Hello, my name is Angie Gaines and I would like to welcome you to my WHNT sentimental journey.
I celebrated my 20th birthday on February 8, 1980 and I had already had an interview with WHNT. I was praying for the best birthday present ever — to land the job. Thankfully, those prayers were answered and that’s exactly what happened.
I was hired as the Executive Assistant to the General Manager, who at that time was Mr. Tom Percer. To this day, I owe him a great deal of gratitude for giving me a chance and setting me on this course.
My first day at the station was February 12, 1980 and I was thrilled to be here. At that time, the station was located on the top of Monte Sano. The walls in my office were covered with paneling. I had a rotary phone, typewriter, pads for shorthand, Dictaphone and the other typical office essentials.
I can remember having to keep a garbage can close for the leaks in the ceiling when it rained. At that location, all of the office personnel, sales, promotions and engineering were in the main building and the newsroom was across the street. Funny to think of it now, but there were ash trays everywhere inside for all who smoked, which is now unheard of and something I don’t miss at all.
There were so many fun times and fond memories from that time and building. But, we progressed on to bigger and better things in March of 1987 when we moved to our current location on Holmes Avenue. Our new place of operation was beautiful and everything was brand new. We were all so excited to find our new office space, get things unpacked, in place and ready to go. Time marches on and that was 26 years ago.
During my tenure here, I have been through three owners, seven general managers and several managers. My title has changed from Executive Assistant, Local Sales Assistant to Traffic Assistant. Of course, job responsibilities have changed numerous times to go along with those title changes.
I’ve seen countless people come and go. Some have remained life-long friends, some casual acquaintances and some I never knew their name. There is a small group that were here when I first started that still remain at the station today. Through all of the changes of people coming and going, there is one constant that has always remained the same. That is the family atmosphere.
Our product takes a team of people on and off the air, with each job and every employee carrying equal importance. We have gone from bringing that finished product into your homes to now bringing it to you just about whenever, however and wherever you want news, weather and entertainment. Technology has drastically changed and we have changed right along with it. So, even though I’ve remained with the same company, my current job is dramatically different.
I’ve been asked several times why I stayed at the same place for so long and the answer is quite simple, “I have never had a reason to leave.” Sure, there are frustrations. Sure, there is burn-out. Sure, I’ve wondered what it would be like to work somewhere else. But the weekend comes or I take some time off and come right back and start all over again. And besides, how many places can you work and have a flat-screen TV on your desk? Probably not very many.
It’s so difficult to condense 33 years into mere words. When I look back through those years, I tend to consider that which has come and gone to be the good ole days, but in light of looking back I quickly realize that they have all been very good. Lord willing, my plan is for this wonderful journey (in the TV term) is To Be Continued…