September 26, 2008
Bike Rides to Work Pump Up Tiffany Mason `07
Howell Celebrates Golden Anniversary with a Film
Haney Howell’s first job 50 years ago involved putting country preachers on WLSB in his hometown of Copperhill, Tenn. “We called it ‘a dollar a hollar’ because it was $30 for 30 minutes,” he said.
Howell recently reflected on his passion for radio and wondered what was happening at small stations around South Carolina. His discovery is a 28-minute labor of love, a documentary called “Losing Their Voices: A Look at Local Radio in South Carolina.”
Co-producing the documentary was Mark Nortz, an instructor with Howell in Winthrop’s mass communication department.
Howell, an associate professor who came to Winthrop in 1988, narrated and produced the work over two years, while Nortz handled photography and the long, tedious job of editing.
The documentary will air on Southern Lens on SCETV on Oct. 9, become part of the documentary rotation at the Newseum in Washington, D.C., and go into national distribution on public television.
Howell yearned to be on the radio since he stayed awake late at night as a child listening to AM stations from coast to coast. He received his ham radio license when he was 14 and has been involved with radio or television every year since. “I consider myself truly fortunate to have worked in a profession I love for my entire career,” he said. “I tell my students that if there was a market for a red-haired hillbilly from East Tennessee at CBS, surely they can succeed as well.”
All it takes, he said, is hard work, persistence and being in the right place at the right time. Howell earned his network stripes by covering the Vietnam war, adding that he is very proud he worked at CBS during the Walter Cronkite era.
“I was most fortunate to work with folks like Dan Rather, Ed Bradley, Bob Scheifer and many others,” he said. His years at ABC Radio in New York were his “Ph.D. in news” where he was in charge of four networks with a newsroom full of anchors and editors.
Next he worked in Denver when the new technology was first used for television. His station had one of the first helicopters, as well as live trucks.
Why did he leave on-air work? “I come from a family of teachers, and I taught enough in graduate school to know I wanted to work at the university level.”
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