Shawn Jarrett

Lew Koch hired me in March of '88 as an AM studio camera op, despite me showing up for my interview wearing camoflage pants and a teal-green buttondown. (it was laundry day) That was a pretty bad outfit, even for the '80's. Anyway, I'm still here at WAAY; in other words, the chunks of ice falling from the tower haven't gotten me yet.

The first really memorable assignment I had didn't involve shooting commercials (which I still do), but serving as a grip for Eric Eisgrau when Vice President Dan Quayle came to town in 1989. We all used 3/4 gear at the time, so I carried the deck, which was was connected by an umbilical cable to Eric's Ikegami tube camera (I really don't miss those). Later that year, I would do some of my first solo shooting the day after the Airport Road tornado in November. It's hard to remember a bigger team effort; everybody pitched in to blacken the eyes of the other two stations, who learned the hard way that big diesel generators can be handy to have around.

One thing this building's seen plenty of is practical jokes. From paging someone to 'Call 89' (which activates the intercom), to slipping bogus names in the Waay Too Early contest bin (ask Gary Dobbs about our friend "Jenna Taylia"), to finding a live sheep in my office, I've been accomplice to/victim of some good ones. In fact, I almost became a casualty early one morning in 1990 as the result of a joke; Anne Yoel did weather graphics for the AM news, and came in a little earlier than me. I walked into the dark studio and saw Anne rushing at me with a can of pepper spray. She saw it was me (thank God), and told me that "a man was hiding in the studio and yelling" at her. She was absolutely terrified.

It turned out that Tim Clemons, then a director, had recorded and looped a cart in which he just said 'HEY' every 15 seconds, and ran it thru a speaker in the studio. Well, it worked, and the fact that I almost paid the price didn't stop me from ribbing Anne about her 'stalker' for a long time.

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