Letters

Letters 02-08-2016

Less Ageism, Please The January 4 issue of this publication proved to me that there are some sensible voices of reason in our community regarding all things “inter-generational.” I offer a word of thanks to Elizabeth Myers. I too have worked hard for what I’ve earned throughout my years in the various positions I’ve held. While I too cannot speak for each millennial, brash generalizations about a lack of work ethic don’t sit well with me...Joe Connolly, Traverse City

Now That’s an Escalation I just read the letter from Greg and his defense of the AR15. The letter started with great information but then out of nowhere his opinion went off the rails. “The government wants total gun control and then confiscation; then the elimination of all Constitutional rights.” Wait... what?! To quote the great Ron Burgundy, “Well, that escalated quickly!”

Healthy Eating and Exercise for Children Healthy foods and exercise are important for children of all ages. It is important for children because it empowers them to do their best at school and be able to do their homework and study...

Mascots and Harsh Native American Truths The letter from the Choctaw lady deserves an answer. I have had a gutful of the whining about the fate of the American Indian. The American Indians were the losers in an imperial expansion; as such, they have, overall, fared much better than a lot of such losers throughout history. Everything the lady complains about in the way of what was done by the nasty, evil Whites was being done by Indians to other Indians long before Europeans arrived...

Snyder Must Go I believe it’s time. It’s time for Governor Snyder to go. The FBI, U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the EPA Criminal Investigation Division are now investigating the Flint water crisis that poisoned thousands of people. Governor Snyder signed the legislation that established the Emergency Manager law. Since its inception it has proven to be a dismal failure...

Erosion of Public Trust Let’s look at how we’ve been experiencing global warming. Between 1979 and 2013, increases in temperature and wind speeds along with more rain-free days have combined to stretch fire seasons worldwide by 20 percent. In the U.S., the fire seasons are 78 days longer than in the 1970s...

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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

DIANA FAIRBANKS

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.

MORE LIKE FRIENDS

“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.”

A NATURAL TROBADOUR

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.

A NEW KIND OF NEWSROOM

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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