Linda Allen's Story

The great thing about working in a mid-sized market is that your owners give you a lot of "growing" space. WAAY TV was my first tv news home and I sure did a lot of growing and learning during my seven years there.

I have so many fond memories of my life in Huntsville and my friends at WAAY but no doubt the most memorable occurred during the early morning hours when I anchored WAAY's morning newscast with Adrian Gibson and Gus Hergert. We were quite a team and responsible for a lot of shenanigans. Among my favorites the 4th of July 6 a.m. bar-b-que we had on the air with "line drives" off Monte Sano Mountain.

Also Adrian stepping on "taped together" prompter scripts (remember when you had to do that) and getting them stuck to his shoe during the newscast. It made for a bumpy read.

Probably the funniest moments involve typos. (Most of us were young and never did get enough sleep.) One happened on a December 7th. I had over-slept and didn't get the "where are you call" from then-producer Alicia Smith until 6:15. I threw on a blazer over my pjs'...hopped in the car and headed up the hill. I walked on to the set out of breath and with :30 to spare. I had to read scripts cold and was doing ok until I got to...."December 7th, a day that will live in Infantry." Not only did I read it that way....a certain anchor "in training" read it that way later that morning during an 8:25 cut-in. I wonder if she's still in the business.

My other favorite was breaking news that happened one morning. I got on the air with very little info...but my trustee producer Alicia was in my ear with what I needed to know. We were doing great telling viewers about the dangerous fire taking place...we had great live video thanks to "Live Eye Reporter" Kim Albright and engineer Harry Hatfield... I was doing great until what came out of my mouth was "fire barters are on the scene." I heard some laughing in the back...but held my own and didn't break. That was until my producer gave me the next bit of information....."It was a GAS fire." I lost it then. In fact I was laughing so hard we had to go to break because I couldn't recover. I'm surprised I wasn't fired on the spot.

WAAY will always have a special place in my heart. I met and made some life long friends there. Like most families, we were definitely dysfunctional, but I feel so blessed to have been a part of that place. The experience changed my life.

Linda Allen
(Still in the business and still reading typos)

© 2003 Smith Broadcasting, Inc. [update 6-26-2003]