Published on Thursday, 16 September 2010 09:33
For the first time in his long career, veteran newsman Dave Alpert is "on the beach." On Tuesday morning, Alpert was informed by ABC Radio, who he had worked for the past 10 years in LA, that the company was choosing to exercise an option to not renew his contract, parting ways with him that day.
Dave Alpert told CRM, "Believe it or not, this is the first time in my life I've lost a job -- pretty rare in this business, I guess, but I'm finally a member of the club."
In a final email sent from his ABC Radio address, with the subject line "Farewell," Alpert said a classy goodbye to his colleagues Tuesday afternoon. In it he wrote:
"This will be my last day at ABC News. It is not my choice that I leave a group of people who I believe to be the best in the business."
"I take with me the memories of Cyprus and London during the first Gulf War, covering the Atlanta Olympics bombing, Live Aid, space shuttle launches and landings, touring with the Rolling Stones and hosting a live broadcast of one of their concerts, winning us a Murrow Award for our nightly wrap-ups of the OJ trial, political conventions (where I got the chance to write and produce for Peter Jennings), the endless hours in Studio 12 making countless highly-produced year-end specials (before the arrival of digital editing), bringing Bob Hope back to life, dozens of Oscars, Emmys, Grammys and other awards shows, hundreds of celebrity interviews and so many other things that I can't think of right now but I'm sure I'll bore my son with. And, of course, the memories of all the pros I've had the opportunity to work with over the past nearly 29 years."
"I'm told that everything happens for a reason, and change is good."
On his Twitter account Tuesday evening, he wrote
after leaving ABC for the last time: "I will rate this as having been one of the three worst days of my life."
Mr. Alpert is a Chicago area native, who grew up in suburban Morton Grove and is a graduate of Niles North High School. After graduating from the University of Miami, he returned to Chicago to work as a news anchor/reporter at WYEN-FM from 1973-1976. From that suburban station, he moved to WDHF-FM in Chicago, which eventually became WMET-FM. At WDHF/WMET he was both a news anchor and the News Director from 1976-1981. The news department at that time received high praise for its news gather/reporting and its innovative use of natural sound in its reports. Dave Alpert told CRM that surprisingly, he still bumps into people who fondly remember him from his Chicago radio days.
For six months after leaving WMET, he was a news anchor for the Chicago-based start-up company Satellite Music Network, which led him to joining ABC Radio in New York in December 1981. (Ironically, a few years later, the Satellite Music Network ended up merging with ABC Radio.) At ABC Radio, he was a news writer, editor, producer and occasional reporter. He stayed with ABC Radio in NY for 17 years, leaving at the end of 1998. From January 1999 until July 2000, Alpert worked as an executive producer for Westwood One's entertainment news coverage. After a year and a half with Westwood One, he found himself back with ABC News Radio, this time in Los Angeles as a correspondent covering primarily entertainment news. On occasion, his ABC reports would air on Chicago radio on WGN-AM & WLS-AM.
He also was a frequent contributor to ABC's ePrep
, a radio station paid prep service that fed audio content to local radio programs around the country.
Now after 10 years and 3 months with ABC in LA and almost 30 years with ABC overall, he is looking for what is next.
Dave Alpert told CRM "For what its worth, I still really miss Chicago, except for the winters. And it is - or was - the best 'local news' town in the country."