2009.05.17: May 17, 2009: Headlines: COS - Paraguay: Television: Journalism: Akron Beacon Journal : Paraguay RPCV Ted Henry prepares to sign off as WEWS newsman

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Paraguay: Peace Corps Paraguay: Peace Corps Paraguay: Newest Stories: 2009.05.17: May 17, 2009: Headlines: COS - Paraguay: Television: Journalism: Akron Beacon Journal : Paraguay RPCV Ted Henry prepares to sign off as WEWS newsman

By Admin1 (admin) (141.157.18.158) on Thursday, June 18, 2009 - 4:16 pm: Edit Post

Paraguay RPCV Ted Henry prepares to sign off as WEWS newsman

Paraguay RPCV Ted Henry prepares to sign off as WEWS newsman

Yet even as he settled into news, Henry had another calling, a fascination with spiritual issues going back to those days at Central Catholic, and underscored by his time in Paraguay. Encountering terrible poverty there, he said, ''I knew early on how limited our usefulness would be.'' While trying to help others, he also tried to help himself. ''It was a desert experience for 21/2 years for me where I was left truly alone,'' he said. ''I had wholesale quantities of empty time on my hands in a very foreign place to consider at a very young age, who I was and why I existed.'' Asked why he didn't pursue spiritual work, he said, ''How do you know I didn't? ''It's the single, overriding concern, interest, pleasure next to my wife Jody pursuit, line of inquiry, Ph.D. challenge I could ever face. . . . The last great mystery in life is the pursuit of spiritual understanding. . . . I intend to just simply switch hats on May 20 and stop reporting on Cleveland and Akron news, and maybe be a journalist more than ever before, in pursuit of spiritual understanding.''

Paraguay RPCV Ted Henry prepares to sign off as WEWS newsman

Anchor Ted Henry prepares to sign off

WEWS newsman has 40 years of broadcasting memories

By Rich Heldenfels
Beacon Journal popular culture writer

Published on Sunday, May 17, 2009

Theodore Charles Henry Jr. will say goodbye to local viewers on Wednesday, as the Canton native steps down as news anchor of WEWS (Channel 5).

It will end more than 40 years in local broadcasting for Henry ''Ted'' to his audience. He said he would like little or no fuss. ''If I could just walk away, I would be very, very happy,'' he said.

But, with his departure coming as the local ratings period ends, this is a promotable moment. There will be looks back at his career on Channel 5's evening newscasts tonight through Wednesday. And the station will air an hourlong Henry special on May 26, after he is gone and sweeps are done.

Hoopla is a news-and-entertainment constant, even in a business that has changed a great deal since he started as a producer at Channel 5 in 1972.

The 63-year-old newsman remembers when producing the news was ''much freer, much looser. . . . As much as we sometimes had internal struggles about what was being covered, and how, by our TV station, nobody ever once critiqued or criticized or edited my selection of stories [as producer] for the 11 o'clock news. . . . On any given night, I would have no problem ripping up the lineup of the news show, based on a young man's gut feeling.''

And now? ''It is akin to advanced bioscience in the way it is produced and analyzed. And I am not knocking it. There are time-tested, proven, formulaic principles . . . for what constitutes a good news program.''

Future of news

Asked whom he would like to succeed him, he said, ''The business is changing so quickly now, I frankly don't know what type of individual would be the most likely to succeed. . . . [Former Channel 5 executive] Don Perris told me before he retired this was back in the mid-'80s that the day was coming quickly when there would be two or one TV stations in Northeast Ohio doing news. He was off by a couple decades, but it's coming.''

Henry believes Channel 5 will be the last one standing. But even as Henry looks toward a new chapter in life, he still remembers the love he has for broadcasting.

''I've had it in my blood to be in broadcasting since I was 7, watching our first TV set,'' he said. He recalled seeing commentator Dorothy Fuldheim and ''I think it was that live-wire, live television, unrehearsed, spontaneous emission from the gut and the heart that was really attractive to me.''

And a thing apart from what Ted Sr. had dreamed of for his son.

''My dad always wanted to give me the hardware store,'' Henry said. ''Lake B&S [Briggs & Stratton] Hardware in Hartville. Before that it was Lincoln Hardware in Canton. And I worked in the store until I got into broadcasting. But he knew my heart was in broadcasting. He knew that was what I wanted to do, that I begrudgingly worked in the hardware store.''

The elder Henry opened the door for Ted's future career when ''a salesman came around from [former local station] WTOF. . . . It was called the Tower of Faith, 24-hour religious programming, with commercials, from Canton. . . . [Ad time] was $3 a minute. I'm fuzzy, it was either a three-week or nine-week contract, three times a day in drive time. . . . [The store was in the] middle of Amish country. We didn't get too many people listening to the radio there. So anyway, the provision was, if I got to do the commercial, he would buy the contract. And I was so bad, they fired us.''

Henry struggled to find a way to capture what he saw in Fuldheim. ''Not that I could do it. I couldn't. In my case, I was one of the shyest, most easily embarrassed young boys I've ever known. . . . I was so self-conscious.''

At Central Catholic High School, he said ''the brothers would take me aside and say, 'You ought to be a brother. You ought to be a priest.' '' (''I was far too interested in girls,'' he said.)

It wasn't until he was in college that, with help from local radio man Jerry Immel and Kent State theater teacher William Zucchero, he was able to overcome his stage fright mainly by taking a host of theater courses at Kent.

Radio and later TV work followed, as well as a stint in the Peace Corps in Paraguay. He finally made it to the anchor chair at Channel 5 in 1975, when John Hambrick left the station. But it took some doing.

Anchor job

He first approached the station after his stint with the Peace Corps for an ad sales job. Ed Cervenak, then station manager, later told Henry that with his Che Guevara mustache and cheap clothes ''we sort of laughed you out of the building.'' But Cervenak kept Henry in mind for other jobs, brought him back in the news operation and eventually elevated him to co-anchor with Dave Patterson.

''The search for John's replacement had me sort of as a token translate 'least expensive.' And there were some good guys from around the country . . . but I got it.''

''I was very nervous for quite a while,'' he said of anchoring. Henry even thought about getting into station management. But Perris then the top man at Channel 5's parent company, and one of Henry's mentors told him, ''You are in management. You are managing the very sensitive and fragile career of a TV anchorman. There's no more management skills I require of you other than to hold onto your job.''

As for anchoring somewhere other than Northeast Ohio, Henry said there were opportunities but this was his home ''and I saw some really good people leave Cleveland and die on the vine.

''A successful baseball player or sports star can take their bat and play successfully in almost any city, assuming the team they play with is good,'' he said. ''Local politicians and TV anchors have a constituency, and they cannot transfer what they're about to any other city. It's flattering when I had some pretty good offers . . . but the question to me was, what's the better odds? . . . Where I've built up a base and a constituency now, where people know my name, my face, know my work, whether or not they can trust me . . . or to be yet another new person out of the blue?''

Yet even as he settled into news, Henry had another calling, a fascination with spiritual issues going back to those days at Central Catholic, and underscored by his time in Paraguay. Encountering terrible poverty there, he said, ''I knew early on how limited our usefulness would be.'' While trying to help others, he also tried to help himself.

''It was a desert experience for 21/2 years for me where I was left truly alone,'' he said. ''I had wholesale quantities of empty time on my hands in a very foreign place to consider at a very young age, who I was and why I existed.''

Asked why he didn't pursue spiritual work, he said, ''How do you know I didn't?

''It's the single, overriding concern, interest, pleasure next to my wife Jody pursuit, line of inquiry, Ph.D. challenge I could ever face. . . . The last great mystery in life is the pursuit of spiritual understanding. . . . I intend to just simply switch hats on May 20 and stop reporting on Cleveland and Akron news, and maybe be a journalist more than ever before, in pursuit of spiritual understanding.''

Rich Heldenfels writes about popular culture for the Beacon Journal, in the HeldenFiles Online blog at http://heldenfels.ohio.com and now on Twitter. He can be reached at 330-996-3582 and rheldenfels@thebeaconjournal.com.



WEWS News Channel 5 anchor Ted Henry edits a story. (Phil Masturzo/Akron Beacon Journal)
View more photos>>

Theodore Charles Henry Jr. will say goodbye to local viewers on Wednesday, as the Canton native steps down as news anchor of WEWS (Channel 5).

It will end more than 40 years in local broadcasting for Henry ''Ted'' to his audience. He said he would like little or no fuss. ''If I could just walk away, I would be very, very happy,'' he said.

But, with his departure coming as the local ratings period ends, this is a promotable moment. There will be looks back at his career on Channel 5's evening newscasts tonight through Wednesday. And the station will air an hourlong Henry special on May 26, after he is gone and sweeps are done.

Hoopla is a news-and-entertainment constant, even in a business that has changed a great deal since he started as a producer at Channel 5 in 1972.

The 63-year-old newsman remembers when producing the news was ''much freer, much looser. . . . As much as we sometimes had internal struggles about what was being covered, and how, by our TV station, nobody ever once critiqued or criticized or edited my selection of stories [as producer] for the 11 o'clock news. . . . On any given night, I would have no problem ripping up the lineup of the news show, based on a young man's gut feeling.''

And now? ''It is akin to advanced bioscience in the way it is produced and analyzed. And I am not knocking it. There are time-tested, proven, formulaic principles . . . for what constitutes a good news program.''

Future of news

Asked whom he would like to succeed him, he said, ''The business is changing so quickly now, I frankly don't know what type of individual would be the most likely to succeed. . . . [Former Channel 5 executive] Don Perris told me before he retired this was back in the mid-'80s that the day was coming quickly when there would be two or one TV stations in Northeast Ohio doing news. He was off by a couple decades, but it's coming.''

Henry believes Channel 5 will be the last one standing. But even as Henry looks toward a new chapter in life, he still remembers the love he has for broadcasting.

''I've had it in my blood to be in broadcasting since I was 7, watching our first TV set,'' he said. He recalled seeing commentator Dorothy Fuldheim and ''I think it was that live-wire, live television, unrehearsed, spontaneous emission from the gut and the heart that was really attractive to me.''

And a thing apart from what Ted Sr. had dreamed of for his son.

''My dad always wanted to give me the hardware store,'' Henry said. ''Lake B&S [Briggs & Stratton] Hardware in Hartville. Before that it was Lincoln Hardware in Canton. And I worked in the store until I got into broadcasting. But he knew my heart was in broadcasting. He knew that was what I wanted to do, that I begrudgingly worked in the hardware store.''

The elder Henry opened the door for Ted's future career when ''a salesman came around from [former local station] WTOF. . . . It was called the Tower of Faith, 24-hour religious programming, with commercials, from Canton. . . . [Ad time] was $3 a minute. I'm fuzzy, it was either a three-week or nine-week contract, three times a day in drive time. . . . [The store was in the] middle of Amish country. We didn't get too many people listening to the radio there. So anyway, the provision was, if I got to do the commercial, he would buy the contract. And I was so bad, they fired us.''

Henry struggled to find a way to capture what he saw in Fuldheim. ''Not that I could do it. I couldn't. In my case, I was one of the shyest, most easily embarrassed young boys I've ever known. . . . I was so self-conscious.''

At Central Catholic High School, he said ''the brothers would take me aside and say, 'You ought to be a brother. You ought to be a priest.' '' (''I was far too interested in girls,'' he said.)

It wasn't until he was in college that, with help from local radio man Jerry Immel and Kent State theater teacher William Zucchero, he was able to overcome his stage fright mainly by taking a host of theater courses at Kent.

Radio and later TV work followed, as well as a stint in the Peace Corps in Paraguay. He finally made it to the anchor chair at Channel 5 in 1975, when John Hambrick left the station. But it took some doing.

Anchor job

He first approached the station after his stint with the Peace Corps for an ad sales job. Ed Cervenak, then station manager, later told Henry that with his Che Guevara mustache and cheap clothes ''we sort of laughed you out of the building.'' But Cervenak kept Henry in mind for other jobs, brought him back in the news operation and eventually elevated him to co-anchor with Dave Patterson.

''The search for John's replacement had me sort of as a token translate 'least expensive.' And there were some good guys from around the country . . . but I got it.''

''I was very nervous for quite a while,'' he said of anchoring. Henry even thought about getting into station management. But Perris then the top man at Channel 5's parent company, and one of Henry's mentors told him, ''You are in management. You are managing the very sensitive and fragile career of a TV anchorman. There's no more management skills I require of you other than to hold onto your job.''

As for anchoring somewhere other than Northeast Ohio, Henry said there were opportunities but this was his home ''and I saw some really good people leave Cleveland and die on the vine.

''A successful baseball player or sports star can take their bat and play successfully in almost any city, assuming the team they play with is good,'' he said. ''Local politicians and TV anchors have a constituency, and they cannot transfer what they're about to any other city. It's flattering when I had some pretty good offers . . . but the question to me was, what's the better odds? . . . Where I've built up a base and a constituency now, where people know my name, my face, know my work, whether or not they can trust me . . . or to be yet another new person out of the blue?''

Yet even as he settled into news, Henry had another calling, a fascination with spiritual issues going back to those days at Central Catholic, and underscored by his time in Paraguay. Encountering terrible poverty there, he said, ''I knew early on how limited our usefulness would be.'' While trying to help others, he also tried to help himself.

''It was a desert experience for 21/2 years for me where I was left truly alone,'' he said. ''I had wholesale quantities of empty time on my hands in a very foreign place to consider at a very young age, who I was and why I existed.''

Asked why he didn't pursue spiritual work, he said, ''How do you know I didn't?

''It's the single, overriding concern, interest, pleasure next to my wife Jody pursuit, line of inquiry, Ph.D. challenge I could ever face. . . . The last great mystery in life is the pursuit of spiritual understanding. . . . I intend to just simply switch hats on May 20 and stop reporting on Cleveland and Akron news, and maybe be a journalist more than ever before, in pursuit of spiritual understanding.''

Rich Heldenfels writes about popular culture for the Beacon Journal, in the HeldenFiles Online blog at http://heldenfels.ohio.com and now on Twitter. He can be reached at 330-996-3582 and rheldenfels@thebeaconjournal.com.




Links to Related Topics (Tags):

Headlines: May, 2009; Peace Corps Paraguay; Directory of Paraguay RPCVs; Messages and Announcements for Paraguay RPCVs; Television; Journalism; Ohio





When this story was posted in June 2009, this was on the front page of PCOL:




Peace Corps Online The Independent News Forum serving Returned Peace Corps Volunteers RSS Feed

 Site Index Search PCOL with Google Contact PCOL Recent Posts Bulletin Board Open Discussion RPCV Directory Register

Join Us Mr. President! Date: June 16 2009 No: 1377 Join Us Mr. President!
"We will double the size of the Peace Corps by its 50th anniversary in 2011. And we'll reach out to other nations to engage their young people in similar programs, so that we work side by side to take on the common challenges that confront all humanity," said Barack Obama during his campaign.

Read how RPCV's rallied and and marched to the White House to support a bold new Peace Corps for a new age.

May 30, 2009: Peace Corps' Roadmap Date: May 29 2009 No: 1369 May 30, 2009: Peace Corps' Roadmap
Peace Corps' Roadmap for the Future 26 May
Who are the Candidates for Peace Corps Director? 24 May
Have French Atomic Tests put PCVs at Risk? 1 May
Obama asks Congress for 10% increase in PC Budget 7 May
Guy Consolmagno debunks "Angels & Demons" 22 May
Obama praises Dodd at credit card signing 22 May
John Garamendi front runner in California primary 22 May
Al Kamen writes: New management structure at PC HQ? 22 May
Damian Wampler's play Twin Towers opens in NYC 21 May
Michael Volpe learns that DC is networking capital 21 May
Dr. Mike Metke returns to Costa Rica 10 May
Jesse Fleisher Lives well on less 14 May
Al Kamen writes: PCVs peak at 11,000 under Obama Budget 11 May
James W. Kostenblatt is making a difference in Mozambique 10 May
Karen and Warren Master host Kyrgyzstan teen 9 May
Alberto Ibargüen writes: The Future of Newspapers 9 May
PC Monitor 2009 H1N1 Flu Virus in Mexico 1 May
Paul Theroux writes: Obama and the Peace Corps 1 May
Johnnie Carson to head State Department African Affairs 29 Apr
Michael O'Hanlon writes: Grading Obama's First 100 Days 29 Apr
Amy Potthast writes: The Peace Corps Lottery 23 Apr
Read more stories from April and May 2009.

PCOL's Candidate for Peace Corps Director Date: December 2 2008 No: 1288 PCOL's Candidate for Peace Corps Director
Honduras RPCV Jon Carson, 33, presided over thousands of workers as national field director for the Obama campaign and said the biggest challenge -- and surprise -- was the volume of volunteer help, including more than 15,000 "super volunteers," who were a big part of what made Obama's campaign so successful. PCOL endorses Jon Carson as the man who can revitalize the Peace Corps, bring it into the internet age, and meet Obama's goal of doubling the size of the Peace Corps by 2011.

Director Ron Tschetter:  The PCOL Interview Date: December 9 2008 No: 1296 Director Ron Tschetter: The PCOL Interview
Peace Corps Director Ron Tschetter sat down for an in-depth interview to discuss the evacuation from Bolivia, political appointees at Peace Corps headquarters, the five year rule, the Peace Corps Foundation, the internet and the Peace Corps, how the transition is going, and what the prospects are for doubling the size of the Peace Corps by 2011. Read the interview and you are sure to learn something new about the Peace Corps. PCOL previously did an interview with Director Gaddi Vasquez.



Read the stories and leave your comments.








Some postings on Peace Corps Online are provided to the individual members of this group without permission of the copyright owner for the non-profit purposes of criticism, comment, education, scholarship, and research under the "Fair Use" provisions of U.S. Government copyright laws and they may not be distributed further without permission of the copyright owner. Peace Corps Online does not vouch for the accuracy of the content of the postings, which is the sole responsibility of the copyright holder.

Story Source: Akron Beacon Journal

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Paraguay; Television; Journalism

PCOL44005
78


Add a Message


This is a public posting area. Enter your username and password if you have an account. Otherwise, enter your full name as your username and leave the password blank. Your e-mail address is optional.
Username:  
Password:
E-mail: