Houston, We Have a Problem

By: Jason Colthorp
By: Jason Colthorp

And that problem is for the other stations who now have to compete against Ms. Adela Uchida.

When I first started at WILX in 2000, one of the first things I heard from Ben Holden after a particularly wacky sportscast was, "You're not here to be Mr. SportsCenter, you're here to inform."  It was a year-long butt kicking that had me worrying about my job every other day, but eventually got me on the right track of how to do this job the right way. 

That said, I had never been more petrified on the air than the morning I sat between Adela Uchida and Darrin Rockcole on my first day as morning news anchor.  Adela took it upon herself to break me down and build me back up as a "news" anchor.  She helped show me how to recover from mistakes, how to relax when there was a moment of dead air, and how to make myself better on a daily basis.  One of her rituals was force me to watch tapes of our shows every day of the three weeks we worked together.  I hate watching myself and critiquing myself, but I learned that was a key to getting better.  What you think was great or terrible live doesn't always look the same through the other end of the talking box.

Without that foundation, I wouldn't be the anchor I am now.  And that's what I'll miss most about Adela leaving for a big job in Houston-- never hesitating to point out what is wrong or can work better by doing it another way.  Actually, that's #2.  The worst thing is not being able to call her husband John for a fun round of golf.  I tell you, nobody sneaks in the Caddyshack lines better than Fitz.  One time, after I sank a putt-- sorry, I digress-- this is a tribute to Adela!   Anywho, those might take backseats to getting her to crack up when I sneak in something funny on the 11.  She's also the reason I run in some 5k's now.  My motto used to be: I only run when chased.  She talked me into my first race, which turned into a second, and then I just ran a 3-miler on my vacation out east.  And I'll be darned if I don't actually enjoy it a little.

We've had a few battles, too.  But I forgave her for each one. ;)

As for her new job, it's a pretty awesome career move for Uch.  It's the biggest jump right up there with Dan Ponce that I've seen here.  Dan went straight to Chicago (market #3) from here to be a reporter.  Adela's going to the 10th largest market in the U.S. to be a weekend evening anchor.  Todd Klaassen didn't do too bad either going to #26 Indianapolis as weekend meteorologist.  

I wouldn't be surprised if it leads to even bigger things in Houston or-- dare I say-- the national news.  Like I said, the other stations there have some serious competition.  Houston, some of you have a big problem.

Give 'em hell, kid.  Of course... it's south Texas... so the weather is hell-like already. 

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  • by Jason Location: Newsroom on Aug 25, 2008 at 08:40 AM
    Kim, so nice of you to say and honestly, how can I argue with such a brilliantly obvious astute observation? That's funny-- my hat doesn't fit... weird. Seriously, Em is going to Palm Springs California for the same job-- morning anchor. What do you think of a wacky shift where I do the 11P late news and stik around for the morning news at 5-7 a.m.? I'm not sure how it could work.
  • by Kim on Aug 23, 2008 at 05:41 AM
    Where is Emilie going? I just caught the end of her tribute yesterday and I didn't even know she was leaving. I really enjoyed her and will miss her. Here is my suggestion. Jason, please go back to the morning. I thought you and Darrin were the best team ever! I loved you guys. I promise if you do, we will never miss a show!
  • by Adela on Aug 21, 2008 at 08:20 PM
    Awwww... you didn't have to write such a nice blog entry! Actually, I'm making quite the effort these days not to get all emotional and nostalgic on you and everyone else. Goodbye is hard to say, that's for sure. I'm going to miss a lot of people and things... are you totally sure I can't take everything to Houston with me???
  • by Ann Location: Mason on Aug 21, 2008 at 05:47 AM
    Nice tribute to Adela. We wish her well. Are you writing one for Emilie? Did you teach her lessons learned from Adela? Gosh, your station is losing some great women broadcasters - won't seem the same without them. Hope you get replacements that stay for a while ...
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