By all accounts, Ballou (D.C.) High running back Jamal Speaks can stop on the dime and reverse field with the best of them.
Thanks to a similar reversal of field by a CBS Evening News producer named Tamara Fine, the Temple-bound Speaks had his story told on a bigger stage than even Action News with a piece to end the CBS Evening News on Thursday (above).
The routine for me this summer and recently until darkness crept in earlier than I wanted was to head to the local park for a jog after work, put the headphones on and listen to the last half-hour of the Mike Francesa Show (660 AM) and the half-hour of the CBS Evening News with Jeff Glor (simulcast on KYW, 1060 AM).
The last story on the show–usually by either Steve Hartman or Jim Alexrod–is an uplifting piece designed to put a smile on the viewer’s face before the news signs off. The Sept. 19th story was on a football player who was “legally” blind but scored a touchdown. The next day, I typed this email off to the CBS Evening News with a suggestion about using Jamal Speaks’ compelling story:
Tamara Fine, the producer in charge of such stories, sent back this response
At this point, I could have swallowed hard and forgotten about the whole thing but I thought, no, this is exactly the type of story that would make a good one to end the show:
Fortunately, after that, Fine had a reversal of field of her own and set the wheels in motion for this story to get the wider audience it deserves.
I particularly liked the last line of the story by reporter Axelrod: “Temple University did, giving him a football scholarship, and the rest of us a running back to root for in the seasons to come.”
Thursday: Navy Preview