On this Christmas weekend, I thought I would take a minute to introduce or re-introduce a member of the WTAP news team to you…and to perhaps straighten out a long-standing error some people make.
This is John Fortney, a Mid-Ohio Valley native and former anchor and reporter here at WTAP who started working here while he was still in college. He worked his way from production, to reporting, to weather, to anchoring.
He did so well, in fact, that he was hired away from us in 1996, to become the first anchor at Ohio News Network in Columbus.
After a few years, he began working at ONN's parent station, WBNS.
In 2009, he left WBNS to go to a television station in Lincoln, Nebraska, owned by WTAP's parent company, Gray Television.
I've stayed in touch with John over the years and harbored the hope that someday, he might do as I did, and come back to WTAP.
Finally, a couple of months ago, that opportunity presented itself and John rejoined us in early December as News Director, the job I held when I first met John here at WTAP way back in 1990.
I share this with you for two reasons. One, to tell you how happy we are that John has re-joined us. And two, to help folks understand that John and I are NOT the same person!
Over the years, people told me they watched me on ONN and WBNS. They remembered when my daughter, who has brown hair, had bright red hair, which she never did. That's one of John's daughters who has the bright red hair. When the news broke about John's return, people came up to me and told me how happy they were that I was coming back. I'VE BEEN BACK FOR 20 YEARS! It's John who was coming back.
John is much younger, much taller, much better-looking, and a much better anchor than I am. Please don't insult him by confusing the two of us, OK?
I'm Roger Sheppard....
(JOHN) And I'm John Fortney... and that's this week's editorial.