Tuesday, August 7, 2007

AUDIO Virgil Dominic's Still A Wise Guy

Now before you go all Soprano on me (remember I'm Italian, too -- don't go there!) the Wise and Guy aren't one word. The legendary broadcaster and journalist still has the pipes and the delivery to tell a good story...

I have to admit to always being a bit "star struck" when watching or listening to Virgil Dominic; after all, he continues to be the gold standard for electronic journalists in northeast Ohio despite being out of the business for longer than we'd care to admit.

Today Virgil was presenting a different side of the business, and it wasn't the type of thing they teach in the J-schools around the country.

Virgil Dominic on toughest stories, what we shouldn't report and telling the story of faith

Virgil set those standards not only as a reporter for NBC, WKYC-TV and WJW-TV but also in management roles as News Director, assistant GM and later President and General Manager at WJW, even overseeing the switch from CBS to Fox at Channel 8. His era goes back to the "City Camera" days and his legacy is still seen everyday, from Marty Savidge and Kelly O'Donnell on NBC to Denise Dufala on 19 Action News.

But he wasn't talking about the news business (although we'll get to that in a moment); Virgil was talking about his personal faith, and how those early roots in his Oklahoma Catholic school upbringing laid the groundwork. He still remembers the nuns and priest who helped him on those first steps of his journey, and how the lessons learned became the lessons used.

Here's a guy in five -- that's FIVE -- broadcast or journalism halls of fame; he's forgotten more about public service than most of us strive to accomplish in this new age of Web 2.0, texting and "social networking".

While much of his address was very personal in nature to the First Friday Club, an organization of Catholic business and community leaders here in Akron, his observations on the role of values in the news business are still thought-provoking to a greater audience. The message that values and, yes faith, play a role in what we do should resonate through newsrooms and even classrooms.

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