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Radio Free Montone: A Week In The Life Of An All News Radio Reporter

By John Montone, 1010 WINS

On 1010 WINS, the news watch never stops.  Here’s a weeks worth of my contributions.

At the height of the coyote craze, I was dispatched by editor Walter Geis last Monday morning to Springfield, New Jersey where some black bears were hanging out in back yards.  I made the locals, “aware of the black bear scare.’  And I reported on how experts said we should act if confronted by one of the big, furry beasts. “No eye contact.  Remain calm.”

But if the bear begins swatting the ground with its paw, “You’re too close.  Make noises and raise your arms over your head to appear bigger.”  I thought but did not say, “And kiss your butt good-bye.”

No such levity on Tuesday morning.  The night before, six people leaving a funeral in Flatbush were shot.  Two men fatally.  Police told me two guys with guns opened fire from the street and another returned fire from inside the church.  The dead and wounded were caught in the crossfire. Some gang-related beef was to blame.  “As mourners left the Emanuel Church of God, they walked straight into hell,” I reported on the LIVE radio.

I spent Wednesday morning at City Hall covering the battle between Police Commissioner Bratton and Council Speaker Mark-Viverito over “quality of life crimes.”  Mark-Viverito wants to make some of these crimes, civil violations.  The speaker, I said, “…wants to do some repair work on broken windows policing.”  The city’s top cop says, “Losing the power of arrest could plunge the city back into the bad old days.”

On Wednesday night the Freddie Gray unrest spread from Baltimore to New York.  My task on Thursday morning was to recreate the story of the demonstrations and disorder from the previous night.  Editor Jim Maloney provided me with crowd sound, a police commander on a megaphone and interviews with several marchers.  I zeroed in on how the crowd swelled in Union Square then disobeyed police orders to stay out of the streets.  The demonstrators splintered heading east and west, firing bottles at cops with one of them hitting a Captain in the face.  The entrance to the Holland Tunnel was shut down and part of the Westside Highway was jammed.  One marcher said, “This is what justice is.  Sometimes it’s not pretty, but it has to happen.”

When I was finished with my morning drive assignment I headed to Gleason’s Gym in Brooklyn where I talked to boxers and trainers about the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight.  A former Golden Gloves champion named Eric Kelly provided a year’s worth of great quotes which I used in my reports on Friday morning.  When I asked Kelly if he would shell out a hundred bucks to see the fight on Pay Per View he said he wouldn’t miss it for anything, but he said it his way, “I would rather sand paper a lion’s ass than miss the fight.”

A week in the life of an all-news radio reporter.

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