Friday, June 1, 2012

Thank You George

There are those in our business that will be a fad. A fly by night image. A simple blip on the radar. Here one minute, gone the next second. None of those apply to the one known as George Sells. An iconic figure in the Television industry for over 50 years with roots firmly planted in the Red Stick for the past 25. You name the place, he's probably been there. Houston, Philly, Detroit, Nashville to name a few. He's had a run with the locals as well as with the "Big Boys" bringing an unique style of delivering the daily news to the masses all over the country.

The year was 1988. Baton Rouge was the next stop. Sells had arrive to a station that was sagging in the rating to the competition. Little did they the tide was about to change. The iconic figure and hard hitting journalist brought a that style & swagger and turned the little station on Government Street into well oiled machine. The rati ngs came, the quality of the product rose, the legacy continued. The ladies of South LA were forever grateful.

I remember the time I met George. A young photographer still in school. No idea what I was doing. Not very confident thoughts of do I belong here. Then there was one night scanner started blowing up. News time was closing in. Time to roll out. George knew in mind how he wanted to preset the story before I even shot it. I get to the scene, shoot some pictures, then head home. Once I'm back at the station, George just starts to debrief me on every little thing possible. I get most of everything but it was that one little detail that he had in mind that I didn't get. Naturally he upset at first but it's show time. Afterwards he tell me to just soak it all in. Get the essential but look beyond the obvious of the situation. Did a little deeper on what's going on and who it affects. After that I started to get the entire story and how to bring it back. That was the way Sells liked it. What was the one thing that no one but us was going to get. And if you heard that distinctive voice saying, "THAT'S GREAT!!!" coming from his desk you know you had his seal of approval.

Now the present where nothing is forever. Time had come to step aside and enjoy what path you left for those who follow. Thank you George, thank you for all that you have done. You were more than a hard hitting journalist. More than the anchor who manned the desk. You were our leader. Always ready to bring us aside to tell us how to get better. To live up to that standard that you set so high. The newsroom won't be the same with out the news hound getting every little detail in to a script with one ear on the scanner and a bag of M&M's with a Dr. Pepper within arm's reach. It's been said before and we'll keep saying it...

Thank you George. Thank you for everything you done for all of us. Best wishes in retirement my friend.