As Monica Pearson prepares to sign off for good next week after 37 years at Channel 2, her colleagues will miss her along with viewers.
Gary Alexander, Director of Engineering at WSB-TV, sent us this nice tribute. They’re shown in the photo at the right.
“In 1992, I was just starting my career with WSB. The Braves were playing at Pittsburgh in the playoffs, and a last-minute decision was made to send all the anchors and do the pre-game show from outside Three Rivers Stadium. I was tasked to get a locally rented production truck running and send the show via satellite. However, we were flying to Pittsburgh the morning of the show, which did not allow much time for preparation or adjustments for any technical issues. The time pressure was immense, especially for a new engineer on the job.
Naturally, the flight was delayed. Upon landing, two of the three anchors left the airport quickly, except Monica. With a bit of surprise, Monica described her suitcase to me and asked if I would pick it up in baggage claim. Being a new engineer and eager to make a good impression, I quickly agreed, but I worried that we wouldn’t have time to get everything up and ready if I was going to be hauling Monica’s bags about all day. The bags quickly arrived and I started dragging them towards the curb when Monica pulled up in a giant van. “Get in, Pittsburgh is a confusing place, but I know my way around, I will drive.” No objection from me, I had been lost in Pittsburgh several times and was happy to be a passenger. I sat there in shock realizing that Monica rented the van specifically to save me the time and trouble.
She dropped us off at the production truck and already we were having trouble. The friendly Pittsburgh cops insisted that we move to another spot. With the power generator, production truck, cameras, microphones, and all the wiring that entails, this was a time consuming process. My anxiety level was extremely high. Time was quickly ticking away and we still didn’t have the first camera up and working. Out of nowhere Monica appears with a giant bag of cheeseburgers, french fries and a cooler full of water. She quickly hands them over, as the local cop is yelling at her to move her van.
After moving again due to the insistence of the fine friendly local Pittsburgh police, the anchors arrived at the site around 4 p.m. and honestly, we did not have an adequate set up. We could only get a couple of cameras working. The show did not go well – in fact, it was an epic failure. It still ranks as one of the worst remotes I have ever done.
After the show, Monica was gracious and thanked everyone. As she started to leave, she reached into her purse and handed out our hotel room keys. While we were worrying about getting the show on the air, she went to the hotel and checked us in. She even had the hotel move our bags into our rooms.
People always ask if what they see on TV is really her. It’s just a tip of an iceberg. She is one of the most kind people to which the word ‘Diva’ can never be attached. The warmth and compassion the you get from watching her is genuine. She is one of the kindest people I have worked for. I am not worried about the future. Her coworkers have learned from her how to succeed at WSB and it seems that everyone here wants to be just like Monica.”