It's a bittersweet day here at WNEP because we have to say goodbye to a longtime member of our Newswatch 16 family.
After dedicating decades of his life to this station, our executive producer Dave Krisanda is retiring.
Barring breaking news, big weather, or sports stories, the Newswatch 16 newsroom can be fairly quiet; we only live on the edge when we need to.
In November of 1981, Dave Krisanda walked into a far noisier environment in a far different building up at the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport. Blaring radios and phones ringing constantly were all part of the job.
"Back in the day, it was typing things and paper in a teletype machine that would go, constantly knocking things out. Now, everything is computerized."
Things have changed and Dave Krisanda, executive producer of Newswatch 16, changed along with them.
"Most of my career was a show producer where you actually put together a newscast," Dave explained. "Nowadays, I'm what you call an executive producer."
Producers are generally charged with the care and feeding of one, perhaps two shows. They take care of the non-glamorous part of the business: making sure the shows look good, sound good, and above all, are factually accurate.
Dave's job is to oversee all that.
"Now I kind of advise everybody on that. All the newscast show producers as we call them, I kind of advise them."
It isn't an easy job for it requires checking to see that all the nuts and bolts are tightened just right before the show takes off.
Among other things, Dave approves scripts. Everybody eventually gets script approval for there are standards to be met, facts to be certain of, and what will a viewer think of all this.
"'Why would the viewers care?' 'Why would anybody be interested in this?' 'Do they identify with this?' So, I'm kind of the chief kibitzer."
Dave has spent the better part of his working life at Newswatch16 except for a brief time to pursue a different career. He came back and that was good for all of us.
Dave has worked special events, covered some major stories; the snowstorm of 1993 for example, when it was all hands on deck on a day he couldn't make it out of the driveway at home.
"I tried one more time, got out and drove down here to the station. That was Saturday afternoon. I stayed here till Monday afternoon," he recalled.
All in a day's work, but the day is easier when you have somebody good in the game with you.
Dave is calling it a career, leaving the control room for good, changing the show, as it were. He is retiring and going off to do what many retired folks do: travel around and see what he missed in the world while working.
While our business changes, the parade of people through it has not. Some stay, many come, and come and go but become friends along the way.
"I can think back over people I've worked with over the years that became good friends. I'll miss the daily interaction."
It's always difficult saying so long to those people you've worked with over the years even though you know they're happy about the future. So it is with our good friend Dave Krisanda.
In the world of television news, things are always changing. Every so often, you kind of wish they wouldn't.
"Time to let the kids take over. That's what I say."
From all of us to you, friend Dave, enjoy the rest of the ride. You've earned the ticket.