Thank You Harrisburg!

1 08 2014

Good-Bye Harrisburg

Amazingly my beautiful old house on 2nd Street is the longest single place that I have lived in my adult life, now over three and a half years.

Even on tough days it’s great to look at flowers in the yard … the nicest on the block and thanks to my landlords Dan Miller and his husband Carl Bechdel … I never had to do any of the work.

It was not my choice to end my employment at CBS21 and I didn’t have a chance to say good-bye. Under the management that brought me back to TV, I’m sure I’d still have the privilege to be in your television.

I’m indebted to Craig Hume, who is now News Director at KSNV in Las Vegas and to Holly Steuart who is now General Manager of WTVM in Columbus, Georgia … they are both excellent broadcasters and managers … it was a real pleasure to work for them here in Harrisburg and to be able to use them as references.

Unfortunately, for me at least, new ownership came to town in December of 2012, but for me it was history repeating, it was not only the same company, but some of the same people that after four years of loyal service at their flagship station in Baltimore ended my employment.

This time I lasted one year under the new ownership and management of CBS21 … working conditions deteriorated, the station often had me working extreme amounts of overtime, as my contract was drawing to close, I asked for some minor employment modifications, but no … the same company and people that terminated my employment in Baltimore … did it to me again.

How many people get fired from the same company … twice?

Oh, I could do a Kirk Wilson rant here … do you remember him? A great guy and a unique TV presence. I’ll save a longer rant for my book … for the first couple of months after CBS21 I was in recovery mode and I admit, as much as I love being on your television, it was nice not to be standing outside in 10º weather for two minutes of TV time.

Now is the time to move forward …

When I was young and beautiful and even crazier than I am now, it was amazing how quickly job offers would come … this time at 55, with a demo that some TV insiders and agents thought was ineffective, a ‘Bio Demo’,  http://bit.ly/Clyatt5  plus a TV culture now more than ever consumed by youth and beauty … it was a struggle, I was nervous.

I am so happy to say, that I have found a station that reminds me of the way the industry was when I started in broadcasting as a 16 year old kid in 1975!

The first story I ever read live on the air was about the disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa … I still don’t think they have found him?

I’ll be working for a company that has three stations in only two markets … unlike the ~150 stations, with more the way, owned by my former employer of five years; four in Baltimore and one in Harrisburg.

The General Manager is the man who built the station and put it on the air in 1973, the News Director has been there for seven years and many members of the newsroom are very well established in the community.

It may be small market, but it is a amazing community, a station that plays big, is dominate in the region and I believe appreciates experience … along of course with youth and beauty!

For over two years I worked in the neighboring market … so I know the region well.

I’ll be handling all of the weekend weathercasts, with additional duties to be assigned, but it will be a base four day work week … yeah!

Harrisburg, I’ll always love you and the beautiful Susquehanna River only a short block away from my home, I’ll miss you very much. I’m so grateful for the time that I have had a chance to spend here and to be a small part of the lives of the viewers of CBS21, but I’m happy to report that my next move won’t be to Bethesda Mission … even though they are a great organization and do wonderful work, my son and I had a delicious Thanksgiving dinner with them last year … my next and maybe last TV move, will be to the home of three Presidents, including Thomas Jefferson and the university he founded.

Beginning on August 18th I am honored to say that I’ll be part of WVIR, NBC29 in Charlottesville, Virginia!

And if you miss me here in Central Pennsylvania all newscasts are streamed live at NBC29.com … I hope you’ll join me!

Thank you for taking the time to read this and for being a friend.

– From Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

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6 responses

1 08 2014
Barbara Mirarchi

Kirk,
I’m so sorry to learn of your reason for leaving… I totally enjoyed watching/listening to you! Years ago I lived near Staunton, VA and grew to live that area (home of the Statler Brothers) – the friendly people and an absolutely beautiful area. I’m sure you will love your new job, the wonderful people and their laid back lifestyle, as well as the history and beauty of that area! So sorry our paths never crossed while you were in Harrisburg.
Barb

2 08 2014
Tom Conroy

Kurt, You are so right about how TV has changed. I work in radio in the Roanoke market after years in Baltimore. There are still locally owned stations here and I absolutely love the area. Best of luck, you’ll like Charlottesville, pretty country without the rush of major markets. It’s worth the smaller paycheck for sure. Tom

4 08 2014
Ross Hunter

Kirk,

When you get to 29, say “Hi” to my friend Lynne Vogt. Welcome to Central Virginia.

5 08 2014
Tim Yashur

Kirk
I remember watching you at 45 when I had worked at WMAR .After I had retired we watched you on TV21 in the “Burg”. As soon as Sinclair bought TV21 I knew the writing was on the wall for you.Yes,the business has changed drastically.Best of luck to you.You do a great job.

Tim Yashur

5 08 2014
Kirk Clyatt

Tim thanks for your note … and understanding.

I try not to say never, but it is safe to say that I will never work for that company again.

The CBS21 job loss still hurts, but somethings are out of your control, hoping for an exciting new adventure … staring in less than two weeks!

23 08 2014
Rick Gatlin

Kirk, watching your first broadcast on NBC29 this morning. Welcome to the area. But beware of jogging in some areas of Cville at night, too! Norm Sprouse can tell ya where those areas are located.

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