'Twas so much more than a morning show
As South Florida morning show anchor John Favole prepares to retire, Paige Kornblue reflects on time spent in the anchor chair alongside him and other local TV greats
When you start a new job, it’s often as nerve-racking as it is exciting.
So imagine that new job being in a newsroom full of talent, creativity, energy, movement, personality and sometimes sprinkled in… some egos.
Eventually, you will find there are a lot more amigos than egos.
One September day in 2004, hot off an anchor/reporter job in Louisiana, I started work at WPTV (NBC) NewsChannel 5 in West Palm Beach, my hometown market.
I’m not sure one could get a warmer welcome than the one I received from what I, and many others, consider to be a dream team in local morning show television. I met and immediately got to work alongside news anchors Roxanne Stein and John Favole as well as meteorologist Dean Tendrich during what was then the 5-7 a.m. morning show (a little while later we started the show at 4:30am).
Rox, Favs and Deano had been in the market for years - solid broadcast journalists who welcomed viewers with friendly “Good Mornings!,” news of the day and stories of all kinds – national, local and even some of their own. They could swing from serious to silly in a snap and they had the attention and admiration of South Floridians of all kinds.
While WPTV’s morning show anchor team and a few of us reporters held the morning ratings strong in the mornings, Jim Sackett, Kelley Dunn, Chandra Bill, Shannon Cake, Steve Weagle and a flurry of talented nightside reporters held the numbers at night…. Florida’s Top-Rated Television year after year thanks to those folks at the helm and a team of producers, photographers, editors, assignment desk coordinators, control room operators, directors, managers and many more making it happen behind-the-scenes.
It wasn’t just the on-air chemistry that made these anchor teams so successful. It was their kindness toward others and love of the game, so to speak, that made them pretty darn special. And it showed.
From the moment I stepped in the door, they made this gal feel right at home… taking the time to guide me through the ins and outs of their morning show, the market, live shots and newsroom in an amazingly comforting way. They became big brothers and sisters who inspired me and lifted me up when a challenging coworker or a tragic story would get me down. They went beyond the simple anchor-to-reporter tosses from the news set to the field. They were the coworkers that would stop to chat at your desk and really want to be there. And in Favole and Deano’s case, perhaps even sing you a song!
What joy it was to anchor alongside these journalists and build careers together.
Together... we laughed, cried, jumped for joy, stressed out and shouted out for help across the newsroom.
Together... we busted out scripts and put on makeup and a smile as studio crew members counted down to showtime.
And together, we delivered news to South Florida and had a really good time doing it.
So together – with those of you in South Florida - we celebrate anchor John Favole this week as he prepares to retire.
For Favole, it’s been 42 years in the anchor chair… 26 of those years at WPTV.
What an honor it was for me to be a small part of that.
Cheers to some amazing amigos!
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