I remember watching newscasts in Boston as a youngster and saying to myself, ‘Now THAT is something I want to do.’ From very early on, I knew I wanted to land a job as a television reporter in the news biz. Flip through the pages in my high school year book and you will find “News Broadcaster” under my career goals.
My roots stretch back to Somerville, MA. I graduated from Northeastern University with a degree in broadcasting in 1992. During my college days, I gained as much experience in the field as possible. In 1991, I landed a position as a disc jockey at KLHI F.M. 101 on the Island of Maui, Hawaii. I also spent seven months in Dublin, Ireland during an exchange program. I worked as a political intern for a representative in the Irish Parliament while studying at the Institute of Public Administration. The second half of the program took me to Belfast, Northern Ireland to study at Queen’s University and work as an intern with the BBC’s “Good Morning Ulster” radio program.
During my college days in Boston, I paid for tuition by selling popcorn and ice cream at historic Boston Garden during Celtics and Bruins home games. Following graduation, I landed an entry level position as a video archivist at WBZ-TV in Boston. It was such a treat working with many of the folks I admired and grew up watching.
In 1997, I moved to Bangor, Maine for my first on-air reporting job at WVII-TV. The job prepared me well for a career in broadcasting. In a small market, the size of Bangor, you work long hours, shoot the pictures, write the story, edit the video and go live all while getting paid very little. It was an experience filled with riches I cannot count. I will always cherish.
One of the highlights during my time in Maine was flying on a National Guard tanker over the Atlantic Ocean during a refueling mission involving eight F-16 fighter jets. I also had an opportunity to play a bit part in the film “Storm of the Century.” Stephen King, who is a Bangor native, wrote and appeared in the movie as well.
In 1998, I returned to Boston to work at NECN as a weekend reporter. I covered a wide range of New England and national stories including the 2000 Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles. One of the most memorable moments during my tenure at NECN was interviewing former Russian leader Mikail Gorbachev. One of the most heart-wrenching stories I ever had to cover was the deaths of six Worcester firefighters who lost their lives in a cold storage facility during a fire in December of 1999.
In the fall of 2000, I moved to Richmond after landing a job at WTVR as the military/political affairs reporter. I consider myself a history buff and Richmond offers plenty of the past to keep me satisfied. During my time here at WTVR I’ve had some remarkable experiences including flying with the Blue Angels, covering President Bush’s inauguration in 2001 and witnessing countless brave sailors and marines leave for and return from war.
I also traveled across the pond to England in the spring of ’05 to explore the historic link between the U.K. and Virginia for the 400th anniversary of Jamestown. One of the most fascinating interviews I conducted during my time spent in England was with Lord Cornwallis, the great-great-great grandson of Lord Cornwallis who surrendered to George Washington in Yorktown, Virginia essentially ending the Revolutionary War. Did you know that Richmond was named after a small English town Richmond-Upon-Thames right outside London? And that Native American Princess Pocahontas from Virginia who married explorer, John Rolfe, is buried in Gravesend, England? My reports from that week were transferred to a DVD and placed in a time capsule at Historic Jamestowne. In 2057, the time capsule will be unearthed and opened for the 450th anniversary commemoration.
In 2007, I had the golden opportunity to once again return to England and work at the BBC in Kent, England. It was part of an exchange with the BBC South East. One of their reporters switched jobs with me. Journalist Mark Norman settled in at CBS6 while I worked as a reporter for the BBC’s evening broadcast. It was one of the highlights of my broadcasting career.
In my spare time I like to travel the world, shoot still photos and search my family history. For the last several years, I’ve been tracking down and interviewing the soldiers who served in the 692nd Tank Destroyer Battalion during WWII. My late grandfather, William McQuade, was captain of ‘A’ Company in the 692nd. I’ve driven and flown to many states across America to meet these aging veterans in their homes and reunions. They’ve been sharing stories that help me get to know the grandfather I never met. In 2006, I produced an award winning two-part series on my search called, “Soldier In the Photograph”.
I have had the pleasure of working with some truly talented photographers here at CBS6. We’ve produced many award winning stories covering the hot button issue of urban sprawl in central Virginia, the history of Jackson Ward: The Harlem of the South and human smuggling in the United States. I’ve earned nine Emmy Awards and ten Edward R. Murrow Awards, a National Association of Black Journalists’ Salute to Excellence Award and four Virginia Association of Broadcasters Awards.