Letters 11-23-2015

Cheering From Petoskey While red-eyed rats boil fanatically up from the ancient sewers of Paris to feast on pools of French blood, at the G20 meeting the farcical pied piper of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue thrusts a bony finger at the president of the Russian Federation and yells: “liberté, égalité, fraternité, Clinton, Kerry--Obamaism!”

The Other Mothers And Fathers Regarding the very nice recent article on “The First Lady of Yoga,” I have taken many classes with Sandy Carden, and I consider her to be a great teacher. However, I feel the article is remiss to not even give acknowledgement to other very important yoga influences in northern Michigan...

Drop The Blue Angels The last time I went to the National Cherry Festival, I picked the wrong day. The Blue Angels were forcing everyone to duck and cover from the earsplitting cacophony overhead...

Real Advice For The Sick In the Nov. 16 article “Flu Fighters,” author Kristi Kates fails to mention the most basic tool in our arsenal during Influenza season... the flu vaccine! I understand you might be afraid of being the victim of Jenny McCarthyism, but the science is there...

Keeping Traverse City in the Dark Our environment is our greatest asset. It sustains our lives; it drives our economy. We ignore it at our peril. Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council (NMEAC) has submitted letters of concern to both the city commission and planning commission regarding the proposed 9-story buildings on Pine Street. We have requested an independent environmental assessment with clear answers before a land use permit is granted...

All About Them Another cartoon by Jen Sorensen that brings out the truth! Most of her cartoons are too slanted in a Socialist manner, but when she gets it correct, she hits the nail on the target! “Arizona is the first state to put a 12-month lifetime limit on welfare benefits.” That quote is in the opening panel... 

Unfair To County Employees It appears that the commissioners of Grand Traverse County will seek to remedy a shortfall in the 2016 budget by instituting cuts in expenditures, the most notable the reduction of contributions to various insurance benefits in place for county employees. As one example, the county’s contributions to health insurance premiums will decrease from ten to six percent in 2016. What this means, of course, is that if a county employee wishes to maintain coverage at the current level next year, the employee will have to come up with the difference...

Up, Not Out I would like to congratulate the Traverse City Planning Commission on their decision to approve the River West development. Traverse City will either grow up or grow out. For countless reasons, up is better than out. Or do we enjoy such things as traffic congestion and replacing wooded hillsides with hideous spectacles like the one behind Tom’s West Bay. At least that one is on the edge of town as opposed to in the formerly beautiful rolling meadows of Acme Township...

Lessons In Winning War I am saddened to hear the response of so many of legislators tasked with keeping our country safe. I listen and wonder if they know what “winning” this kind of conflict requires or even means? Did we win in Korea? Did we win in Vietnam? Are we winning in Afghanistan? How is Israel winning against the Palestinians? Will they “take out” Hezbollah...

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Best Broadcast Journalist

Shuffle off to Buffalo

- March 26th, 2012  

Northern Michigan sends its love to long-time reporter Diana Fairbanks

Best Broadcast Journalist


The day after the polls closed for Express readers to vote for The Best of Northern Michigan, Diana Fairbanks was starting her new job in Buffalo, New York as the evening anchor for WIVB.

Despite announcing her move over a month earlier, Fairbanks was voted “Best Broadcast Journalist,” receiving an overwhelming number of votes. Along with hundreds of emails, Facebook posts and phone calls, Northern Michigan wanted to show the former evening news anchor of TV 7&4 just how much they would miss her.


“Oh my gosh, the support was overwhelming,” Fairbanks recalled over the phone from her home in Buffalo. “You forget how many people watch you when you’re broadcasting the news alone in a room.

When viewers welcome you into their home, they’re welcoming you into their lives. I’ve never felt so loved in my entire life.”

Here are just a handful of comments following her announcement:

“You have been my FAVORITE female news reporter of ALL TIME!” from Laura.

“When I have a bad day I go home and watch Marc and you on the news and it makes my day a lot better,” from Jesse.

“I will miss watching your broadcasts when I come up to Leelanau County,” said Aline.

“I feel like I am losing a friend even though we have never met each other,” said Johnna.

Fairbanks said Facebook has allowed her to stay connected with the folks of Northern Michigan, a group of people who have become more than viewers.

“I really consider them friends,” she said reflectively. “It means so much to get those messages of people checking in to see how I’m doing. It can get lonely out here at times, so it’s nice when people check in.”


Fairbanks studied journalism at the University of Maryland, but not before living in places like St. Louis, Maryland and Montana.

“I’m used to living in big cities,” she said, adding Northern Michigan is a unique place to live and work.

“I feel rooted and rounded living in Traverse City. I don’t take that for granted.”

Fairbanks moved to the area in 1999 where she took the job at TV 7&4.

While the decision to take the job in Buffalo was tough, Fairbanks said it was a great opportunity. She made the eight and a half hour drive move just weeks after accepting the December offer. Meanwhile, her husband Brian and daughter Eva remain in Northern Michigan, wrapping up all the details that come with moving (selling the house, finishing the school year, etc.)

So far, Fairbanks has made a point to explore as much of her new home as possible.

“Whenever you move someplace new, it’s your responsibility to find out what makes it special….what makes it great. I love skiing, so I went out and checked out the slopes. Which were great.”

How do they compare to Northern Michigan?

“The runs are a little longer and the pitches are a bit steeper, but Northern Michigan skiing is still great.”

Fairbanks said food is also a great way to get to know a region.

“I’m a big foodie, so I’ve been checking out all the local eats. I’m going over to Lloyd’s Taco Truck today,” she said.

Fairbanks also uses running as a way to explore the neighborhoods and architecture of the town – a double bonus for countering her foodie expeditions.


While the pace of her job in Buffalo is similar to that in Traverse City, the environment is much different, Fairbanks said.

“I don’t even know how many people work (at News 4),” Fairbanks said. “That’s probably the biggest difference. There’s a huge number of people.

“At 7&4, there was a period of years where we cut back and there were 15 news people…and that was from top to bottom. So, everybody had to do everything. Everybody reported, everybody shot their own stuff, everybody edited their own stuff.”

Fairbanks credits that type of versatility as not only a valuable trait, but also a growing necessity.

“If you’re not doing it now, you better,” she explains, “because that’s where it’s heading in the news industry.”

In Buffalo, Fairbanks has a complete support team.

“There are people whose only job is to edit.

We have multiple assignment editors, we have a news director, an assistant news director, executive producer, operations manager…a huge anchoring staff, a ton of producers and reporters.”

That kind of support helps eliminate the stress that tends to build when taking on an assignment from start to finish, Fairbanks said.

And while the numbers are fewer at 7&4, Fairbanks said she misses the amount of support generated amongst that tight-knit newsgroup, including her co-anchor of over 10 years.

“I don’t even know how to sum up a decade plus of working with Marc,” she said. “We’re really close friends and there’s a core group of people at that station who’ve been there a long time in the news room who always strive to make it better. I’m just glad to have been a part of that group for a very long time.

“I miss being part of that team because we’ve been though a lot together. It’s nice to have people like that who you can trust.”

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