Thursday, March 28, 2002

GUTEN TAG and Happy Easter


It's been a long while since I've had the time and patience to circulate one of these Kanestergrams, but it's long overdue and I've got lots to talk about... hope this message finds you all in good health and good spirits.


I should start of by letting you all know that I'm in Frankfurt Germany. I've been here a month now, and I'm working as a civilian employee of the U.S. Government. I'm working at the headquarters of the American Forces Network in Europe. I'm just getting settled into a new apartment and still waiting for my car to get here (it's coming on the slow boat from the U.S.)

Today was the launch of AFN's new half-hour newsmagazine show Destinations... of which I am the host. It's exciting to be on the ground running here in Europe working with some fascinating people here at AFN.

I left West Virginia and WOWK to take this position the end of January... right after President Bush visited the mountain state. That was my last report with the station.


Last fall I had a great oppurtunity to report from the sidelines in the war on Terrorism... Pakistan. I left for Pakistan just a little over a month after the September 11th attacks, and only two weeks after the start of bombing in Afghanistan.This trip was well before the name Daniel Pearl became famous, and at the time, I had little or no worry about my personal safety. But that was then... if I was asked to go now, I would think twice about it. Many people who knew I went to Paksitan asked me what I thought about Daniel Pearl. It shocked me, because he was in a large city in Pakistan... I was in Peshawar, a hotbed of anti-American sentiment and a known terrorist hideout, and I was travelling alone in this foreign land with little or no safety net, aside from the people whom I trusted to help me accomplish my task.I made it out, and only had some brief encounters that made me think twice about being there. And overall, the trip was a fantastic experience. I met some great people both in Charleston (who helped me get to Paksitan) and while I was in Islamabad and Peshawar.I produced an eight part news series that aired during sweeps on WOWK in November, and a documetnary called "Inside Pakistan: America at War" that aired in early December. I recently learned the documentary won an RTNDA Edward R. Murrow award and is up for two Emmy Awards including Best News Documentary and Best Promotion Campaign. Craig Davis, Travis Williams and Nicole Stropoli at WOWK helped me put everything together, and Nicole's promotion campaign was top notch. I hope that we all walk away with something to be proud of from the whole experience. I plan to fly back for the Emmy Awards show April 27th in Cincinnatti.


I took a month off before I settled down here in Germany to travel around the U.S. and visit some friends I haven't seen in a while.It started out in Illinois, went to Wisconsin, and was supposed to end in California, but on a brief visit to Ottawa (my hometown in Illinois), I came down with a bad cast of pnuemonia, and wound up bed ridden at the home of Dick and Martha Marincic for about five days. They nursed me back to health just in time to make it back to Pennsylvania to get ready to ship out. I had to cancel my trip to Los Angeles and it really upset me. For all of you Superchargers out there in LA... SORRY! I hope to make it up some time later this year.


Germany is... so far so good. I feel bad that I don't know much of the language yet, and here I'm more immersed and dependent on the local culture since there is no base or installation near the AFN building. And I think that is a good thing. I've been living out of a suitcase for the last month, between hotels near the station, until I could find an apartment and get settled down. Now I live in a part of Frankfurt known as Sachsenhousen, and just moved in today. The area has many bars and shops that tourists and foreigners frequent.


That's the motto of our new show here at AFN - Destinations. I was brought on board to start the show up and get it going, and so far I'm pleased with the progress. We just launched the show a few hours ago, and I write this message to you all as I get ready to close some thoughts and work on the show for the day.The show isn't bad for a freshman effort, and with the material and reporters we have to put the show on each week, it's going to be a fun ride and rewarding experience.Some of the pieces that aired in the first show included a special look at Euro Disney.. the German Country Music Awards... Snowboarding competition in Garmish Germany, anda couple more pieces on winter sports competitions. It's a feature style newsmagazine.


The above phrase is the code word the Secret Service communicates when President Bush finally goes to sleep for the night. And this is where I close the latest installment of the Kanestergram.I would like to hear from you all, and hope that you would drop me a line or seven.

Take it easy,


No comments: