. We ended up having a pretty good run.
Our nightly fist bump, something started one night on a whim after the first news block, became rather popular with viewers. We kept waiting for someone to tell us to stop and they never did. So we kept doing it. I’ve heard from numerous people on twitter and facebook who are mourning the loss of the fist bump. It took on a life of its own.
I joke with Norman that he’s been working in New Orleans television since I was born. Or that he’s old enough to be my dad. Or that I watched him growing up. He always takes the ribbing well and likes to fire a few choice words at me from time to time. But all joking aside, it has been an honor and pleasure to share the anchor desk with a New Orleans news legend. I’ve learned a lot and Norman has been a great sounding board, as well as a voice of reason and sensibility in the newsroom.
I know Norman is looking forward to beginning this next chapter, but selfishly I will miss him at 10. He has threatened retirement for a while now and I always tell him to be quiet with that nonsense. But he’s actually going through with it. He’ll still anchor the 6 p.m. newscast for a while, but I’ll feel a void at 10 for some time.
Beginning Thursday, I’ll solo anchor the 10 p.m. newscast. But first, tonight, a final fist bump for a man with whom I’ve enjoyed working and am proud to call a friend.