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Wednesday, November 05, 2008

The One and Only Susan Arbetter -- I don't think there's a broadcaster I've enjoyed working with more in my over 20 years in radio than Susan Arbetter.

If you live anywhere in New York State, chances are you know her as the host of New York Now, which airs on PBS stations statewide. Perhaps you've read her blog. Maybe you read about her amazing storybook wedding in the New York Times. For three years, I was privileged to work a couple of feet away from her in the WAMC newsroom in Albany, New York. WAMC is Albany's NPR affiliate, and Susan and I toiled together in the station's newsroom, she masterminding The Roundtable, a daily three-hour news and entertainment show, while I produced and hosted a comparitively paltry one-hour news show, Midday Magazine.

If you've seen or heard her work, you know Susan is a brilliant broadcast journalist, insightful, warm and as engaging a presence as you'll find on TV or radio. In the three years we worked together at WAMC, we had many amazing conversations that I'll never forget, and I learned a hell of a lot from her about intellectual honesty and just putting it out there. Knowing her helped me be a little less afraid to express myself, and it's safe to say I'll always cherish the many hours we batted ideas around, laughed at our stupid and brilliant in-jokes, or shared the many and varied treats that found their way into the newsroom, low-fat, low-carb and high-fiber, every last goddamn one of 'em. Right, Susan?

Anyways, these days I'm writing and producing commercials in the foothills of the Adirondacks, while Susan is a famous TV personality and blogger. But she still takes the time to answer my emails, and I stand amazed and honoured that she has the time to reminisce and laugh with me on a regular basis, even if these days it's only in email. I miss the hell out of working with her, it was truly a high point of my career. And like most high points, you don't really realize it until you're looking at it in the rearview mirror.

Anyway, today is Susan's birthday, and I wanted to take a minute to wish her a very happy birthday and many, many returns of the day. I'd share one of those private in-jokes to bring a smile to your face, but the first one I thought of, and one that's most appropriate to the year I've been having, is a dirty little ditty that begins with the words "Here comes..." and then ventures off into NC-17 territory. But Susan, I want you to know I think of that song often, and I always think of you when I do. I'm sure that's both hilarious and incredibly inappropriate, and I can't think of a more appropriate way to wish you a happy birthday. Give Bill a hug for me, and tell him to give you one right back, and from there, just go with wherever the moment takes you, 'kay?



Blogger Roger Owen Green said...

Susan sorta likes you too.

05 November, 2008 00:53  

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